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  Srinjay Chakravarti
   
      ON THE SANDS OF TIME

Time is trapped, the fleeting moment
immortalized in the trickle
in the waists of hourglass figures
through which the sands run out.

Reifying semblance into substance,
imitation of marble or metal --
golden statues concretising passion
into siliceous images of fugacity.

Twelve great wheels,
each twelve feet in diameter
rolling through the pathway
of hours, days, months.
The stone chariot of the 13th century
Sun Temple, worshipped by Hindus:
symbolising that life is lived
in endlessly recurring cycles.

Marmoreal illusion in sand,
the architecture of evanescence
at the Puri beach in eastern India,
where princesses, nymphs, courtesans
erotic icons of Konark's temples

doe-eyed, heavy-breasted, bejewelled,
are clothed in sheer diaphanous garments
of wind, sculpted
in the gestural mime of beauty.

Timeless art.
Whorls of sand, striae of sand,
swirls of dust, the trickle of time --
handfuls of ephemeral grains
under the tropical sun's searing vigil.
And the Bay of Bengal
leaches away the sculptures,
water sponging away the fragility
of human endeavour.
A few hours, or a few aeons --

In the end, all is sand
and water.
 



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