• Rahul Mahesh


I was once under a yew tree,

Minding my own business, lost in thought.

It was quiet cold, I remember;

My cloak would not keep me warm.

As I sat there, in that comfortable silence,

I was thus interrupted by the chirp not far away.

She would not stop, she would not wait;

Incessantly she chirped my time away.

“Why must you chirp so gleefully?” I exclaimed;

“Can’t you see I wish to peacefully stay?”

“Let me be, leave me in peace,

Find another suitor for your joyous symphony.”

“I sought you out my dear”, said the Nightingale;

“I see you repose wistfully here.”

“Why must you be so gloomy and tired?” asked the Nightingale;

“Why must you come here and shed a tear?”

I opened my heart to the Nightingale,

I know not why but I did.

I spoke to her of my travails,

I spoke of the insanity when amidst the people I’d stray.

“Men are worrisome as worry goes”, said the Nightingale;

“They know not how to live in peace.”

“Constant pain, constant agony;

Or constant cheer and shameful blasphemy”.

“The world hath thus been made bountiful,

But you doth lie waste in disdainful reverie.

Why must you be so gloomy? Why must you wail?

If I were but human, I’d be ecstatic in your company.”

As I began my rebuttal, I was momentarily interrupted;

A scoff I heard from among the branches near.

A raven dark and gloomy stood,

In the silence, he misspoke a rebuke.

“You play the trumpets of joy, my friend”, said the Raven,

“I am but a messenger of doom.

I see no point in such joyous reverie,

Each life thus bludgeoned by memories.

“Aren’t memories but beautiful my friend?”

I asked the Raven atop the tree.

“My dear, memories poison the heart,

Aches our soul as you remember the loved ones of yore.”

“The solace that memories doth give is lost in such penury,

The illusions of love and lust, such fleeting misery.

All of life lay waste, barren and desolate,

Why must we thus celebrate such a pointless journey?”

The Nightingale cackled in disapproval,

“My dear, you are so morose, a victim of circumstances.

The world is but innately beautiful, yet you are so unfathomably sad.

You are but afraid of life, for having been served some bad apples,

If life must be so pointless, all of life must’ve faded years before.”

An argument thus ensued, I could not speak;

I wanted some silence, my thoughts wished for peace.

I begged them to stop, I pleaded them to forbear,

They went on to speak of life, in words I could not stand.

That night I shot a raven,

That night I skinned the ‘gale.

Since then I am but numb,

No reason I see, no joy I feel;

An emptiness better left untouched and unexplained.

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