(For Pradip Bhattacharya)
What would you have me do dear friend?
Wear rings and things and buttons and bows
And shampoo well my greasy hair
Or if grey, color it black
And carry a comb in my hip pocket?
Be in trendy dress, abrade my skin
To be smart and trim?
Or clad in a safari look like a clown
With an eternal smile on my face?
To stand on a pair of knocking knees
Doing obeisance to the boss and lick his feet?
Or with a supple spine do impossible tricks
To please everybody all the time?
To be cunning as a fox to defraud my friend,
Full of guiles my language miles away from my thoughts
In a mind like serpentine lane?
To walk my way in sinister silence
In cherry-blossomed shoes
To a private paradise
Where latest gadgets gauge my gains
And the shopper and the ‘keeper both become consumer goods?
And all my adornments display on my rotund flesh?
To bury the luxury of conscience
And the bother of casuistry in obesity heartless
Thinking the worse is coming to the worst
And doing some business when the going is good?
No thanks, my friend,
It’s my pleasure to displease.
I will walk my way a vertebrate
And wear my virtues on my soul.
Yes I would remain a fool, a motley fool,
In un-smart garb without guise.
I will spread my heart on my palm
As one who thinks what he says and does.
I shall give full credence to my creed
Not to make hard bargains with the present
But stand and wait in disappointment
For the best to come,
For come it must.