Saturday, February 12, 2011

Time: Twilight: Threshold

Too fatigued,
Time at the twilit threshold
crestfallen and numb,
looks like an old woman's sagging breast.
And at this moment
terror-stricken face of our poor Prahlad
is like a blank sheet of white paper.

Power-drunk Kashipu
blindly strikes the mute columns
that stand patiently bearing
the whole burden of the roof.

Look! Columns are cracking and breaking
but Narasimha Avatar hasn't come out as yet.
Only a still and hazy dusk stands
like a sterile woman
and lying flat is that naked eunuch threshold
where, like a diseased hen in its hatching roost,
the time squats down, tired
waiting to be rescued

But only a motionless murky evening is there
and the sleeping eunuch threshold
that goes neither in nor out.

Phoenix of Love

Phoenix of love
rising from its own ash-heap
flies in the sky of passion.

You can hear the flap of its blue wings
in my heart-beat.

Ah! once again, while it's raining,
a young couple of an endless myth
under a single umbrella
are walking on this prehistoric street.

Teeming crowd of the market-place
cannot block these eyes
woken up with dreams.
Their vision has opened the caves
of Ajanta-Ellora in me.

This crop-field of passion
ever irrigated by the primitive river of love.
How little can I harvest!
Endless are the lines of lyrics
and poems in this field.

It's long since I forgot the definitions
of poetry learnt to pass examinations.
Rather the sunny smiles and pains and a few tear-drops
come spontaneously to my memory.

Forgot all I read in the paper at my breakfast.
Shall I rather recite to you some Rubaiyats
and sonnets of love and languishment?

Valentine's Day

Market of hearts
Hearts sold and bought everyday
But much bigger is the market today.

I have brought a heart
pierced with Cupid's arrow -
a gift to this fashionable age.
It contains ready-made words
of sugary feelings.
No need to rack your mind.
Ready-made feelings have much value in the market.

In these days
Cupid's soft arrow cannot pierce
the lumps of flesh called hearts.
It rather bends tickling the flesh.

My girl-friend had invited me
to celebrate this love-festival last year.
A heart of red ballon
hung in her room.
While coming out
I had pricked the excitement-filled balloon
with a pin of my sadist humour.

Today
I have to plant a valentine kiss
on the belly-button of my present time. 

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Under the Night

A night cold like iron
Under the night a road unconscious
By the road a naked tree
stands in a strange dance posture
in this chill

The night is absolutely detached, indifferent
The road unconscious
Only the two are active here:
        The masochist tree and sadist chill
How abominable it is!

The chill comes with its thorny whip
and strikes the naked tree
swish... swish... swish...

These are the sounds
the loud breath of beastly lovemaking

Ah! How the tree responds excitedly
to every stroke
swish... swish...passionate
and then lost in the orgasm

Oh! Perverted state of things!
This sleeping road
and the suffocating indifference of the night.

Calcutta: A Collage

Perching on the top of an old building
under the faded sky
screams an eagle repeatedly.
On the side of a street
two ragged women and a few crows
are busy in turning the heap of garbage.
Like a beaten dog wailing in pain
an ambulance is running off.
On the next street traffic is halted
by a long rally that goes endlessly
shouting slogans old and effaced.
Over their heads is stretched a flyover
where runs the cars flogged with the whip of hurry.
Like an abrupt cry of a palsied child
a siren is heard
and a dark-glassed white car flies past,
the Tricolour on its bonnet
violently shaken by the wind.
Endless movements of worms
in the stomach of the city.
Chronic diabetic are the buses
that eat and eat without getting satiated.
With the burden of advertisements all over the body
an old tram like a bonded labourer
crawls along the track of wretchedness,
often tormented with a guilt
of killing Shakti Chattopadhyay unknowingly.

Venturing like ants
tiny human figures endlessly come and go
along the streets and lanes.
In spite of crossing hundreds of zebra-crosses
the legs haven't reached the other side of the road.

People's restless mobility in the heated city
the rice -grains boiling in cauldron.
An enormous manifastation of the present
that keeps rising in vapours from
nose, mouth and scalp.
Vapours have swallowed the sky.
But on the ceiling of the Birla Planetarium
sky is reborn - hazeless and smokeless,
conjuring up the night that falls over broad daylight.

On one side of Esplanade
old and new demands sit for hunger strike
bidding festoons and placards to shout slogans.
Protests storm the streets
defying even the water-cannons and teargas.
Protest sometimes make bonfire
of buses, trams and leader's effigy.
Moments throbbing all the time
flooding boiling springing
past and future rippling
in this ever flowing present.
Liveliness of present reverberating
on the feet of old rickshaw pullers,
in the hawkers' trade cry,
in those hands that have no time to rest,
in the eyes with no time to sleep.

Millions and millions of bubbles
on the suface of this metropolitan sea
break and emerge and break and emerge growing more and more..
So full of life
So full of presentness
this ever present Calcutta...


Invasion: A Few Clippings

To separate earth from earth
Mephistopheles' agents come.
Children of the fertile field stand
to protect the mother earth.
Out of the mouths of those agents
suddenly burst uncomprehendring words --
                                               tut.. tut.. tut.. tut..
and the field's lap is soaked with blood.
No, it's not her period
but a forced operation
to drain her period dry.

In years' interval
locusts in swarms come,
clear our crops and return.
But this time
machines came to eat up
not the crop but the fields.
And before gobbling up the land
they ate up the peasants.

This time
it rained hailstorms of red hot lead.
The soil is terribly writhing
and the earth trembling.

From a drawing room of the city
lightening struck spearing the breast of lamplight.
Village was drowned in darkness.
Gorky's mother collapsed.
His sister raped by a gun is buried
in a muddy pit near the field.

To resist those who, thrusting contraceptive pills
into the mouths of fields, want to have sex,
lumps of earth rise up.
But suddenly from the other side
machine's cruel guffaw is heard --
                             bang.. bang.. bang.. bang..
and the field turns red with earth's blood,
much redder than your dyed red handkerchief.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

JOURNEY

Journey
                                                                       -Manprasad Subba
Journey is disrupted midway
by the landslip
O my desires!
Come with your innumerable hands
to clear the landslip
I have to reach beyond that distant horizon

Landslip ambushes to end the journey
But the will and purpose of the journey
have emerged much stronger than the landslip

To arrest the landslip
Uttis trees of hopes come up and stand high

And the journey,
after a pause,
closely following the footsteps of the sun
marches onward
to kiss the Evening Star on the forehead of twilight

I’ll erect, from horizon to horizon,
an arched gate of my birth and death
with ‘WELCOME’ calligraphed
on both sides of it
through which will flow a procession of tireless dreams..

[Written on the request of Dr. Pankaj Choudhury for those fighting with life-threatening diseases and read on the occasion of Cancer Awareness Programme at North Bengal Oncological  Centre, Rangapani, Siliguri, on 19 December, 2010]