Stand I alone in cloistered life
With reminisce and none else to find;
Quondam glimpses seeking my mind,
A tired legionary faded erstwhile.
My wife, she left me a year afore,
And children, they said, “Stay home!”
Home I remember which did once extol
The screams and cries of begotten sons,
Is at bewail to silhouette the dolor
Of members gone and fetter lost.
These eyes that caste wistful glance
Bring back the days of luscious past
Of whilst would I lie on her and say,
“I love you” and those steamy talks.
Oh! Who could wail at my par?
These eyes that caste wistful glance
Bring back the days of Legionnaire
Of a soldier boy with guns and arms–
Hustling, galumphing with valour vast,
Slaying myriads of coeval slobs,
Claiming laurels to the country psalms,
And singing hymns in cradles worth.
Of tales that are mislaid and lost,
I do bethink a significant affair.
Might have I been of spoilt age
With steroid and pride at its rage,
When a wandering girl
Of bodacious beauty did show up
At enemy’s camp in neighbouring domain;
For then, who else should have been lucky
To have a whore in country’s job?
The warmth of slave did repose
Some of us with the curse of death
In an undeciphered, abrupt cannonade.
The dust of war did settle in its time–
Nobbling away the comrade’s lives
And when did myself see the ruin
With friends and beauty all reduced
To meagre dust and debris match.
My heart once sank at time’s toll–
On how seconds did change the world.
Have I since then played a retired shtick;
The corpses of friends in plentitude
Is an abhorrent yet adhering image,
Which sets an old man like me in sweat,
Who has lost lots but gained less.
Bring I myself back to the extant time,
Where solitude scares somewhat less than
Panic of past and innumerable grievance.

-Puru Dubey

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