The last poem

Unlike most commodities which can be bought,
On purchasing which, one can go on a spending spree,
Of Time, I had an abundant supply,
Given that it was available for free.

Hours were spent analyzing,
The intricacies of society and nature,
Not realizing that I was forgetting,
To look after my own future.

Clean up your own house, they say, before you go,
Cleaning up the entire neighbourhood,
Shouldn’t I then be thinking about,
My own life first, as any other sensible man should?

The fundamental law was and still remains,
The devil takes the last; each man for himself;
Who then will look after me in distress,
Won’t I be left to fend for myself?

A privileged upbringing is to be blamed,
One’s basic needs are taken for granted,
But once the umbilical cord is cut,
Will the nourishment continue, when one’s parents have departed?

A wide readership, I never had,
But for those few who think that I can write,
I assure you that there will be no more poems,
Till I’m sorted in life and I’ve got my things right.

Literary under-performance may be God’s sign,
That I desperately need a break,
As the poems become fewer and their quality deteriorates,
Within myself, a long hard look, I need to take.

Poets, like other individuals who set foot on this Earth,
Their bread and butter, they have to earn,
A good hobby, no doubt, but unless one is Tagore,
It seldom gives commensurate returns.

But just as R. D. Burman delivered a slew of flops,
Till ‘1942: A Love Story’ brought him into the limelight again,
Though not a minuscule fraction of the genius Pancham-Da was,
Of writing my swansong, my magnum opus, the dream will remain.

And as for those delightful memories,
Moments spent immersed in thought,
Animate or otherwise, all those who inspired me,
My dear friends, I shall forget you not.

But for now, the poet puts down his pen,
And while some, including possible me, might consider this a setback,
Some day I’ll resume burdening you with my drivel,
In the words of the Terminator, “I’ll be back”.

While it is true that I thoroughly enjoyed,
Being an amateur writer,
The curtain has fallen, the sun has now set,
On what could never have been a career.

But as of now, an impoverished and luckless soul,
To others has absolutely no right to teach,
How right was Shah Rukh Khan when he said,
“Become a philosopher only after you’re rich.”

“For a man to conquer himself is the first and noblest of all victories” — Plato

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