Things I am Learning from the Sea

    By Basudhara Roy

    Acknowledge this restlessness as yours
    not the world’s and accept
    that wherever you settle on the globe
    your heart will never be at ease.

    That no matter how noiseless you are
    how anonymous and how difficult to reach
    the committed seeker
    will be able to find a way to you.

    That the sun will not always rise
    and the wind not always be kind
    but on the earth’s honest bed
    not a moment’s task can be postponed to the next.

    That despite your anthem of giving
    you can never expunge blame
    misunderstanding or ingratitude
    but you are not to mind and go on.

    That the greys and browns will ever be
    the first to meet their eye
    the floors of your empire thick inlaid with silver
    an ancient epic that the chosen alone will read.

    Let all who touch you leave their mark
    so that in the bewilderedness of life’s maze
    a secret passageway to tomorrow is opened
    by their wisdom lit consistently by your faith.

    Finally return all you are given and more.
    In a regime where the law is to store
    be lawless and hoard nothing but
    the mystery in your salt-scraped soul.

    Basundhara Roy teaches English at Karim City College affiliated to Kolhan University, Chaibasa. She is the author of three poetry collections. Her recent work is available at Outlook India, The Dhaka Tribune, EPW, Madras Courier and Live Wire among others. Shortlisted for the DKM Prize 2021, she writes and reviews from Jamshedpur, Jharkhand.

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