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?”
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.