In the City of Kaal-Ketu

On March 18, 2012 by admin


Sumanta Mukhopadhyay



clear field

afternoon hops and

the sisterly evening


lugs him, clutching hands


sitting by the bus window


why did i think all this


the world a quiet family

why did I think thus



when news arrives

it arrives like an emperor


killer king

couldn’t give two hoots about us


tail up, towards the cowshed we scamper

scurry like our forefathers


and keep on running


when events happen

we do not care about news.



cold, brass lock

i touch and it speaks

at night


each shard of this broken life

soaked in wretched sadness


an absent fairytale


if you hold on to it a bit more bodily

like an old man, it inquires


“has everyone come back?”

it seeks


do I really know

how much of the door is outside

and how much inside



sprinkling  a bit of a mirth

i see

the scene is quite drenched

by the evening redness

in fields, in the grass

the way a restless worm moves

to another such grass

so darts troop of souls

from blade to blade

in vedic discipline

but as they rush

like atheists broken from their spell

they speak up

about that torn shirt

they inquire

why hurry

if the kids fall behind

what then?



running, suppose

one trips at the moving bus

what then?


and if one forgot, suddenly

to run

as the train approached


when he beckons he does

when he does not

he hits you straight at the chest


the canvas bag remains

and the mother’s

talking, bony polestar


this bag

know this bag is your

bread and butter



blind in rage

you are senseless, about two hours now

is this called coma?

do i then step out this midnight

or tomorrow, early morning perhaps

bed, flowers, frankincense, robe

getting hold


i’d reach straight to the hospital


thinking all this

i woke up


darkly room


Poison Tree

who are these around

tigers, wolves may be

milk white dhoti-kurta


roots of poison


on leaves, flowers, buds, branches

milk flows.



at a great height

the wail

that mutes one


i write the sound of its

saline contour

in Braille.



the skeleton’s forehead

i feel

it’s running fever, 100 celsius


no fan

no cash

no light

no words


a suffocating room.


Sumanta Mukhopadhyay works at the Barasat Government College. This is a short selection  from his recently published book of poems Kaal-Ketur Shohore.

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