To a Demented Professor

Sreekanth Kopuri

(to late Prof. Sasthri of Bapatla Engineering College)

"Professor of computer engineering or…" 
he introduces himself to a handful of humans, 
trying to shoo away a pair of bitches playfully 
snarling over a ragged slipper at the college gates. 

Those stately constructions of a 
so-called communal strength and 
an elemental glow in a granite attire
are deceptive adornments of beauty
some nostalgic wounds, mock him 
but are “only like a fragment 
in the scrap heap beside my bed 
unwanted as myself” he mocks. 

A flock of pigeons explode the 
hope of a reappointment into a 
great flutter nostalgically echoing 
in the department of civil engineering
but deaf-eared to his gabbles 
about some blues of deprivation, 
while he asks for a rupee or two. 
Does that annoy? A pity! 

On the last visit to ours invited me home 
and Proclaimed: "There was a time dear boy 
I was revered for mobilizing funds. 
They owe a lot for my yeoman's service",
suddenly rummaged through crumpled dailies, 
leaned on me saying, "You should be a sub-editor 
boy for Bharat-Bhoomi - My dream magazine. I will 
scandalize those notorious landlords (chaudaris).
A curtain of twilight counts 
the autumn years of senility 
shading the halo of knowledge 
and the slippers bears his cross. 

"Great delegates will throng to my funeral 
with heavy hearts and news paper profiles 
on me will shame my students." Went on…. 
oblivious of the half-sipped tea of life. 

A post-waiting-for-Godot existentialist? 
An unlucky Pozo or Lucky? 
A manifestation of identity in an irredeemable exile? 
Suddenly clouds swarm and vanish  

taking away the elemental hope from him 
leaving only a storm in his half sipped teacup  
An embarrassed Mrs.Shastri avoids visitors. 
Occasionally a train hoots a presage of some death.

Sreekanth Kopuri is an Indian English poet from Machilipatnam – a colony – India. He was an alumni Writer in Residence, at Strange Days Books Greece. He recited his poetry and presented his research papers in many countries. His poems and research articles were widely published in journals like Heartland Review, Nebraska Writers Guild, Poetry Centre San Jose, Underground Writers Association, Word Fountain, A New Ulster, to mention a few. His book Poems of the Void was the finalist for the EYELANDS BOOKS AWARD. Kopuri is presently an independent research scholar in Contemporary Poetry, silence, and Holocaust poetry. He lives in his hometown Machilipatnam with his mother teaching and writing.

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