Out of Sync on a Summer Evening
The god ran all day in his seven-horsed chariot
chasing shadows all around o'er hills, hamlets, towns,
shooting light arrows at shadows that ran and fell,
ran and fell, got up and ran again, without a sound
The shadows could not be killed,
falling, rising, falling, rising, like the demon Raktabeej,
they laughed and mocked and spat on the god's beaming face
And the god was wild with rage
his seven horses he whipped and whipped,
and whipped till they bled, their blood sprinkling in the sky...
Now, it's the evening here
the god is gone, the chariot gone, the horses gone, too
a stillness hangs all around and red stains are over there
I faintly hear, a low wail coming from the west,
perhaps the horses neigh in agony, left behind in the air !
Note: The 'god' here refers to the Sun. According to the Hindu mythology, he drives a chariot pulled by seven horses; and 'Raktabeej' is a demon who had a boon that if anyone tried to slay him, every drop of his blood falling on the ground, would create another demon like him, and thus it would be impossible to kill him.
Sunil Uniyal ( born 1953-) is a poet and translator based in New Delhi, India. He has been writing haiku and poems for over thirty years and many of these have appeared in e-journals like Muse India, Kritya, AHA Poetry, Poetica Magazine, Sketch Book, Notes From the Gean, A Hundred Gourds and Haiku Dreaming Australia. His work in translation includes, The Target is Behind the Sky -Fifty Poems of Kabir, brought out by the Low Price Publications, Delhi in February 2012.