“This Sound” by Bibhu Padhi

This sound is everywhere, always—
a deep sound that rises from
the throbbing centre of the body

and falling around everything.
All that the eyes see and the mind
imagines, enclosing all there is—

this body, these rooms,
the hills and trees that the eye
cannot see but are still there, wakeful,

overflowing much farther things.
A sound hiding a deep, distant
meaning. Not heard by this ear,

but an earless feeling. I have asked
so many if the sound was there with them,
when the night was moonless, star-full,

when the town was sleeping its peaceful
sleep and not a leaf stirred.
Their simple answer amazes me:

They never heard it, even after
I requested them to choose such a silence
as the night and the open fields give.

Sometimes the mind thinks otherwise,
as if some defect somewhere in the naked body
keeps it so close to and yet so distant from me.

Why do I carry this secret sound wherever I go?
I think the answer seems to be the sound itself,
forever soothing like the first rain’s sacred touch.