The Smell of Death
by Bibhu Padhi (September 2015)
Let the things come to me as they do,
In their own natural order, using
their own words, completing their own wish
to find a sequence that was not there earlier.
What else happened around us that asks
For our permission, awaits our separate wishes
For building up empires of our own, allows us
The timely need to complete our never-ending plans?
I mean the larger things that won’t wait
For anything, that always believe in what we see
As an end, always tempts us to believe in pauses,
As our proud acquisitions smile at our stupidities.
If this be the smell of death, let it be so.
It hangs in the air, just above us, lies about us
On the ground horizontally, asking for our attention,
Laying claim to all our small tales, epic narratives.
Talking about yet larger things is another matter
That may not include the body and the mind,
Just as the sky may not include its colours,
Its rounded shapes or the sea, its waves and emerald-green.
And since it is so, let me live in my no—wish house
And regard things and their sequences as something
That I alone deserve, the result of my inattentions
Of the past, the clever pursuits of the mind.
Bibhu Padhi's tenth book of poems, Midnight Diary, has just been published. He lives with his family in Bhubaneswar, India.
To comment on this poem, please click here.
To help New English Review continue to publish original poetry such as this, please click here.
If you enjoyed this poem and would like to read more by Bibhu Padhi, please click here.