Wednesday Poem

The Golden Deer

Could you ever imagine
a country as beautiful,
a wilderness lovelier than this?
In its soil are the roots
of a forest, Dandakaranya –
dream-green, dream-dark.
Its silence braided by the music
in the silver-blond plaits
of virgin waterfalls.

There a demon from Serendip,
disguised as a golden stag
darts in and out
of the corners of your eyes.
A fleeting flash of glitter,
which steals away
what desire cannot attain.

Elusive as the wind,
fleeing with the sunshine
it leads you away from yourself,
the more you chase it
through foliage and undergrowth.

It is still said
that if you see the golden deer
even once,
you are condemned to seek it
for the rest of your life
and never find it,
though you may catch
glimpses of it, now and then.
A fleeting flash of glitter,
antlers of gold
that snare the sun.

by Srinjay Chakravarti
from The National Poetry Library