New Poems

by Amlanjyoti Goswami 3

Mind the        Gap

No
I am not taking the jet train
To the future.

It is behind me.

I am taking the way out.

These stairs are lonely, dark and steep.
Rough growls the eye of the machine,
Pay to enter.
The parliament of owls,
Up all night, queuing for rations thick,
The sewers are still leaking.

Look away, snigger.

Politicians of song, who legislate
Matters of air,
It curls behind you, like a cat,
Quiet and fleeting, gleaming in darkness.
Your votes fly out, dimpled as dust,
Your seat, a page on a magazine.
I am lost in the wilderness of street signs breathing,
Come home soon.

 

**

Jamuns

Last night, it rained jamuns

Wine red, purple tongue!

We huddle under a tree,

A bunch of stragglers, wondering sober,

Where the night went so early.

 

But the night is a slippery cat,

Lying on the roof, our drunk heads,

Trying to twirl, with jamun tongue

A perfect syllable.

**

 

River Wedding

Ma is afraid of water after dark.

Not the glass or jug, but the pumping station

Across the street.

Once she told me why.

When she was five,

Oruni, the village Huck Finn,

Who ran after ghosts and no book could catch up with her,

Oruni told my ma, goggle-eyed,

Kopili, the river behind their thatched houses,

Was getting married the next evening.

 

All the rivers would come,

Bordoisila, Dibang, Disang, Kolong,

All the sisters of Brahmaputra would

Flow through their village!

It would rain and thunder,

So much fun.

 

Ma wonders if the water station

Keeps all those rivers, bottled

 

She can’t stand maps too, after dark

 

I haven’t the courage to ask her why

**

 


These poems were published in the Jan-March 2016 issue of The Indian Quarterly.


Photo Credit: Thamizhpparithi Maari

 

 

3 Comments

  1. Mahendra Singh June 23, 2016 at 7:46 pm - Reply

    Touching and timely. Keep producing such poetry Amlan.

  2. Chris M Kurian June 24, 2016 at 11:29 am - Reply

    Beautiful Amlan!
    All of them. Particularly ‘River Wedding’

    Ma wonders if the water station
    Keeps all those rivers, bottled

    Takes me back to a childhood spent between Delhi and Kerala..

  3. SAIKAT DAS August 20, 2016 at 4:12 pm - Reply

    river wedding is o.k., the rest aren’t.
    you can write, there’s a poet in you
    find him out
    why try to become the rotten ghost of Eliot?

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