Hieroglyphs of Time

(Rajesh K. Jha)

I put my ear on the belly of the earth,
and hear the rumble of death.
Far away on the horizon
a finger beckons with wedding ring of iron
Inscribed with hieroglyphs of time-
that passed too fast, too soon.
A terrified bird with stolen wings
in a temple whose deities bolted long ago
the god averts his eyes in sheepish helplessness.
A flower folds into itself
Petal by petal, breath by breath,
embracing its portrait of the lovely lady
In lungs ravaged by a cruel nothingness
before turning into a digit of the number 3617 on 28 May.
A secret despair grows in my heart like flowers of cactus,
invisible dew drops evaporate on scorched earth,
smoke makes a silly pattern that burns my eyes.

(In memory of a friend who died of Corona last year)

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