Two Poems by Sekhar Banerjee

Painting: Vincent Van Gogh

By Sekhar Banerjee

Previous Life

This is a season of falling stars
in the eastern sky
and of migratory elephants in the borders

dissolving like shadows in a nightmare
I borrow an ancient flute made out of the thigh bone
of a dead Tibetan priest

in Kalimpong
to know more about my last life as a beat officer
in Jalsa cinchona forest
and to summon enough fog in the hills

There needs to be a ritual to summon
fog, lovers, dead relatives

Standing on top of a broken mountain
in the Singalila range
at night,

I try to play a sad tune
thinking of a man whose legs still distribute
enough musical sounds
like a thousand colourful kites



I see a touch-me-not growing beside
the hart’s-tongue ferns
in the woods to decipher a truth
before something ends or starts

while clouds – the swollen fingers
of the sky, touch the mountain ridges
and mourn the death
of a water-system all day long
near Gedu town
in south-western Bhutan

An empty palm in rain does not hold
anything back; it returns
privacy for privacy, water for water,
solitude for solitude like a forlorn prayer-wheel
left in the courtyard

Sekhar Banerjee
 is an author. He has four poetry collections and a monograph on an Indo-Nepal border tribe to his credit. Sekhar’s works have been published in The Bitter Oleander, Indian Literature, Kitaab, Muse India, Ink Sweat and Tears, Setu, Bengaluru Review, Mad Swirl, Cafe Dissensus, Borderless Journal, RIC Journal, Spillwords, Mad in Asia Pacific, Dissident Voice and elsewhere. He is a former Secretary of Paschimbanga Bangla Akademi under the Government of West Bengal. He lives in Kolkata, India.


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