Like A Chinese Lantern

Satish Verma

At the end of the thought 
was sadness. 
When temple lies broken 
a little white lotus comes up 
on the tranquil lake. 

A cute word enters the lone voice, 
stands down, collapses, retreats into silence. 
A chaste tree becomes a sage 
and tenderness of the ash turns into an elegy. 

The moon-face has frost on the eyes. 
Tears blaze the lips. 
Unbounded grief holds the space between 
sobs, a bodiless spark. 

Moons ago when sleep was a fragrant 
gift, the song never touched the earth. 
That dream sways like a Chinese lantern 
without enthusiasm.