These poems spring from an unmistakable moral vein unspoiled by life’s unavoidable conflicts. The first two use metaphors of Dussehra’s Ravan, and an old, abandoned biscuit factory. The last one, a love poem, upholds the philosophy of living and losing while loving.
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The ice-cream seller and buyer
stood by the wall of a hut.
Both were kids.
a forced alliance erect
on either side of a border.
was burning in the background
of a throbbing countryside.
A doll in outmoded attire
looked through a peephole
in wide-eyed rapture.
The biscuit factory
still bears a baked aroma
on its unwrapped metal.
The leftovers are soil now
but it failed to engulf its breath.
The blurred slogans on its walls
are old bruises — still longing to heal.
It feeds on time to shed its colour
for the bricks to appear —
the way a tree longs to shed its leaves
without our staring.
How easily people are lost —
even their thoughts —
and when they return as shadows
how we try to retreat from light
like air moving from one room to another
seeking to lose their whispers to the walls
like trees swaying in autumn winds
trying to drop their accounts on fallen leaves
like a funeral fire rising towards the sky
looking to shed its tears on the ashes.
(Sonnet Mondal has authored seven books of poetry and is the director of Chair Poetry Evenings – Kolkata’s International Poetry Festival.)
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