MYDAVOLU VENKATA SESHA SATHYANARAYANA who writes with the penname 'mahathi' is a postgraduate in law and once a practising lawyer in Nellore and later an officer in Central Industries ministry. He retired from Government service in 2014 'Mahathi' is considered as one of the finest Indian English poets of modern times, whose poetry is replete with high imagery, clear diction, humour, pun and satire. He is adept with both formal and free verse though most of his later works were composed in formal verse. So far his poetry was published as 6 collections and 3 epic long poems. His poems were published in a number of print journals and magazines like POETS INTERNATIONAL, METVERSE MUSE, ROCK PEBBLES, WESTWARD QUARTERLY MAGAZINE(Illinois) Society of Classical posts (New York), Bhakti Nivedana (US) and won many prizes. His SUNDARA KANDA was serialized in SAPTAGIRI English MAGAZINE (TTD Publications) and many other articles and poems were published in the said magazine. His poems are published regularly in the New York based journal Socieof Classical Poets and WestWard Qiarterly magazine from Illinois.
In India modern dams are constructed without arranging alternate habitat to the displaced people, who are mostly tribals living on the forest resources. The dams on other hand are causing great environmental danger by razing down forests, historical monuments and other natural resources.)
The lightenings are mellifluous, I thought! Some like curled silver twigs, some like hot copse of burning summer woods and some like drought made cracks on earth with fresh monsoon raindrops.
On path familiar and weather too not new, I quickened pace; my soles like blades of hoeing plows and legs like chugging new engines, towards my home in foliar shades.
My home in fact a humble hut, amid the bamboo trees along with other huts, such small below the thickset sylvan lid; with fruit and meat enough to fill our guts.
The God had never forsook us, nor Ma Godavari, the river pious and kind. As sons of nature, heed to every law she etched on woody reeves, with wind-pen signed.
The raising concrete walls, of river dam well nigh to our dense jungle paradise are like lifeless zombies ready to damn our lives and raze down, this God-given prize.
Our woods don't swallow us, the rains don't pare, the gales don't scare and river never seeps into our blood. We're safe! The nature bare is fair to us than well-dressed urban creeps.
Near dusk, the sun is dangling gracefully in river's blissful lap as nascent moon is growing high besieging the yonder lea. It's four miles now...I reach my heaven soon.
Suddenly stopped my walk. I heard something, not that familiar like the thudding moans of falling trees, nor lightenings singing the thunder songs, in husky baritones.
I stopped with a start and looked around. Oh my, from dam, the dribbling down, strong water stream, through cracks that widened like an evil eye that started lunging down, with vengeful screams.
The dam is crumbling like a burn'g Phoenix with water soaring up slashing at sky as one giant tide, that looked like a raising Strix with flapping wings ready to jump on pry.
I stood agape, spellbound, with sprinting chill along my spine, as tides in gushing spree devoured from grass meadows to verdant hills; from little herbs to tallest banyan trees.
I slowly veered my eyes towards my dear village. There's nothing mine, except a sheet of water, leaving me alone with drear heart beats thudding aloud the urbane deceit.
What do you expect Punditji from me, a brothel girl? I have the same from where you came; that same crevice...oh don't you see?! I wonder is that such a visual fare?!
You hanged the sacred thread on Bilwa bough and slinked into my hut. That thread remains sacred and body too you cleanse! But how you think can scrub your soul off carnal stains?
You stepped into this vile threshold of vice expecting something new from me...the taste of flesh in folds of skin for joys of trice. Same zest here, savor you, with stealthy haste.
I'm not well read O' priest! Forgive my lay queries! I heard this worldly life came out of Sacred Women's womb!? For you I lay the same from which as well some life did sprout.
In spite of all penance you did, you're still a human with wild rush of blood and yen for quirky joys. But I'm a stoic by will, a working flesh for coins in this dark den. Like you I too have feelings none. No fresh inklings for thrills. Mine just a business and yours a whipping urge. My banal flesh is moribund and numb by male grossness!
A born ascetic you're and me a trained harlot. Your birth couldn't change your worldly needs and my foul life couldn't mar my faith ingrained! Let's churn this paradox to cream new meads.
Tell me something of other world's grandeur and I teach you this world's veiled ugliness. Discard your qualms O' desperate amor, Let's bare ourselves with utter shamelessness!
(Bilwa: Indian bael or : Aegle marmelos. Considered as a sacred tree, so dear to Lord Shiva) (Sacred thread: Yagnopaveetham: a thread wore by Hindus especially, Brahmin, Kshatriya and Vyshya castes at the time of initiation into Vedic Practices, just like baptism in christianity. The Initiation ceremony is known as Upanayanam (Upa: extra or additional; nayana: eye)
THE LEATHER JACKET
He's not looking sideways, that little boy In long leather jacket. May be some eight or nine in age with no traces of coy Demeanor, puerile smiles and jerky gait.
Sans turning head he watched the people spere Through streets, talking, laughing and nudging each Other. He never saw women so near sans veils in camp, that's far from civil reach.
All women he behold wear long izars; But vague pictures of one...with gentle glee And loving smiles on battered face with scars So often flashes in his mind...Ammee!
Yes, Ammee died and he with them, amidst The broken buildings, sometimes in bunkers And often running through the nauseous mist Of blowing bombs, hoping for life in blur.
The bruises still raw on chest, elbows And knees aren't troubling him. He's used to pain And learned to swallow screams. Those sharp cane blows On back innured his skin and every vein.
He mused over jennat and seventy two virgins always. "Whre're they?" The sky he scanned. "What's meant by virgin?" Quietly wading through The crowded streets he thought and reached the end.
He thought. "May be those virgins never wear Izars. With brightened face exclaimed "Ammee!" Yes one of them must be Ammee!" With care He slid his hand inside and pressed the key!