01 January 1970

Two Poems By Shyamolima Saikia

Weekend Reads

Two Poems By Shyamolima Saikia

Shyamolima Saikia writes poems for Outlook.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
Photo Credit: Getty Images

The Slow Learner 

Labouring to learn, 
crabbed sentences I do scribble, 
For the world in front of me turns indecipherable 
and I struggle to read 
the strange ways of people, 
But I fail and fumble, 
I cannot fake what I am not 
So I remain a fool 
Among a bunch of go-getters 
As I bumble around daydreaming 
My sly friends make some wisecrack 
And stifle a laugh out of glee 
I hold my head in shame 
Embarrassed as I am with my inefficiency 
to get along and adjust 
With a greedy, jealous and inhuman race 
A pang of humiliation eggs me on to run 
And seek solace in oblivion and solitude 
Far, far from the hideous ways of civilized barbarians, 
I run and ensconce myself in my shell. 

On the Edge 

In that one singular moment 
when the heart 
surged with a violent 
upsurge of indignation, 
felt a jab 
by indifference and alienation; 
Every attainment till now 
seemed meaningless, 
frantically looking out for 
someone to speak out… 
The heart-rending cries 
silent as they were, went unheard 
crashing against the dead walls, 
humanity lay asleep… 
The self berating itself 
for being a burden unto others, 
the mind chanting a thousand chants of defeat and surrender; 
The eyes seeing nothing but gloom, 
the ears hearing nothing but dirges, 
the body willing to escape 
and dwindle into nothingness; 
The soul at an unrest, 
the hand then took the ultimate decision 
of putting an end to all torments 
and never to see tomorrow again!! 
But then someone reached out 
exchanged a word of concern and care 
and hugged the tormented body, 
soothed the agonized soul 
and a life was thus saved…

(Dr. Shyamolima Saikia is Assistant Professor at the Department of English, Gargaon College, Sivasagar, Assam. Besides editing an anthology titled Poetry Unites: An Anthology of Verse and several other books, she has also published two books of poems titled Palimpsest and Paper Mache Dreams.)