Full Poem

I DON'T KNOW

I don’t know how to negotiate the long steep trail

with hidden scorpions under loose rocks

at home with human muck in a valley existence

strolling upward through a thicket of TV images

politics of glory, garbage and god

the odd arts of money, hierarchy and control

nobody knows who unmakes whom

 

I don’t know how to follow the ridges

back to the trail and the dead river

but stand for a moment to rub the sand from my feet

before worrying about the lost vitality and fear

of the approaching night and rising smoke

dissolving in the sky or conspiring with elements

hardly in balance but contorting the psyche

 

I don’t know what is there for me to hope

when the rains rejuvenate and flood both

the repulsive stench and the loss of pathways

linger longer than the flavor of the first drops

under the tree the puddle feeds no sparrows

but algae that couldn’t dry now trap tiny souls

that fail to swell with heaven’s breath

 

--R K Singh