Ajmer Rode


Ajmer Rode was born in 1940 in Rode of Punjab, India, and received his bachelor’s degree in engineering at Punjab University before immigrating to Canada, where he received his master’s degree from the University of Waterloo. Rode has published several books of poetry, prose, drama, and translation in Punjabi and English. He is the author of two books of poetry in English, Poems at My Doorstep (Caitlin Press, 1985) and Blue Meditations (Third Eye Publications, 1985). His poetry collection Leela, coauthored with Navtej Bharati, is considered a notable work of contemporary Punjabi poetry. He lives in Vancouver. Source

Mustard Flowers

If you see an old man sitting alone

at the bus stop and wonder who he is

I can tell you.

He is my father.

He is not waiting for a bus or a friend

nor is he taking a brief rest before

resuming his walk.

He doesn't intend to shop in the

nearby stores either

he is just sitting there on the bench.


Occasionally he smiles and talks.

No one listens.

Nobody is interested.

And he doesn't seem to care

if someone listens or not.


A stream of cars, buses, and people

flows on the road.

A river of images, metaphors, and

similes flows through his head.

When everything stops

at the traffic lights it is midnight

back in his village. Morning starts

when lights turn green.

When someone honks

his neighbor's dog barks.


When a yellow car passes by

a thousand mustard flowers

bloom in his head.






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a figure of speech in which words repeat at the beginning of successive clauses, phrases, or sentences


visually descriptive or figurative language, especially in a literary work

Slant Rhyme

A rhyme where the words have similar sounds in their stressed syllables.