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Two Poems on World Poetry Day

March 14, 2020 | By

To celebrate the World Poetry Day, two of my poetic offerings with diverse and dynamic themes, the first one inspired by a painting of a woman and the second one, a poetic summation of my sense of spirituality.

Once, After a Torrent 

[The inspiration for this new poetic piece came from this painting I saw at a Bangladeshi restaurant in Arlington, Virginia, and upon asking the owner, got to know that the painting is a realistic one, depicted by a painter in Dhaka, Bangladesh. I wrote the poem as a narrative between the imaginary woman and her first lover to whom she returns after decades.]

My love, once you had gone so far
As to love the fire within me.
I did not think then, some day you would burn away the fiery bird
Running to and fro within
My neatly feminine voice, your sensual fuel.
Once, my love, you had colored me in wild hues, the red of my heart,
The blue of my veins, the green of my fertile womb.
Have you ever known, how I too have craved to lick, suck away the red, crisp edges of your heart?
How I would barge into your home, that primal nook of yours and become your bubbled-up Venus?
I, that unacknowledged Dalit girl

who might have emerged like a nameless egg
From the pits of the cracked earth,
I, who have lived so much in your lustful eyes
That the mirror has showed me your hunger a zillion time.
I, who have loved you with such vigor
That I run away from you, ingesting your kicks and blows,

and then, come back like that ghostly phone call you get
Just after a tiresome, earth-shattering torrent.
Didn’t I ever tell you I would come back
At my own will, from Burma to Bangladesh,

from Sri Lanka to the crowning glory of the Taj,

being the sandbar, my subterranean flow
drowning the sanctioned peripheries of your home?
Wait, do you seek the embers of yet another fallen love
In my smudged vermilion,
Did you sense ruins in my crimson lips?

My love, once you had gone so far
As to eclipse yourself in my dense, dark undone.
My love, once you had vowed to leave
Everything behind, live penniless in the crooked streets,

sheltered only by the moonbeams

tucked under my cheap, crinkled sari.
As I look into your eyes today,
Just after that earth-shattering torrent,
It’s not the whiplashes of that self-deprecating love
Not the juvenile teardrops of the tyrant memories
Not the fierce bleeding rose of my tender eighteen.
I seek the primal fire, the scandalous crescendo and fall
In my blood and veins,
A charred anthem of an unborn revolution.

The Divine Calling


indian music

I am a makeshift believer, nestled in the bistro of this life.
In my kingdom of faith, the Divine emerges, sometimes,
As the throbs in the azure sky, as the cloudburst
Dancing in spirals, breaking free in torrential rain.
Sometimes, amid the twinkling lights in the pulses
Of a traffic, huddled close, with sweat and convulsive bursts.
Sometimes, as pebbles thrown in placid water-bodies
Causing rebellious ripples, sometimes, in the eyes of
Nomadic globetrotters and carefree toddlers
I happen to cross paths with, in airports,
in shielded supermarkets, in nondescript cafes.
Sometimes, the Divine emerges in the prancing and preening
Of a woman in love, walking down the alleys,
Waiting for her Krishna with the flute.
Sometimes, the Divine pirouettes as the image
of a ravishing Devdasi dancing with her entire cosmos,
prostrate at the feet of a stoned God,
A high-priest, eager to usurp her.
Sometimes, as the image of a grand temple
with mythical, legendary sculptures
The feminine anatomy, a testimony to my own body
Which can be a temple, a mosque, a church, or a gurdwara,
A religious zone where I might allow some to enter,
In curls and twirls, welcoming my jagged edges,
my hungry rain songs.

In my kingdom of faith, the Divine emerges, sometimes
As the raaga Iman, kalyan, behaag, gliding up and down
my undomesticated veins, as I pull myself to perform a holy chanting.
In my kingdom of faith, the ethereal Goddess Saraswati and her veena
Dances in the membranes of my haywire brain
along with the neurotic pleasures of gobbling up banned books
where humanity thrives, indolent, shameless.
In my kingdom of faith, Durga, Kali, Chandi dance the spirit dance
Of creation, and apocalypse, the witches and fairies reverse roles,
Kings in epics become demons of misogyny, demons in myths
Become neglected, half-told truths.
What do I do, when in my kingdom of faith,
The cascading terrains of the sacrosanct and the sacrilegious
crave to play, wreak havoc, gush out in rhythmic waves.
I am a makeshift believer, nestled in the bistro of this life.
In my kingdom of faith, the Divine emerges as scattered blotches
Of long-nurtured anonymity.
The Divine emerges as a long, unnamed poem
Shedding off its bulky cloak of religion,
I kiss its unbound beauty
And it takes me in, my crust and my core.

“Tomarei koriyachhi jeebonero dhrubatara/E Somudre aro kobhu
Hobo na ko dishara/Tomarei koriyachhi jeebonero dhrubatara.”

(“O Divine, I have made you the brightest star of my sky, the anchor
Of my sojourn into the sea of this life. With you around,
Let me not turn astray, anyhow, anywhere.”)
A voice sings within me, deep, unfathomable, the voice
Of a dead bard, whose songs, lyrics turn into a secret offbeat rhythm
Breathing inside an amusing, roaring inner world where trees
Swaying in the heaving wind, girlhood tales of river bodies,
The light and darkness of endless mornings and nights
Turn into scriptures, pious utterances, pilgrimages,
Turn into the holy incense of surrendering.

More to read

3 Poems about Forgetting, and Not

The Wait: A Modern Take on Shakuntala

For Heathcliff and Wuthering Heights

Lopamudra (Lopa) Banerjee is an author, editor, poet and writing instructor staying in Dallas, Texas with her family, but originally from Kolkata, India. She has a Masters in English with thesis in Creative Nonfiction from University of Nebraska and also Masters in English from University of Calcutta, India. Apart from writing and editing some critically acclaimed books and being awarded with the Reuel International Prize for Poetry (2017) and for Translation (2016), she has dabbled in all genres of writing, from journalism and content writing to academic essays and fiction/poetry. She has been interviewed in various e-zines, literary blogs and also at TV (Kolkata) and at radio stations in Dallas, Texas. Very recently, she has been part of the upcoming short film 'Kolkata Cocktail', a docu-feature based on poetry, but her love for writing feature stories go back to her journalism days when she interviewed people from all walks of life and wrote essays and articles based on them. She loves performing poetry as spoken words art and has performed in various forums in India and USA.
All Posts of Lopamudra Banerjee

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<div class=at-above-post addthis_tool data-url=></div>A clear and distinct goal enables one to direct one’s efforts towards the accomplishment of the goal in a more organized way.  A clear goal induces effectual action towards achievement of success.
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A clear and distinct goal enables one to direct one’s efforts towards the accomplishment of the goal in a more organized way. A clear goal induces effectual action towards achievement of success.