Two Poems

    By Meher Pestonji

    Meditations on the Sea

    The sea abandons
    shoals of shells
    broken and unbroken
    along the white wave line

    Some sink sand-wards,
    others drift wave-wards
    a few smile sun-wards on the beach

    At one time I battled the sea
    grabbing shells he dared whisk away

    I won fifteen times
    He fifteen thousand
    Till with warm wave caresses
    he lulled mu efforts to peace

    The wave that licks the shore
    caressingly
    will recede and return
    in different combinations
    of salt, sand, shell, wind and water

    Wave follows wave
    moment by moment
    Tides take twelve hours to turn

    The only way to know the ocean
    is to know your smallness
    More creatures swim
    than drown in its belly

    Anyone who’s tried to drown
    knows the calmness
    of the sea is
    deceptive

    When you try to go in
    he washes you out
    When you struggle to swim
    he suckles you in

    Wildfires

    Where Greece ends, Turkey begins
    wildfires engulf both
    devouring forests, birds, beasts
    and human settlements.

    Wild winds whip flaming trees
    embracing arms in death cries
    as blazing sun mocks human ants
    struggling to douse relentless flames

    In California too, fire’s insatiable appetite
    gobbles cafes and cars
    enflamed skies witnessing
    an Apocalypse of wealth and power

    Throttled by mankind’s greed
    Nature has jumped oceans, continents
    hurling destruction at two ends of the globe
    respecting neither natural nor political boundaries

    Citizens point to politicians, arsonists
    – who are surely to blame –
    but can we write off our own role
    as consumers demanding more and more and more?

    Meher Pestonji

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