Indian Afterlife

IMG_2197The River

From mother’s first flows
The sadhus bathe,
The pujaris bless
And Ma Ganga saves;
Her best for last,
Rites done, wrongs
Atoned for and forgiven,
Ashes to ashes,
Pyres of contrition.

The dead cleansed,
Licked by flame.
Surrendered to Ganga
Together with name.
Notions of self
Once all consuming,
Liberated by time
From Ma Ganga’s bosom.




Park Street Cemetery

After life they passed
Through iron gates,
Unmanned by Peter
Or any Saints.
To their graves,
Prepared and readied
For company men
In Park Street cemetery.

Georgian gents dead
And buried deep
In the soil of Bengal;
Top hats, values,
Warts and all.
Few crosses here
To bear the Christian names
Of histories lived
On frontiers untamed.

In death they expressed
What in life
They dared not,
Their dreams of mind
Wonder and lust.
Monuments from another’s world;
Pyramids and obelisks
Adorn this garden
To the absurd.



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