Mindless Meanderings

 

Note: Poetry for the prompt contest of ‘The Significant League’, a literary group in Facebook, judged by Dr. Santosh Bakaya. My poem was the winner of the picture prompt contest which got me Dr. Bakaya’s phenomenal book ‘Where Are The Lilacs: A Collection of Peace Poems’, published by Authorspress.

 

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Fly on, what makes you stop on the bare, grassless streets?

The morning will soon gorge on ashen smoke and filth.

How can your little chuckles and chirping, your strolls

Holding on tight, to your flock, jutting out human ears

Change the course of the pockmarked day?

The city needs to thrive in its skin and blood,

The black hair, the soot and the whistling horns,

The pervasive rhythm, the sound drums.

The city doesn’t need its parched, shadowy silence,

The shitty moans of street urchins,

Your scattered, broken dances, your mindless trails.

What are you nibbling on, at the traffic lights, violating

The intersections, the ground beneath your feet

Murmuring a fluid, nascent language?

Fly up, and over those grimy streets,

Those vignettes of cardboard houses and cars,

The spell of cacophony shutting out the music of soft earth

In the man-made parks. Fly up and claim your space,

The sooty sky might still want the red earth

Breathing in your bravado voices.

Claim your space where solitude is still a distant smell,

pouring out, scarcely, as bleeding, shriveling rain.

 

All Rights Reserved. Lopa Banerjee. September 3, 2016.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Lunar Eclipse

lunar eclipse

“Was it the twinkle of the faint star, Or the eclipsed moonbeam”

The pale moon ushers,

Freckled with dim scars.

The dark night, shrouded by a frosted sheath,

Readies for an earthly carnival.

Under the ashen sky, cars honk,

Bodies huddled together, bemused, waiting

Ensnared by the night’s girth.

Was it the twinkle of the faint star,

Or the eclipsed moonbeam,

Waxing and waning, taking in their mismatched steps

Their sugar-coated small talks?

We have long recycled our fairy tales,

The city beeps in customized ringtones.

Somewhere, from the night’s dark trenches,

Pixie dust gathers around the bodies, on the cars

Getting ready to roll down the streets.

The pixie dust, dotting our eyes,

Lingering on our lips, swirling, surrendering.

 

Note: Written today, September 27, while witnessing the marvels of a lunar eclipse in a local state park in Omaha, Nebraska. An event that took place after more than three decades and turned us to awed spectators for a brief moment or two.

Image source: Morguefile.com

The Mountain Refrains

A love poem I have written recently, based on a fictional narrative with the gorgeous, lush green mountain terrains of the Rockies in Boulder, Colorado as the backdrop. It is a pleasure to see this poem published at Learningandcreativity.com. Sharing excerpts from the poem:

Colorado Rockies

Image credit: Lopa Banerjee

“The leaves whisper, as if in an endearing trance,
the sweetest whistles of unfathomable love
rustle in the mountain bends,
the bends where the despairing lover boy
wistfully looks for the last glimpses of his lady love…
Did he find her?
Did he utter his last words to her
in the silken weave of the night’s lovelorn sky?”

Friends, do read the full poem here, and comment if possible:

http://learningandcreativity.com/the-mountain-refrains/#

Song of the Road

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Image source: wallpaperswide.com

My legs dangle in the car
In the seat, I settle, awkward
The jagged outlines of
the interstate and the green
On both sides lighting up
Like tattoos.
Bollywood Hindi refrains
Gyrating, recycled, served up
Like frothy, milky chai
in old, verdant train stations
remembered with a child’s eagerness.
In our mouths, between
Our silences outstretched
And our tongues sticking out
Parched, tame, scanning
The flatlands and the ripples
We seek out our
love song for the road,
The tangy and sour essence
of the small towns
That ebb and flow with
the shrill rain,
the murky flood waters,
The turmeric-stained sunlight
That we taste, bubbling,
resting on our backs.
The tires push down the
Buttery roads and I am
Wrapped in the childhood raincoat
Where the playlist
of the songs become
Promises, vows, stillness grasped.
In the mirror, strands of hair
Dance to the orchestra
Like pesky birds,
Grey, trampled, bronzed
With colors, behind a veil
Of shrinking, errant drapes.
The wind and the light outside
A thin stick of pungent smoke
I inhale like a stealthy lover
On our way back home.
Soon the roads, robust
Against our limp bodies
Will bend and waltz,
Tweak and twirl, to
the stairs leading home.
In the brown, saucy night sky
Our road songs,
ingrained, left behind,
will jump, float away
in scattered lines.

Lopa Banerjee. All Rights Reserved. May 30, 2015
Note: Written while returning from a long distance trip by car on route Texas gulf coast to the plains of Nebraska, US.

Between This Life and the Other: The Rain

dark rain

Dark Rain. Image Source: imgarcade.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do my dirty walls rain, still?
Dots imprinted on dark leaves, scrawling,
Pressing their heads to the crushing dust of human pain?
Do the fingers still dig into
The dark, unfathomable whole,
Beneath the ribs, the pain, stark dead, burning?

Do the primal clouds of monsoon jump in puddles, still?
Longing to steam, to cry in small streams,
Ripples and kisses, running down, the deluge
Slitting throats, trampling my primordial breast?
I have seen the skin, blood, bones
Of the rain, hung on to thirsty fingers
Licking the pickled salt of a fleshy pain.
Is it mine, still?
Forgot its name since we last held hands.

Does it still rumble, growl inside,
The billowing cloud-fire, the necklace of grief?
The night, jumping, leaping, sticking her tongue out
For one last dance, entwines me,
Stumbling over, as I listen to mourning ghosts,
Moving around, in circles, the earth
A whisper of sprinkled ashes of pain?

The smoke, a translucent fusion,
Do I drink it whole? The murky waters
Ruminating on the slumber-buried drone of pain.
Do I shake it off like old dust? Here it comes back
Peels and hums amid grinning, littered rain.

The bird rests beneath the rusted bricks and walls
The flash of cool light, of rain, long gone.
The heart of the wind beating amid the dead leaves in rain,
I stand, smothered between the damp walls,
Breaking and sinking, birdlike, aflame, drowning.

The Drunken Lovers’ Song

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Image source: Lopa Banerjee

For all those short wintry days, sheathed under

The soft blanket of the setting sun, they met,

Under the misty halo of twilight.

Their hands clasped, their tongues tied

Under the spell of the faint, blinkings rays

Of the hibernated sun,

Zipped by the pale, urgent moonlight.

They met, they wandered, withered with the moon,

In their own planet, love, the only language of the living.

 

The sky, a euphoria of lofty colors

Threw sparks upon their faces.

They looked up, and down,

Coiled in each other’s faces, sitting

Rapt beside a drunken, luscious river,

Counting baby faces in the translucent water bodies.

The faces, playful, indolent, unbound, never knowing

The toxins, foul smells, the ground zero of the city.

They laugh, rolling, rippling, flowing,

Tiny petals of music, poetry and love,

Fingers kissing dewdrops, evolving

Into a saga of childhood love,

Twinkling dim, blinking out, withering away.

In a tangle of two souls, spread out

Like a flowered skirt, the drunken lovers

Surrendered their lavender blossoms.

The stale night whispered, venom sprung

Out of the earth’s crust.

And while the green pastures waxed and waned

With the pale, cold moon,

Deadly ghosts spitting misery, trampled over

Their flesh, bones and honeyed dreams.

The drunken lovers and the moon, consumed in embrace

Quivered, fluttered wings  beneath the deadening cacophony.

The river called them out in ripples

And the unwavering smell of love.

And they gripped, grouched in the dark planet,

Love, the only language of the living.

(C) Lopa Banerjee. October 23, 2014

Bye Bye Midnight

 

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In the wee hours of midnight,

My limp and frail body

Looks at the clock ticking on the wall,

While it surrenders 

To the golden sunshine of another day. 

I sit downstairs, alone with the midnight clock

And the unborn angel in my belly,

Listen to the rocking and weeping

And lullabies of my older angel upstairs.

Groping in the darkness of the room

I listen to her, smell the autumn air

As she breaks in sobs and unknown delight 

Clinging to her papa and her midnight dreams. 

One foot already in the sand of sleep, 

One at the edge of waiting,

I sit downstairs, feeling the wind and water

Of an unread poem by my muse,

Echoing my name in midnight chill. 

Nestled in a heaven of unspoken words and journeys

I sit here in my room, alone with midnight

With the rising wind sighing outside window panes.

I sit here, while dawn breaks out, 

My sleeping world rushes downstairs

Together we breathe the pure morning air. 

Till then, I bid adieu to the midnight clock

Ticking on the wall,

I lay down on the brink of another life

Smelling its wind and water in distant dreams. 

I bid adieu till I rise like a phoenix again. 

I’m all burnt out in the midnight chill,

Till I rise again in smoke and fire

Of the sunshine of another day. 

Footnotes: Just a passing thought, mostly in fragments of a jumbled up, narcotic mind which stayed awake like a nocturnal animal well past midnight. Written during fall 2010, when I was late into my second pregnancy, already a mother of our two year old daughter.