By Haimnauth Ramkirath
I strongly feel that beyond the play of words, tapestry of thoughts and feelings, images, rhythms and music, deep but terse expressions, figurative language and symbolism, that poetry should lift the human mind and spirit, and bring inspiration and hope in troubled times. The terrible scourge of the covid-19 virus has greatly tempered our natural exuberance. The resultant feelings of hopelessness, fear, anger, and despondency are widespread and palpable. My most recent collection of poems, “Unsung Verses,” aims to assuage these feelings, and to offer a solace that is immediately refreshing.
This collection of 100 poems resonates with inspiration and hope and are based on universal themes drawn from nature and observations about our shared experiences and fears in a challenging world. The poetry rises above the discordant notes of a turbulent and dark world, reaching the realms of splendor, beauty, and peace we all crave. This is what the Guyanese and Caribbean music icon, Dave Martins, wrote in his column in the Guyana Stabroek News about these poems:
“The work is a collection by Haimnauth delving into his observations about nature and mankind’s connection to it and the material is riveting for the poet’s involvement with nature that shines through continually in his writings.
The poet’s connection to and his sustenance from nature comes through consistently and unswerving throughout these poems. The images are always clear and very persuasive, and I am impressed that the poet does not allow divergences to get in the way of his overall message with its distinct forward, never faltering, thrust. He has clearly found a path that brings these positive messages as a matter of course; nothing sounds forced or contradictory. Belief in the message, I would say, is the singular feature that is conveyed time and again… no quibbling, and the examples are persuasive.
It is a formidable piece of work, an extensive exploration, and I recommend it highly.”
Here is an excerpt from “Unsung Verses”:
The Lotus Rises
Deep roots in muddy, slimy pond,
but like the elephant, unyielding and strong,
the lotus heeds the call of dawn.
Rises from depths languid and murky,
and like pure waters of a gushing spring,
bursts into profuse blooms of perfume
above the turgid surface of a weary pond.
Untainted by mud, lifts its face
like sprays from a cascade.
When a mild wind stirs the silence,
it dances with an unearthly radiance—
homage to the chariot mounting the horizon.
Water droplets precariously slide on its leaf,
like one standing on the edge of a cliff,
like these fragile threads of our breath.
Its story, a never-ending odyssey.
Dark depths of despair to illumination.
Cuts drowsy waters of loathsome desires,
awakens with the fire of a soul inspired—
the human journey in a flower captured.
Closes petals at night and sinks under,
and when night dies in day’s soft embrace,
quiet miracle on the pond displays.
In the stillness of deep awakening chants,
rises immaculately with blooms defiant,
as the human heart opens and reveals
in resplendent colors— a thousand-petalled lotus.
– Haimnauth Ramkirath