Captain Cook - An Abstract Portrait

By TK Thomas

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Captain Cook sails from one end to the other of CRT screen
alone in his vessel, an old galleon.
No where to go, no place to anchor
Captain Cook roams in the sea
of Heisenberg's Uncertain electrons, never ceases.
Even his heart leaps off the odd and even scanning tracks
he's just a projection by 3 electron guns.

An empty train full of orphaned souls
shuttles between his brain and mind.
It's driven by a heat engine
having efficiency of Carnot Cycle.
It stops at some unimportant places on earth
abandoned by all in the Economic Analysis.
Sarajevo, Mogadishu and famished Sudan.
Lebanon, Dharavi and killing valleys of Kashmir.
Brother's blood blooms red balsums in courtyard.
Fratricide becomes ritual for clans
dwell in overgrown and labyrinthine concrete jungles.

More and more spirits board into the vacuum of train
to make it emptier and Ethereal.
Children step into it with bouquet of laughter
from a crumbled creche which was in the target-set
computed using Karmarkar's optimization algorithm
by a Cray-YMP machine, for launching cruise misiles.
Their parents join them from a demolished baby-food factory
which was another member in the solution set
and their faces are ashened by the burnt powder.

His vessel hovers over the beach of solitude.
Not a mild wind even to blow away the silence
filled in his mind where the train stops and gasps.
The broken conches are his loves
and discoloured shells his dreams.

He travels on the wheels of Takions, faster than photons
to escape to the future
far away from hatred, suspicion and barren lands
only to be frightened on seeing 2D anthropoids
with no heart, no veins, just a wafer of VLSI.
Back at the present finds he his life's modelled
as a system of homogenous differential equations
with lot of boundary conditions, no room to leave.
And has no other solution than a trivial one.

Terror livens and comes off Gournika, in his nightmares
Antichrist pretends to writhe in agony on Cross of Emancipation.

Captian Cook drowns in his own silence.
Solitude rains down in his heart and
flows as rivulets through his veins.
Two drops of tears solidify at the corners of his eyes
as his heart breaks of grief and loneliness.
His ship sways in the de Broglie waves of electrons
illuminating the CRT screen on which he's just an image.

( 28 Aug 1993, IPCL. )


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