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.

 

 

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The Kiss of Death

night

Image courtesy: Google images

 

 

A tender, heartbreaking night
etched on life’s uneven canvas.
An unblemished face, swept away
with the moon’s tide, her last whisper
Lighter than a feather’s breath, 
she surrenders herself to her last lullaby
An undying flame as the silent womb
Of the mother bleeds open, 
trying to pluck every single star 
they had counted together.

In between the crushing moans of the night
the caustic smell of the hospital room,
sadly stumbling on shattered dreams,
Her heart, for once, did resuscitate…
Fairy tale murmurs, myriad hues, 
Countless rainbows smoldering
In the embers, engulfing twirled childhood…

In the crematorium, the charred meat 
Of her body, chipped edges of bones
and brain, lingering, one last thin scream 
Looking wayward, hungry for kisses,
the habitual bliss of midday meals, and wildflowers.

All Rights Reserved. Lopa Banerjee. January 21, 2015

 

The Faltering Night

In a party today, my throat parched.
I slit myself, edge to edge, in the plastic night.
Looking at the men and women, known faces
And their unmistakable steps, hips shaking
to the practiced rhythm of recycled songs
and greetings, the leering, turning around,
cowering, ignoring, letting in a faint light of moon
dance wayward between lipsticked mouths.
In familiar photo frames, they stood, hung on to
each other’s lies.

In the hungry tide of the night,
they have tried hard to oscillate between smooth talk,
munching on juicy gossip and yawning.
At the dinner buffet, their half-baked words
and grin, ear-to-ear, attempts of blushing
at vain compliments float around
the crisp air aromatic with food and foibles.
They stutter and fumble, raising toasts
and breathing, shallow, contrived, perishing.

In the party today, I licked my lips, lonely, ornate,
I looked into the prancing and preening of kids,
the male gazes, the lame old stories
that vanished and resurfaced.
From a far-flung corner, I smiled back at the faces,
Surveying the lies of the night, running wild.

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

Mirror

Image source: pixshark.com

 

The bedroom stains breathe and thrive
On shimmering streaks of air.
Each new luminous morning, starting to smell
The flames of the day.

The mirror, tucked away in a quiet nook
Smells of poetry in its atomic particles of dust.
The toiletries, jammed in the dresser
Bathes in the colorful beauty of the sun.
The mirror breathes in the looming shadows
And light, sings along a mundane, familiar song
With the walls in the room,
Smeared with dirt, ink and old habits,
The golden pulp of the coiled bodies
Smelling of stale, recycled dinner and
The colored promise of the sun.

The mirror is their oldest confidante,
He laughs and cries with the crumpled bedsheets,
The old, unwashed linen blinds.
The mirror takes in all–bodies engraved
In the warm sweat of the room, bodies moving,
Spinning fast, legs and arms bloated,
Dragged in a household of dreams and despair,
The lips that are peeled, sore, yet singing,
Sucking the blood beneath the fingernails.
The mirror luxuriates, reflects and enlivens
The powdered beauty camouflaging
The dark night’s empty crevices.

Lopa Banerjee. April 21, 2015

Note: My attempt to demystify a fairy tale and replace it with an ordinary, mundane portrayal that is close to my heart.

Musing

 

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

 

images (1)

Image source: eresaw.deviantart.com

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

 

The Birdsong

love-birds-wide

Image source: Pixgood.com

 

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.

Forlorn

moonlit night

Image Source: hdw.eweb4.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Did I lose you somewhere
Between the hyacinth and the ribbons
The pleats and folds of my adult drape?

I know you still wait for me, my moon
As the night flutters, the unfailing rose
Drunk with solitude and honeyed longing.

I breathe shallow and deep, my eyes
Swept away by stardust, I am alone
You milk, eager and firm, waits for me
At the shore of the night.

Between my trembling lips and voice,
Your song hides in the fugitive wind,
Slender and silent, you walk away,
Barefoot, soaking in the night’s last ashes.

Did I call you, my white hills
Breaking, sinking at the wake of dawn?
I return to the day, dust blown
Crushing sand beneath my feet,

You have sliced me to pieces,
I move, unsure, forlorn, in spirals
Of smoke as I call you out
My moorings trapped in the day, dying.

Footnote: Written for a weekend writing prompt on the moon, “the quintessential silver orb that steals our heart every night”, as had been put by my fellow poet Vinita Agrawal at the Woman Inc Poetry Project.
Copyright: Lopa Banerjee. February 23, 2015

Let the Night Sing

night

Image Source: Lifehacker.com.au

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shadows creeping,
The fangs of the night unfold,
Faint footsteps resound,
Silvery beams of moonlight.
The dark woods,
Dense canopy of trees,
The pitch black,
Skin slicing through
Silhouetted darkness.
Twinkling stars
Hissing sound,
Let the moon stay,
Let us make love.

Lopa. February 9, 2015

When Memories Rain

 

I don’t know when the rains started to bleed.

A taste of salty pining, a dash of

Peppered moments and memories, dancing together

Their bodies, clasped, loosening, melting, blurring.

I don’t know when my clay hands composed you,

Mold after mold, structure, shape, dimension

Nestled in the embrace of these coiled fingers,

Your cinnamon breath, blowing its fragments,

Mingling with my own, tearing me open,

The gash of my wounds, alive, and trembling still.

I don’t know when the smell of long lost love

Stark dead, ghost-white, wafts along

The interstate where the night reveals

And sea winds soar and sing, the smell

Of burnt lips entwined, slicing through

The raging night, earnest, shadowy, whispering.

I don’t know when the downpour stopped,

The blood, the tears, the salt tickling me,

Pulling me within, deeper still,

My crust and core, rising, floating

In the debris of the days, lost.