That Tree is a Myth

On May 7, 2011 by admin

Pranabendu Dasgupta

Charred Wood piece

Whose stench do you carry along, charred wood piece?

Is it my body of that prior birth that gutted my Hindu motherland?

Am I not still alive in this birth—wherefore this smokescreen?

I am not dead, charred wood piece, no?

Not yet vamoosed in human suspicion-bile?

See how I can feel love, still I do. Still I can sprint straight onto that gaping field there

Ah, smouldering wood piece dear, why often do you reek so downright stark?



Now at hand, now shifting

Faith, funds, libido, politics

Quite secure strings on my palm, fingertips

But strange now hops, skips apace

Now at hand. Eludes again.

Thus things go on.

Suppose I fail to stick with the tension

Every shred falls off then.

Strings entangle: all these fun stuff

Goes haywire, what are mine

Faith, funds, libido, politics.




Do not quite feel like going anywhere these days

Resentment, humiliation, jealousy, disregard

Who do I turn to?

15 years past that buddy who would give away his soul

Freely, in daily restaurant sessions

Now thinks nothing save writing novels


So famous everyone, hectic

Have turned into ants for vocation—all

No, do not quite feel like going anywhere these days.

But sometimes, from that double-decker bus I spy

Young things, brightly dressed, walking past the plaza

Laughter, pure animation, exchanging lightning glances—love and kill

(as if a sprightly stream dashes past two stilly hills)

I wish I could get down to the road and announce:

“Listen, I do not know any one of you, still how so much I love you from afar

Would you care to take me with you for a while?”



The Tree

All of them ganged up to hack down that tree

Once, twice, a third time…countless

Hew after hew, slash next slash

Now peeling off, grazing the crust

The birds nesting inside, scampered off to the sky

The whole forest resounded with those thumping hatchets

But after chopping for the whole day

When the tree unmoved stood its ground

Exasperated they said:

The tree actually isn’t there, you know

The whole thing about the tree is a myth.


Mute Textile Plant


Unspeaking textile plant, how long will this go on?

So much work is left undone, fabric amassed

Dumped beneath your feet

Will you not match thread to thread, sketch patterns once again?

Have you thought about how many remain exposed, bare

If you do not clothe them?

Unless you deliver designs, no floral blouse on our pretty maid.

These broken, hushed pieces of fabric. Ah, meaningless, garbage all otherwise.

Unspeaking textile plant, like a teleprinter speak up now

Like a gushing spring, surge yourself into work.

Pranabendu Dasgupta died in 2007.

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