Summer Rain

— Sandip Bhattacharya

The summer sky had suddenly dimmed
As if by a grey wash it had been limned;
And all at once exuberant gusts of winds blew,
Chasing the noisy, truant leaves through
The deserted afternoon streets of the town,
As quick-silver lightning came streaking down
From the nimbus now towering high,
Heralding that the release was nigh.

Then came shooting the furious, fat drops
On the thirsty hills and fields stripped of crops.
But this flashing rage did not last long,
‘Cause soon, as if borne on the wings of a song,
Softly the summer rain fell –
So softly that not many could tell.

Now the road is glistening black – dead
Like a sinuous river of molten lead.
But little shoots of grass – a vibrant green –
Already springing to life all around can be seen.
The near stony hillocks, so harsh in the day,
Are softly outlined by the wind-blown spray;
Farther along, the tall pylons stand
Wet and lonely in this rain-swept land.

How marvelous has been the change
Wrought on the peaks of the far-off range,
Which through the summer were dead and brown
And now are covered by a purple down!
The dust has been washed off the leaves of the trees;
They stand around in their shining liveries
Of green so exotic in shade,
That the colours of the arc, in comparison, fade!

Behold now the western horizon
Where through a frosted pane, shines the pale sun:
A silvery ghost returning to its sanctum;
While to the east, looms the phantom –
The nimbus – shapeless, infinitely deep, blue-grey,
Holding the heaven and earth in its sway.
Now the wind feels like the touch of the hand
Of a visitor from a strange and peaceful land –
Fresh and cool, yet shyly hesitant,
Whispering fragrances of realms more distant!

With dusk the lights of the temple glow
And the tinkling chimes of its bell seem to flow
From it to the heavens and rebound,
Capturing the worlds in a crystal of sound;
And in this enchanted twilight world
 The whorls of creation lie unfurled!

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