All my insomniac nights,
Sharred, love beckons,
Hovering ghostly, possesed.
In your wrenched, blood-spilled heart
I rain down, a torential monsoon
Flowers lingering in sensual sweetness,
The rustle of my musings brush past you.

I have unzipped myself, undone you,
My rusted, forlorn poems.
In the looming, barren room,
My fingers crawl up to you,
Fumbling, lost, I mutter
My virgin dreams,
Blotches of clumsy pain,
Seeped in your skin, tickling.
And then, we part silently.

All these broken, frail days
I have wronged you enough,
Cracked open your ribs,
Tasted your gashes
In my own inner void.
And then, ditching you
Was known, customary.

I have soaked in
Your stuttering breath,
Licked up your dried blood,
Broke open, with your pain today.
As we write down our verses together,
Our lunacy sings, flutters, wordless.

Note: A letter to my old, forgotten, forsaken poems, on the occasion of the World Poetry Day.

The Color Mélange


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In the dim light of the night
My window bleeds black, blue and grey.
The world, in the other end, a super-imposed medley.
My bare form, a silhouetted memoir, swooning slowly,
I lay, thickly drift, on the spears and barren thorns
Of my red. I descend upon the day’s end,
The red presses upon the bare night’s flesh,
A threat, an aberration, a desperation
Singing all alone, growing wild, and free.

My body breathes in vignettes and haikus
Trapped in cracked, ashen mirrors,
Red, the primordial burst screams,
Falters, dies out, slowly, surreptitiously.
Pink, the color of my labor, swelling,
Crashing against my womb,
Blue, the color of my dried up scars,
Scattered into dust; purple, the color of
The gaping hole where I thicken, and disintegrate.

In soft, little sips, the colors have floated around
Wicked lilies, pretty girls prancing,
Pining, tickling, toying around.
My window bleeds in the nameless darkness,
The rough silk of the night thumping, toxic, piercing.

The world in the other end burns slowly in the flames.
The colors, chiming, pirouette in the faint, flickering light.
I am loving the dead undone of my shringar
A dark brown, fading in the litter-laden night.

Copyright: Lopa Banerjee. March 17, 2015


Lake Walking


Image source: Lopa Banerjee


“On earth there is no heaven, but there are pieces of it.”

— Jules Renard 

Fall, 2008

I am strolling by our neighborhood lake. It is an act of returning to the hedges and thickets and the ducks swimming in the torrid waters, to the old patch by the lake. The swans wander helter-skelter, bite and moan, writhe and make love, floating their wings, whispering in the moist wind. I walk the road, the green patch with swabs of duck mud and splattering splashes of my eagerness and want, at the twilight hour every day. I discover and become one with the strings of nature’s own music that binds me, keeps together the disconnected parts of my soul, searching, hoping, failing, losing, crushing like rotten weeds, rising in dreams and moving on, undaunted. This is the place to learn to string myself together, this is a place to learn the ultimate act of detachment and dissolution.

Towards the end of my pregnancy trimesters, I am mumbling my soliloquies and waiting, waiting to hold myself as the night breaks with the ripples of the tranquil waters. I look intent, into the movements of the ducks and geese, alert, awake, nibbling on mud and dirt, flapping wings all the way to the end of the water bodies, where the stony pavement kisses my walking feet.

Walking around the lake throughout the nine months of the season, I watch the trees transform from bare branches, stalked by the morning frost to the lush green, listen to the sounds as the winds and the crisp morning air rustle the leaves. The brown, bare, winterkilled grass has grown into tall green patches over the summer. I watch the leaves change from lush green to brown, yellow, orange, while the mahogany benches by the sides of the lake call out silently, with names, memories, stories encrypted in their rusted folds. I am the lake walker beckoned by the stories of the families and lives lived in the lakeside community, walking along the roads and the snow bends, the crunching of old feet trailing with little, unassuming footsteps of infants learning to walk.

Wonder, ruminations and reflections brew slowly in the endless solitude of these walks, as I trudge the asphalt and concrete roads. The roads begin to merge, melt together in diverse, unknown, unending trails, with the promise of a vast landscape of possibilities contrived by Nature and God. The green grassy roads are stretched out like long, horizontal ribbons across the wide spectrum of land. Every day, at the twilight hour, when my feet crunch against the grass, I roam around the long strands and wish to tie them together, in inquiry and in the sanctity of my silence.

Summer and Fall, 2014

Fast forward six years, I visit the lake and the surrounding community, hand-in-hand with my little girls, wander with them over the vast stretches of the trails. Strong gusts of wind carry us away while we take pictures of the lake, the ducks and the geese. I revel in this life as the nurturer of little bodies and souls expanding, growing, opening their eyes to the stretch of the Midwestern prairies. With their little, growing feet, they touch and caress the grass beneath their feet. The little hands and feet keep bouncing in glee as they watch, curious and intent, the tranquil water bodies, while the ducks keep flapping their wings, come over to the lakeside trails and walk together with us, their beaks full of grass. With their constant chirping, silly moves and dances, they blossom forth in this snug and welcoming lakeside, as I look into this all-encompassing green, moist and nurturing, which is all mine, which is all theirs, preening and prancing in the joy and victory of their little explorations. Their wonder-filled world is nurtured by dreams of fairies, princesses, ‘Dora the Explorer’, Elsa and Anna, the two sisters and princesses of the magical kingdom of Arendelle. In the parks where their little hands build sand castles, where they revel in their joy rides of slides and carousels, I watch them grow, slowly and surreptitiously, relishing their glittering eyes, their moist, tender breaths absorbing the dew drops, the rainbow and the white clouds in the horizon.

Hand-in-hand, they walk with me in the feather-weight of their daydreams; while I can feel the bounty of their imagination smoothening the crumpled love-letters of my girlhood days. In the furtive wind, I revel in the vastness and horizon of the sky and the open fields, teaching them the very first lessons of the possibilities of God in Nature’s smiling infinitude.

Copyright: Lopa Banerjee. March 2015

SHE: Draupadi and the Every Woman


My March column at B’Khush, the women-centric e-zine, ‘She: Draupadi and the Every Woman’, a poetic narrative dedicated to all my women friends across the globe, just before the occasion of the International Women’s day in March 8. The piece is developed from an excerpt of my book-length memoir ‘Thwarted Escape’ which has recently been a finalist and a First Place Category winner at the Journey Awards 2014 for Narrative Nonfiction hosted by Chanticleer Book Reviews and Media LLC.

Sharing a small excerpt from the piece:

I was born, in Panchal, bereft of a mother’s Yoni,

Emerging from burning contours of fire,

The river of my body ran and ran, meandering,

Eyes to cheeks, cheeks to chin, chin to my swan neck,

Nativity singing thigh-deep in the river that struggled

To stay still….”

Do read the full piece and leave your valued comments in the page:

Learning to Fall: Lessons From My Girlhood


My poem ‘Learning to Fall: Lessons From My Girlhood’ published today in the March issue of ‘Spark Magazine’ titled ‘Woman: Facets and Forms’. It is the first time that any publication happens for me during the auspicious Indian festival Holi, just in time, before the International Women’s Day.

A synopsis of the poem, as added by the editors of Spark:

“Lopa Banerjee presents the little wonders, the fumbling, the falling and the rising of a girl on her physical, psychological, spiritual journey of attaining maturity through a poem.”

Do visit the page and leave your valued comments:

The Birdsong


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Flapping, fluttering wings, the birds twitter, chirp
The murmur of their love songs–close, afar.
The twilight sings as they anchor their kisses,
Unspoken words deepen, darken,
In the moist mouth of the night.

Together, they dig into the rough flesh of the night.
In the deep blue of its waves,
They break and sink, hunting down
The deep, dark hours, falling, frenzied.

The night nurtures their songs in the wind
As they swirl and twirl, burning, stroking, kissing,
Up above the river beds, the petals
Of the dawn unfold.

They squat, unzip, lying
In surrender to the slender,
Definitive daylight. The light, drunken, gleeful
Carves the braids and pleats, the saffron
And milk, the contours of our unwritten verses.

In the virgin dream of the morn, they swim
Tender, green, floating in the morning’s womb
Like unnamed embryos. The light of words
Christen them, drop by drop, glittering, looming.

Drop by drop, our verses rain and dance, rekindle flame.
We melt together in our steep, aimless flight.
Our kisses sprout from the edge of the night,
Bleeding, entwined, yet never letting go.