Two Poems by Gopal Lahiri

Painting: Deb Anderson

By Gopal Lahiri 


Someday the city is quavering in the light
slow burn, spilling beyond the horizon,
years slip from the calendar,

crowds follow crowds, a vista of human heads –
behind the mango tree, the playful owl
calling the darkness.

a hint of softness in every face, a lingering smile,
the darkest secret of the city empties stories,
centuries old beliefs,

roadside shops are decked in the garlands of light
night sky draws ink-brush illustrations of stars
across the milky ways,

the dark windows swallow the shards of insult,
dirty alleys listen and capture old songs,
exchanging sweets and halos.

Someday there will be no more need of pen and ink,
or fear of losing papers to light a new fire,
the histories all deleted.



From the day the needle piercing on your flesh
the images pass by,
bring back the sense of cruelty.

The shadows close up in a circle
at the edge of the wall,
beyond the moving line of the curtains.

This endless moment seen through cracks
you are still there,
in this motionless word.

Light rain dripping on the backyard
critters rustle on the ivy,
amber hall and mirror room shine.

Night never follows up, never answers the look
you don’t know when they will come,
when they will wake you up.

Gopal Lahiri
is a Kolkata- based bilingual poet, critic, editor, writer and translator with 21 books published mostly in English (13) and a few in Bengali (8), including three joint books. His poetry has also been published across various anthologies as well as in eminent journals of India and abroad. He has been invited in various poetry festivals including World Congress of Poets recently held in India. He is published in 12 countries and his poems have been translated in 8 languages.


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Read the latest issue of Cafe Dissensus Magazine, “Poetics and politics of the ‘everyday’: Engaging with India’s northeast”, edited by Bhumika R, IIT Jammu and Suranjana Choudhury, NEHU, India.

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