Poem: Acrobats

Painting: Richard Wallace

By Himadri Lahiri

You can often see them move – like the breeze,
Acrobats on the taut trapeze
It’s a wonder watching their steps on the string
Their feet having a leopard’s spring.

Not that they do not trip a bit
Not that their balance is always exquisite
They fall, feel the fall, then move like a rubber ball
With each change they change and try to reap a rich haul.

They scratch their way to the boss
By means crude or dross
It may be a BaaBaa, it may be a BeeBee
Doesn’t matter if it’s a he or a she.

You can see them in the market
Pawning their self and setting their bet
Speculating if the loss
Would fetch some pelf from the boss.

You can see them often in the halls of learning
Bragging it’s me, it’s me, it’s me
Fusillades of words that are uncanny
Though for the rest it’s all funny.

You can see them around your home
Waxing eloquent on the greater glory of their dome
Their dome is but full of insects and worms
No way but to concede to their terms.

The pillars can bear no longer
They have withstood too strong a pressure.
Come the pest, come the tempest
The structure can no longer stand the test.

This is how the world may end
This is how the world can end

Himadri Lahiri is former Professor, Department of English and Culture Studies, University of Burdwan, West Bengal. Currently, he is Professor of English at the School of Humanities, Netaji Subhas Open University, Kolkata. He has written extensively on Diaspora Studies, Postcolonial Studies and Indian English Literature. His latest publication is Diaspora Theory and Transnationalism (Hyderabad: Orient Blackswan, 2019). Contemporary Indian English Poetry and Drama (Newcastle on Tyne: Cambridge Scholars, 2019), co-edited by him, has also been published recently. He writes book reviews for newspapers and academic journals. He writes poems at leisure hours.


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