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A Poem by:

Durlabh Singh

Colourful Bar


Copyright shall at all times remain vested in the Author. No part of the work shall be used, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the Author's express written consent.

Across the forested peaks where the hermits roam

And the birds sit contentedly on the vultured peak

Where the clouds play hide and seek with the sun

Covering the adjoined plains with the trees of teak.


Ambaplai the royal courtesan

Bathed in morning sunshine awakes and stretches

After the night of some perfumed pleasures

Her silken robes her maid now fetches.


A legend holds that Ambapali was abandoned at birth

In the forest grove amid animals and the bird cruises

Where creatures of deep gathered around winged birds

Fed her on the forest fruits and the golden mango juices.


Through the glittering window a breeze strode

She stretched out for comfort but a sadness rose

Within her heart she felt some vacant space

Something strange was happening to her, she froze.


A gaily-painted elephant passing in the street

The dance of peacock in yellow and ultramarine

The impassioned warblings of the flying crane

The cooing of the koel now calling for her mate.


A maid came in and told her a strange story

That a prince has come to visit her city

But a prince without any kingdom or the riches

No royal robes he wore but only dross of stitches.


Under the trees of the lengthening shadows

Ambapali walked on in the evening light

To the place where the prince held his assembly

Though burdened in heart but trying to feel bright.


The monks with yellow robes surrounded the place

When they saw her they pointed out with scornful gesture

That she should just turn back without polluting the place

As city courtesan she should be ashamed to show her face.


As there was a commotion among the gathering crowd

And Buddha noticed a female struggling to reach

Let my daughter come, please make for her a way

No one is barred from my assembly with or without a say.


When she approached the radiant figure sitting on dais

Suddenly something broke within her and a flood issued

She could not hold back running tears from her eye’s wreath

And fell on the saviour’s feet drenching the ground beneath.


Lord I have found a refuge for myself under thy feet

Please accept a poor woman like me as your disciple

I offer you all my riches and estate of the mango grove

Will renounce the whole world just for thy blessed face.


In her tears there was a ceaseless flight

Of birth and death and of all that chides

Ceasing by the end to the quenchless light

Beyond the mortal eyes, there limitless resides.


Listen monks, listen all the noble assembly

I have found that there is none outcast to receive my teaching

That there is no cast imbedded in tears or in blood or suffering

My kruna is for those who suffer when their blood is shed

My pity lies for those who shed tears when their heart is bled.


I will accept you

My fair daughter

In my sangha

And let the assembly recite

According to my custom.





Durlabh Singh
Copyright © 2002

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