Vivekanand Jha (2012 Poem In Your Pocket)

As I Was Passing Kaheka Street

by G. M. LaRiviere

The dapper Japanese tourist was
walking on the sidewalk
when death swished by him
and stopped short of his grave.

The dude must have felt the air rush by
as the hanging palm frond dropped
from the sky that close to his head,

a hefty stalk made deadlier by
the towering height from which it shed
halting his stride and blocking his path.

Just one step forward a half-second sooner
and his vacation in Hawaii might have ended.

His face strained for composure but I
could see the veiled terror move
across his orbs, glazing them over,
his skin blanching whiter,
still he kept it together his look
now pensive, replaying the grisly scene
with his nerves shredded. I saw

that his near miss was mine also,
and I wondered which saint he prayed to.

G. M. LaRiviere has lived in NYC, L.A., Monterey, and Japan as well as in Hawaii, her home. Her poems, which have won awards in poetry competitions, are mainly Hawaii poems. Late in life, after her father's death, LaRiviere learned of their descent from a samurai family. Coincidentally, research on a YA samurai novel which she had put on hold has been spurred on by this knowledge. Her completed ethnic novel, FROM NEW YORK TO WEST TOLUCA LAKE VIA HAWAII, took ten years to write. Look for an excerpt to be published in the forthcoming 2014 NWA Honolulu Chapter's anthology.


Song of Patience

by Vivekanand Jha

Sing a song of glee
Even in the hours of grief
Even iron-tree would turn green
Even stony soul would melt like wax.

Live a life of contentment and peace
Prosperity will knock at your door
Opportunity will peep through your window
Flower and fruit of success
Would bloom even in bald courtyard.

Tread the track of truth
Like soldiers march in step
Follow the sayer of sooth
Like shadow to you
Even from soil of sterile
Sun flower would sprout.

Remember when, how
or what you sweat
that pays prize sooner or late
Your eyes would forget
Last time when they had shed tears,
Sigh would fail to remember
When it breathed a relief out of fears.

Learn the lessons of morals
Forget how to sit on laurels
If such be belief of every individual
There will be none orphan or single.

Kingdom of peace and
empire of tolerance
Would be reinstated
No room would remain
for repulsion and reprisal.

Dr. Vivekanand Jha is a translator, editor, and award winning poet from India. He is a contributing poet to Wavelengths: 2011 Savant Anthology of Poetry which has won first place in the 2011 London Book Festival. He is the author of five books of poetry. He has also authored one critical book on the poetry of Jayanta Mahapatra and edited two critical anthologies on Indian English Novels. He is son of noted professor, poet, and award winning translator Dr. Rajanand Jha.

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