A human being
Â is not symmetrical.
â€” SreÄko Kosovel
I gently touch you nowÂ not the way I did
eleven years ago â€”
not with that yearningÂ Â for faith and peace,
but with a private prayer
for inner calm, care,Â Â stillness; and
for forgiveness and love.
The gleaming hand-wornÂ Â shine on Jerusalem stone,
where the public merges
with the private,Â Â where prayer and passion
collide and unite â€”
where a certain kindÂ Â of kindness changes
to another kind â€”
where a certain kindÂ Â of passion changes
to another kind
of desire. It isÂ Â a blessing of time â€”
eleven years is a lifetime.
As I tried once againÂ Â to wedge in
a piece of coded-paper
into the cracksÂ Â and joins of The Wall,
another paper pieceÂ Â behind the new one
resisting my approach.
I tried to force it in â€”Â Â the more I tried
the more impossible it got.
Failing, I now tried toÂ Â take out the old paper
that prevented my will,
take out that pieceÂ Â to resize
my own new prayers â€”
but the longingÂ Â of past years resisted
to dislodge the old.
I prised outÂ Â the old folded sheet â€”
it looked weathered
and yellowÂ Â like the local stoneâ€™s
I opened it â€”Â Â it was the same one
I had put in
eleven years ago.Â Â Time had preserved
preserved my wishes.Â Â Was I the same then
as I am now?
Was the feeling thenÂ Â more sincere
Passion for lifeÂ never wanes for some.
like old loveÂ Â balance
their inherent truths.
Here, gun-slung soldiers,Â Â pilgrims, children,
and men in black garb â€”
move forwardsÂ Â and backwards â€”
their axis, their waist â€”
a symmetryÂ Â that instils and heightens
their own faith â€”
a symmetryÂ Â I cannot hope
to aspire to,
as I am â€”Â Â like Kosovelâ€™s man â€”
~ Sudeep Sen
Sudeep Sen is widely recognised as a major new generation voice in world literature and â€˜one of the finest younger English-language poets in the international literary sceneâ€™ (BBC Radio). His poems have been translated into twenty-five languages, and have appeared in numerous major international magazines and anthologies. He is the editorial director of AARK ARTS and the editor of Atlas.
In January 2013, Sen was invited to the Nobel Laureate Week in St Lucia to present the prestigious Derek Walcott Lecture and read his own poetry. A special commemorative edition of his work, â€˜Fractals: New & Selected Poems|Translationsâ€™ 1978-2013, was released by Derek Walcott himself.