The Destitute Verse

heart

Image source: Morguefile.com 

Note: Trans-created in English, inspired by my Bengali poem ‘Gothroheen, Bewarish Kobita’, composed on Facebook, yesterday, dated July 19, 2016.

Acknowledgements: Mandakranta Sen (poet, novelist)

The heart, my dear, a truant, spitfire girl.

The fire burns, trembling, flickering, grueling embers.

The words lay, scrunched, shards of shattered glass.

dance daintily, prance and preen in the mind’s monochrome pastures.

Let them drift apart, and collide sometimes, rummaged,

unpacked, let them be freed of their planned lines, carefully carved chapters.

I wake up to their cacophony; all I can muster is refusal.

I refuse to pick up, chew on the cuds of commonplace stories,

lapped up by all others. I refuse to be the articulate novel, licked,

sucked, chewed, consumed to bone and marrow.

I refuse to be one more clone of the authors spinning around, in multi-colored masks,

Head to toe, crackling with vain, twisted praise, and sycophancy.

I refuse to be that succulent drink reveling on yet another habitual book release,

The decked up, charming whore of the artsy, snooty intellectual.

In my night sky, I dance alone, my sacred bits and pieces,

The slivers of my shattered glasses, my dying, indomitable embers,

the spoonfuls of my stained blood, the fragile chunks of my words,

my battered womanly pride.

The heart, a truant, spitfire girl,

and its unruly words will live on,

Let the birth pangs and the eager tears rise, and explode.

 

 

Advertisements

Princep Ghat

princep ghat

Princep Ghat, Kolkata, India. Image source: 

travel.snydle.com

 

Some days I am just a rusted yellow,

a drooping, crumpled mess

The waters lashing on my eyelashes

a heart-rending tale.

Some days I am just the flames,

the choking silence of the pains of others.

My palms cupping the indelible marks

of bygone days, scalding.

 

Some days I slip into the liquid sound

of poems and boatmen’s songs,

My holy texts trailing after,

smudged, blown away in smithereens.

Some days, the water feels smug-clean

in my sleepy troughs and creases,

Some days, I am the blood

and the shards, the shameless smoke

and the cigarette stubs,

the poison that whirls in my subterranean flow.

 

I know some evenings

your breath brushes past mine,

And we are kindred souls,

burning in each other’s fire.

I know while you dig me

deep with your nails,

the dusk of death is in your skin,

amid the living, breathing mess.

 

Some days when the birds chirp

and the holy crows caw,

In your mossy banks, you sing a song

that once was your mother’s chore.

Today, you rinse your mouth with it

as you chant the holy ‘Om’,

and return home, in your parted lips,

it hangs, a primal hum.

Mother Earth: A Plea

Note: My entry for the Earth Day anthology published by Poetry Paradigm, titled ‘Poetry4OurPlanet – an anthology of 108 heart-warming, and poignant poems on the blue planet, our own Mother Earth. I have written the poem in the loving memory of a street girl in Kolkata, India. The anthology is now out in Scribd.com and available in 43 countries.

You have seen my absurd chuckles
My coos and gurgles as I revolved
In your orbit, sunk in my mother’s emaciated breasts.
Did you revolve with me, Mother Earth,
While the starlight gazed at flowery, full-endowed children?
While the full moon welcomed them with the whiffs of her spices?

Did your night sky melt when, at three,
My nimble fingers devoured by my parched mouth
Craved to count your bountiful stars,
My hungry body, resting in the littered city streets?
When I dreamt about floating in your placid shrine,
My eyes opened up to dry patches of dirt?

At seven or eight, I have peeked through the plastered walls
Of schools where the blue globe, staring at me like the harvest moon
Summoned me, the kohl-lined eyes of the teacher tracing its curves,
I never knew the Equator; the Mediterranean never ebbed and flowed
In my scarred, burnt out days. But even I knew how
The last drops of monsoon smelt,
its juices ricocheting off my pockmarked face.

I am the earthen salt of the grimy, molten streets they trample every day.
At sixteen, even my frothy foam shimmers, dances in zigzag sunlight.
At the call of twilight, when mud and filth pops out of your blades of grass,
I paint you, Mother Earth; craft you with the folds of my stained palms.

The cosmos around, a commotion of rebuffing times.
Are you rattling, Mother earth, staring at me, tossed aside
As I clutch at your slithered pieces? Do you, for once,
Look at my papery wrists, think you could have nourished me better?
See how my torrents still sing your songs,
See how our jagged edges shine as I drown within your crevices,
Threadbare, spiraling in my earthen wants.

All Rights Reserved. Lopa Banerjee. April 29, 2016

Do download the entire anthology from this link:

Impostors

Note: Inspired by a brilliant artwork by the supremely talented author of The Dove’s Lament, zen-doodling artist, the US. Presidential medal winner, social activist, Founder of Red Elephant Foundation, Kirthi Jayakumar.

Artwork_Kirthi J

Image courtesy: Kirthi Jayakumar

We do not lie when we swoop
From one store to the next, greedily
Savoring aromatic blends to hide that we stink.
We do not lie when seated at posh restaurants,
Lost in the shameless serenading of culinary raagas and soft music strumming,

We fumble for words,
Knowing each one, when uttered,
Can act as a dart thrown, an arrow
Ripping out our hearts, so we choose to be mum.
We do not lie when our car races
Like a mad hound dog, in the blistering summer heat, and we continue to gulp
the anguish, the helter-skelter dance of cantankerous words.
We cannot lie when the streets smell of old smoke and charred meat,
swooshing past our burning eyes,
Sentinels to our daily conundrum.


We have lied and bought home more lies,
When we have kissed and made love
And roamed, hand in hand in an imagined pristine light,
When we have danced, draped ourselves in silken drapes,
hiding the shadows of our own ruins.
Today, some of them I have stared at,
A man and a woman each, happy flames
Flickering in their eyes, swallowing the
mirth of their arms, entwined.
My stare might have been an imperious nuisance,
Even as I walked past them, knowing
Their eyes glinting, even as they chew the lies.
We do not lie when our unspoken wounds fester in cluttered, unlit rooms.
We only panic that our famished selves
Will pirouette in the open, like impure dirt, forbidden, threadbare.


All rights reserved. Lopa Banerjee. July 10, 2016

The Mad Poet’s Refrain

lonely

Image source: Morguefile.com

Poetry, the lump in my throat,
The bite sized chunks I gulp,
Without chewing.
Like the thorny night that stings
The hysteric brown earth,
Yet croaks in its own tainted lightning,
Words will find their way amid the rubble,
Relentless, beating, thumping.

Come home, to the potholes and bumps, step in the puddles of the
folds between my palm, dear words,
As my litter-laden mind squashes you,
Aborts you, again begets you.

Come, let me sip you with recycled juices and snatches of hogwash conversations.

I know you will come out some time I will least expect, in spurts,
In malignant droplets,
In the edge of my waking.