Soft-spoken, poetic Keshav Malik has been Editor of Thought, Indian Literature, Co-Editor of Art and Poetry. He was the art critic of the Hindustan Times and The Times of India, for decades. His published works include several monographs on Indian artists, as well as 19 volumes of poetry in English, of which two titled Earth in Space and Subcontinental were published late in 2004 and Visions and Illuminations in 2009. He was the Co-Founder of Poetry Society, India, and is the President of Poetry Club, India. Curating art exhibitions, lecturing on Indian art and poetry, he has travelled widely in India and abroad. A Fellow of the Lalit Kala Akademi, he received the Kala Ratna Award, and was honoured with the Padma Shri Award in 1991.

Dare I Be Human

I would like to pause from the thoughts
of the world’s blood-letting cities, to see
the galaxy sparkling bright in the black waters of the night.

I crave a boon, crave respite
from public gloom and private blight,
to dance like a nectar-drunk bee in the amber light.

I would I smiled
before my face freezes into a death-mask–
the lips sealed most tight.

Then, shall my fist unclench and slide harmless to my side–
the chipped flint dropped
to ground without a protesting sound.

Shall my tongue sweeten, with the generously pouring honey of Jesus’ loving reason?
Faith made ox-strong to withstand crushing cart-loads?
Dare I be human?

On The Move

Something momentous is on the move,
though what? –
of this you have no clue.

And still, the mind
way behind your mind
senses in its very roots
as if a gigantic wheel
inexorably revolved, and that
with these same revolvings it wrapped up
the whole of whatever there was.

Yes, revolved, and wrapped up
each and every of nature’s fixtures
large and small.

Awesome indeed, then,
this all-governing unseen