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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