Sunday, November 19, 2006

The Doorbell



Per me si va ne la città dolente,
per me si va ne l'etterno dolore,
per me si va tra la perduta gente.

-Inferno Canto III



The doorbell rang softly.
Amidst the din of the night,
Half asleep in bed,
I decided it was a dream,
And began to pretend to sleep.
It rang again like an afterthought,
With the dying smoke of a cigarette butt,
And clung to me like a supplicant,
In dire need of help.

At my door was a traveling salesman,
Dressed in a winter fog.
An eager smile buttered his bready face,
And he promptly said “Hello,
The sun won’t rise today.”
I looked beyond him with doubt.
Yes, the sky was blacked out.
“Will it rise tomorrow then?”
He shook his head like a tree,
And with a grave voice he said,
“You haven’t paid your dues.”
This was bad news.
He left me with a leaflet,
And drifted away like a bobbling bottle,
In the middle of a wavy night.

The fluttering leaflet wailed,
An infant unattended in distress,
An inscrutable voice in every page,
That cried, I haven’t paid my dues.
The dues, the dues, the dues.
The futile sound of my views, your views.
The emptiness of a creaky swing,
That moves to and fro.
Swings higher, swings low.
The sun won’t rise today,
Nor tomorrow, nor the day after.
An eternity stares after a traveling salesman.

15 comments:

tumblewords said...

And drifted away like a bobbling bottle,
In the middle of a wavy night.

This was one of my favorite phrases. There were others, as well! The poem is wildly evocative of hidden emotions. Nice work! As usual...:)

Tell me no more of enchanted days said...

so u wrote this after having chicken curry on a sunday?

Wriju said...

Tumble:
Thanks :-)
I was unsure if that phrase (bobbling bottle in a wavy night) actually fit in with the tone of the poem.
I felt a bit merciless last night, edited my poem to half it's size and almost deleted the phrase!
I am glad you liked it.

Tell:
Yes! Am I a good cook or what? ;-)
But seriously I spent a lot of my weekend laboring on this one.

Anonymous said...

"The futile sound of my views,your views.
The emptiness of a creaky swing,
That moves to and fro."

I love these lines.

Tell me no more of enchanted days said...

I don't abt ur cooking yet...will sure find out someday..the prawns will bring us together :)
but i do know ur a great poet..mutual admiration society or wot! don't worry dear, u need to run in order to get tired and stop...run till ur feet call u...then listen to ur eyes...

Cinderella said...

"....and rifted awa y like a bobbling bottle,
in the middle of the wavy ningt.."

Loved this expression !!

I found it purely thought provoking and mysteriously dark...like Tumblwords said, it does talk of hidden emotions..!

And hey did you seriously write this after having chicken curry ?

sophie said...

dark layers like the
strata of the subearth...

why is everyone talking about
chicken curry?

i love love curry:)

(but not as much as your poetry!)

Anonymous said...

The dues the dues the dues...

May I suggest earplugs to block that doorbell out? ^_^

I love that painting.

How do we know said...

and what happens when you pay the dues? The eternity can only be till you pay up, and of course, the sun, too, needs to earn to survive.. who will pay the salary of the traveling salesman?

.. also love the lines Vasu pointed out. they are my favorite lines in the poem.

Chloe said...

i haven't paid my dues either.
but you write so beautifully that it really doesn't matter to be reminded of it.
:)

Ajay said...

hey thats a very different genre of poetry. Good and innovative. LOL

Ajay said...

the futile sound of views ... dats a good catchy line

How do we know said...

hello? You've become rare in blogsphere!?

Anonymous said...

This was a real specimen of modern poetry. very impressive. i saw a subtle underplay of emotions and an indepth use of words to portray the psyche. you have done such a tough job with elan, i guess this says all.

Shakhi said...

You write really really well...
"I haven’t paid my dues.
The dues, the dues, the dues.
The futile sound of my views, your views."
Loved them...