In the city of sin the dizzy wheel spun

twirling glittering talons of light.

He closed his burning eyes,

raw lids squeezed out the tears

and in the hot, pale glow within

appeared the faces of those he loved.


The smooth deck spilled, splashing blood,

toppling the pile of white chips.

In the polished surface beneath he saw

strangers stripping his palaces,

strangers driving his chariots,

strangers sifting the leftovers.


The cunning wheel stopped

the crimson knave laughed

and in the distance slowly,

the gathering scavengers stirred.


"Don weeds, precious ones

huddle up for a long journey;

the dice are loaded.

See! see! the spotted ivory winks!"


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  Copyright © 2005 - Makarand Paranjape