I don’t know how to negotiate the long steep trail
with hidden scorpions under loose rocks
at home with human muck in a valley existence
strolling upward through a thicket of TV images
politics of glory, garbage and god
the odd arts of money, hierarchy and control
nobody knows who unmakes whom

I don’t know how to follow the ridges
back to the trail and the dead river
but stand for a moment to rub the sand from my feet
before worrying about the lost vitality and fear
of the approaching night and rising smoke
dissolving in the sky or conspiring with elements
hardly in balance but contorting the psyche

I don’t know what is there for me to hope
when the rains rejuvenate and flood both
the repulsive stench and the loss of pathways
linger longer than the flavor of the first drops
under the tree the puddle feeds no sparrows
but algae that couldn’t dry now trap tiny souls
that fail to swell with heaven’s breath
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Ram Krishna Singh

Ram Krishna Singh, born, brought up and educated in Varanasi (U.P., India), has been writing poetry in English for about four decades. He has published over 160 academic articles, 175 book reviews, and 17 collections of poems, including the latest I Am No Jesus And Other Selected Poems, Tanka And Haiku (English/Crimean Tatar, 2014), and You Can’t Scent Me and Other Poems (2016). Appreciated for his tanka and haiku, Dr. Singh's poems have been anthologized in over a hundred books. His poems have been translated into Japanese, Greek, German, Italian, French, Spanish, Chinese, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Hungarian, Albanian, Crimean Tatar, Bulgarian, Slovene, Irish, Croatian, Farsi, Arabic, Serbian, Bosnian, Esperanto, Hindi, Punjabi, Kannada, Tamil, and Bangla. A member of several literary bodies and editorial boards, nominated for Pushcart Prize 2013 and 2014, and winner of Ritsumeikan University Peace Museum Award, Kyoto, 1999, Certificate of Honour and Nyuusen Prize in Kumamoto International Kusamamoto Haiku Competition, Japan, 2000 and 2008, Nazar Look Prize for Poetry, Romania, 2013, Prize of Corea Literature, Seoul, 2013, and Naji Naaman’s Literary Prize, Lebanon, 2015, Dr. Singh recently retired as Professor (HAG) at Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad 826004 (India). His email: profrksingh@gmail.com More at: www.rksinghpoet.blogspot.in more…

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"I DON'T KNOW..." Poetry.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 6 Apr. 2020. <https://www.poetry.net/poem/51940/i-don't-know...>.

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