Vicissitudes of Life’s Fatal Hammerings

a poem by
AMIT RADHA KRISHNA NIGAM | Quality Analyst + Poet

Written in free verse style, this poem is about the ability of the constant knocking of life’s most ordinary occurrences to evoke a sense of missing what is supposed to be. I refer to several structures in the Indian city of Hyderabad, which I use as vehicles to connote a fatal symbolism.

Photo by McKay Savage

VICISSITUDES of life’s fatal hammerings
draw him out from his long, hissing oblivion,
from his inhabited cataplexy.
The gnawing, polished plans
of his future fail him completely;
The city’s historic, four-sibling Spire
that would neither snow nor produce rainbows,
mocks his living like a school bully.
Buddha, fixed over a lake, shuts the chimera of his
sub-standard, uneventful experiences,
envious of all, hateful of self, with love for none.
His meager allotment chews on him, the water
on the wheels runs out before reaching his dry throat,
vegetables sicken him, sweets renounce him all.
Overbridge eats his existential element
of manufactured emotions, and slow, burnt roots
plowed deep in the soil, masticated, uprooted;
checkposts always find him beaten. Thrashed.
Suffered the most at the heart of all the pleasures
of life, relations, intimacy, sex, friendship;
success passes by him like a loose placard hung from
a deserted road sign. Urban profanity,
poised to collapse at any moment, saddens him.
‘There is a grace in the fights of the ordinary,’
so suggested Keats once. He still holds it in the chest,
located in the remote corners of his brain,
his talisman. The whole city is one, giant
senseless body, dragged around inside his own, dead frame.


Enjoy more of Amit’s work on his blog,

Photo credit: McKay Savage (Flickr: India – Hyderabad – 130 – Charminar) [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons