A Holus-Bolus Odyssey


The page remained
unblemished across the night,
waiting for letters.

But why sniffle a haiku
When one can weep a sea?

The peepal tree has a new, green sheath.
It shimmers and quivers in the
barely felt breeze.
Everywhere around it is nothing
but baked dust, caked fields,
and brittle blades of what
once was weed.

I release my sliver-grey motor
off the freeway, onto the shoulder.
The old companion trembles
and gasps as it travels,
Flaccid limbs fumble and duel
with waning levers
ruing the prime
myriad kilometers ago.
Not far to the left is the boulder
of age. The land of no road.

I may wrap a dozen yarns
on the trunk of immortality,
pull a dozen tricks
at the automotive workshop,
or a multi-specialty clinic.
We are leaves but at Autumn,
not the Spring.

I must move the miles
under a fervid sun,
overlooking the posturing
of a Mercedes, audacity of an Audi
plump with muscles and pompous mood.
For tax thugs, a cumulus multitude,
money is free.

Cumulus multitudes with the touch of Midas,
filching pebbles, heisting hills, cloning gold.
Here am I blooming folds,
working out of skin and growing old.
Forgive the platitude;
bear with me.

And allow us all
to further the legacy.
To tell a truth or two,
Best states on the planet
are a banana democracy,
mercenaries loot all, even themselves.
Best writers are breezy.

And best blogs
a holus-bolus odyssey.


    1. Actually, I was about to slink away after that frail attempt at haiku when it occurred to me I could go ahead and let loose much more. 🙂 As for the car, how I wish! Thanks Vicki.

    1. Shubha, I am proud to have earned that compliment, but my doggerel is a far cry from Cynthia’s mesmerizing muse. How can I forget her Maple Tree? She will remain a perennial source of inspiration. A million thanks for the encouragement.

  1. Oh to wrap a dozen yarns on the trunk of immortality! I thought this was a contemporary version of a Hopkins’ “Terrible Posthumous Sonnet”… Everywhere around it is nothing
    but baked dust, caked fields, and brittle blades of what once was weed. It’s a strange thing but I’ve had two spurs of late to get off my creative backside and do something: one was a CD that a former pupil sent me of his piano music (which I would describe as Shostakovich composing in the style of Erik Satie!), and the other inspiration is this, your Holus-bolus Odyssey. I want to re-begin. Your landscape of dry dust is more fertile than can be imagined – as the peepal tree suggests.

    1. Bruce, you stun me with your supernatural sense of closing in on what hurts a human. I am feeling giddy with your invocation of Hopkins here. That said, the despair, the desolation and the darkness tormenting me are not very dissimilar from what the towering figure may have felt towards his closing years, sans his vision and greatness of course. I am an illiterate when it comes to music and while Julian Barnes did introduce me to Shostakovich in The Noise of Time briefly, I am a stranger to Satie (forgive me, if possible). But I did Google him out and I believe I have a hint of what you mean when you said that. Now, who else than you would have talked of the holus-bolus of a catchpenny in the same breath as that? Your encouragements may goad me to prattle away endlessly.
      Bless your former pupil (and the one writing this note to you). Do re-begin. Like the peepal tree.

        1. Peepal tree is an inalienable element of Indian cultural consciousness. Sacred to Hindus, it is symbolic of shelter, solace, truth, enlightenment and eternity.

      1. Blood, Sweat & Tears used Satie often…you’ll recognize his work when you hear it…You’ll know you’ve heard it before – but where? A conundrum wrapped in an enigma wrapped in a Pendleton blanket (I’m being impish now…)

        1. One of these days, Molly, I will listen to Satie and then I will never be the same again. You and Bruce are about the best online Music gurus I have!

  2. A superb descriptive poem. And to remind us of Cynthia is a real achievement. The picture hasn’t loaded – perhaps following the haiku’s message?

      1. She will. Sometimes, when looking at earlier posts and seeing Cynthia’s comments, I get rather choked up. She had such an ability to get right to the nub of things,

  3. you may be the leaf, not the tree, but it’s you who signify life, the symbol without which the tree will be dead…

  4. The odyssey, though seems to be short, is related with a sea of stories.
    Was a little curious about Cynthia after coming across references to her in the comments.
    Of course discovered the link right on your side bar.

    1. You have aptly captured the nerve of my malady —I have managed to whisk the froth of several seas thundering within my bosom. I am glad you found Cynthia Jobin.

  5. Sheer brilliance! You have packed gold in every verse in a way only you can.

  6. I found your site through Blue Bee’s so thought I would take a look around. You write well and have a gift and way with words. I like this poem that says so much and causes one to take notice of their surroundings. I, too, feel as though I am an observer but what a wonderful thing to be.

      1. Keep on writing when you have the chance. I have found over the years that only writing again and again can you hone your craft. You are doing fine. 🙂

  7. That was rich in metaphor. Through your beautiful words you have aptly captured the sorry state of blog-o-sphere and a genuine artist to come to terms with this unreal world.

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