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This is all about the common belief that true love is heavenly, hence it is not possible to achieve it while fulfilling all passions, lust and all those that drive man and his instincts. In this poem in 12 sections different personas carry on the same story. At all the stages of life, the painter and his beloved act as the ultimate reference to their beliefs on love. They sprinkle love, but by the end we see that both of them though separated are forced to suffer. The woman pays for her fault, but you may ask, what was the fault of the painter? In my view in love two souls contribute to the bond. The suffering of the innocent painter is inevitable… he suffers for his love and perhaps this is the law that works on this earth and controls the fate of each pair of lovers — whether attached or separated.
Eliotian vision revisited in the context of love and betrayal in this 21st century epic poem with 12 sections.

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  •   For the girl who taught mewhat I should look for, in love…  - Samir      
  •  Acknowledgements: Among my conscious debts are phrases from T. S. Eliot (from The Waste Land) and Nissim Ezekiel (from The Hymns of Darkness).  
  •   Epigraph  “Love is itself blind .That’s why it let’s you see more clearly…”      
  • I. Closing Chapter In the darkest of alleysat the misty houran old man begging for lifein the age old remaining of the Shiva temple. Years before the alley was not the morgue of dry leaveswho mutter whenyou walk upon themto warn youagainst the life’s truthman is but a ‘handful of dust’ ! With the rise of the hour-handand the ringing of the far away bellthe sprits rise with their unquenched stories to be re-opened and retold … 
  • II. A Painting A shadow moving across the bay rising with the setting suntaking a dip in the roaring sea. Alone perhaps… deep in his thoughtstalking to self“why one loves ifto love is to fail oneselfat the need of the moment?”When everyone expects you to bring some laurels;when parents wish youcross the crossroad,you betray their dreamsjust for a sake of an emotion!” With the vanishing footprints on the sandthe shadow is no more.The leather jacket of darknessenveloping the shadowmaking him the un-detachable partof the black pastethat paints the canvas… “True” mutters the painterwith the thin brushdipped in black, that spurt outlike the burnt out Palm leaf.
  • “The moment ago ,   What the image of the loverthat lingers at the bay thoughtwas my philosophy too”.But with the change of timeand with the change of passageone has to repair his moodshis thoughts, ideas and views.“so, there is no surpriseif now I have a divorced legacy of a frustrated view !”  
  • III Old Wife’s Tale Told the old woman with the growing line of seriousnessresting at the far corners of her chinthe story of the old painterwho once loved a princessof course of his dreamsnot of any state. Childhood memories are but a part of the album,where among the fading snapsyou search forthe sweet moments. But the black – and – whitemoments do betraywith their promises to colour up your life… The colour was usedto bring them to lifebut as mere dark-light remainingsof the passing moment.So, that smiling chinabove the grey shadowof your princess is not what you see, but is just what you can imagine how she looked once standing at the last corners of time’s street,when the painter too
  • didn’t know except to smileat the darkening lenswith the innocent looks. As the miles crossedwith the dropping innocence“we used to grow”with our growing senseswith our passions andperhapsa little hunger. 
  • IV. Utterances  “The truth is harsh, but true.We shared, what other lovers hadexcept a heartfelt emotionat least I feel that even if I agreed to shareit was a fear to her. What prevented her toopen her thoughtsitting beside meis an unknown episode-- a mystery bookwith its last pages lostinto the fathomless darkpulling me inside. I sit over the heapof dead skeletons of the glow wormswho lost their youthin search of some sweet fragranceof some deadly plant. Looking around I found myself lost !”
  • V. A Night Preparation “Money is hardly my aim,but there is the lurking wish for what it can buy” A charming mirrorlike an Yes-Manalways ready to nod  in affirmativeat every wish of the princess“Who is most beautiful in the world?”“You yourself, with no doubt”replies the shining plate. with the tempting voicethe glow in the eyes grow --So, what if hundreds like it would bow down to the ultimate beauty?Wouldn’t that be more niceto have millionswith their thirsty eyeslook up at the sweet piece? “Yes!”whispers the princess“I need something moreto prove my beauty”.So,  when above the far edge of the skythe blue shawl was raisedwith hundreds of silvery glowsspreading across the sky,the princess leans over the castle windowand waits for the hoofsof the strangerwith his promise of gold.
  • VI. Longing! Tears of a drop or twodropped from the old eyesthat once loved the mirrormore than the man.but with grip of age,the mirror cheated the million times,cracking the mud castle of the princess’ dreams. “Now my lover is not hereonly his remote memory is,whom I thought a sure-thingis now an impossibility --a much faded dream! 
  • VII. A Moral The little girlwith innocent looksright beside the Grand-Pa looking for butterfliespoints to the red beauties over the green thorn --“Aren’t the lovely?”Nodded the old man smilinglyin his usual waywith a resonant voice“Yeah, they are -- the roses;but what makes them specialis not what they are,but for what we keep for them inside us -- a little roomin the kingdom of our hearta special room”. It is that special placethat brings someone closemakes someone a part of us perhaps creates the rainbowwhile you are standing under the rain. 
  • VIII. The Celebration Gold is stronger,stronger is the lustthan the faint morals of love“You don’t need to waitwhen your body callsto serve it with another” Rapenzel’s hair waited for the touch of stranger’s ride.And princess shared the aftermath -- a sweet nothingwith the stranger -- the sweeter than the old painter” Pink is not the part of night‘cause it is morning to comebringing with it an end to an erotic dreamto the flickering eyes,trembling hands and heavy breaths.An episode ended,unknown to the world…unknown to the loverwho thought she was the queenthe queen of his heart!
  • IX. Fake Castle Evening falls,not with golden chariotto take you and move aboutin the land of dreams.The open passagethe bare feetboth are the hard facts not dreams with my each stepwith my each movewhat comes to my mind is the drowsy dream of your sweet voice, of your rosy smell.But with the company of the heartless Timewith no interest at the beats of nerveswith the blank eyesand in empty glanceI hear the castle fallson the bank of our childhood-- once we made together against the threatening foams. To your questioning eyes,“we are for eternity,not these foams”,was the answerthat seems a lie todaya fake piece of faithlike a cracking table withno lasting legs.
  • X. Betrayed Not that they knowhow years passwith the passage of timewith the passage of sorrow andperhaps a deep sigh. Age was not the samewhen Sun used to smilewith the rays of goldwith the fearing cold andperhaps a hearty dream. They used to playon the bank of the memorywith their feet in sand and perhaps a drop of salty water. Time flew, like a birdand they grew oldwith their cherishing dreamswith the growing passions and perhaps a pinch of lust. 
  • Innocence remained no morethe part of their eyeswith the hunger of the fleshwith the sensual screamsperhaps a goal is achieved.They have reached the goalhave known how it tastesin the embrace of the otherin the beat other’s heart andperhaps no need to wear the mask. They knew, living together is not easyas it once seemedwith the masks onwith the hunger in the handsperhaps, it’s time for separation! Not that they knewhow years passwith the passage of timewith the passage of sorrow and perhaps a little sigh. 
  • XI. At the Strangers’ Street When trust is in questionyou never knowwhom you loveand long to ownhas her heart reserved for you? When faith is in questionyou never know the one you believenext to you has one’s ear reserved for you? How to know, when you are in doubtwhat you feel,those sweet beats of your heart,are not meant for the waste? How to know, when you are in darkwhat you think ---those pleasured voicesare not to be made silent?In the street of the crowd,lots more to gatheryou are there,but can not utterthe rising utterances the bitter agoniesalong with the sweet painsthat your heart bearsto tell someone near, some close
  • those words, you long to openIn the Strangers’ street, none is so close not even dear ! A deep sigh perhaps,or a long passing breathat the moment’s end,is what you need --you need to existand to exit. 
  • XII. The Beginning The beatings of the bells --the sun shall shine over the broken walls of Shiva temple. The paused storm;a young one amidst the dead leavesall wait for a new start,a new beginning. What the old man wanted was just the re-packed versionof the lost story -- to be alive againto make a new startfrom the desert of the distant past .He said:‘I’m forced by the five sensesto fear the five senses !’What is waited for, is a storyI not knowBut when I search for moreI see a vacant paperwhere a vague memorythreat to linger !  
  • FathomlessAnd Other Poems   Samir K. Dash  The poet can be reached atsamirk_dash@yahoo.com  
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