Poetry by Lopa Banerjee

Lopa Banerjee

The River Dark, The River Deep

The rivulet, the gushing stream bounced and swayed
Like a colicky infant.
Didn’t I love you, sleeping in your banks, pure?
Hiding myself so deftly in your little pockets of silence?
Why then, today, when I ran to touch you, hot, raw, burning,
You ran away instead, fearing my coagulated blood,
my frozen tears, my milk stuck on your door-frame, my breath,
shot up, in spurts, that has known you like the grandma’s old tale,
Like the lone, dazzling truth?

Come, enter through my rich brown, derelict doors,
Still open for you. Settle slowly amid the thickets,
Soaking in the smudged, docile light setting in,
The skyline of my wants still eager, firm with primroses,
Brown, yet not dying still, with music, sharp, yet blurry,
The details obscured, yet the pleading, the little lightning
Robust, plump, hammering.
Will you burn it, like the rest of my thwarted dreams galore,
The pregnant ashes of my sighs
that once I had closed your palms with?

Like the stubborn, wailing infant, eyes rolling, fingers tossed,
You had wanted small tufts of the dried, golden grass
Growing mammoth, fleshy, in a mountainous pile.
Today, between my calloused palms, the ashes dwindle,
And let out an air, musky, choking, yet again.
The verdant spring, the primroses, the half-baked love songs
Burn me like the old, bloody embers, the fungi strong, shadowy
Smeared all over like a beauty in continuum.
Come over, do not run, what is there to hide?
Lie down, flat, on my back, as I float on your scalding waters,
Doused with the dark grey of our self-same songs.


Note: For all of womanhood and our blood that brings forth generations. A chain of poems that started in The Significant League, an online literary group in Facebook.

For years, I have breathed in the
dingy hollow of my own blood,
Trembling, gasping, clutching at the skinny edges of myself.

For years, we have cracked open
Praying the whirlpool gets a nobler name, praying it does not strain us,
lapping at the shores of our thighs
we have so much strived to hide.

Today I listen to the deep-throated music of my own blood,
Naked, primal, alive.
I listen to it, watching it return in cycles.

I am sucked into the dense clouds
And wet earth of my being,
I am free, I sing, swirling in
spirals of a woman, menstruating, unabashed.

For 'A Doll's House and For All Women

Note: This small poem is my humble dedication to Henrik Ibsen, his phenomenal play ‘A Doll’s House’, and to all of us women folks.

Good, good heavens,
My beautiful, happy home!
Who calls you 'A Doll's House'?
A self-loathing of debt
A pinch of punctuality, a tinge of engagement.
Who calls you 'A Doll's House'?
The messed laundry,the maimed laughter
The sweet scent of prayers that you slaughter
Who calls you 'A Doll's House'?
The burnt garlic, the half-cooked onion smirk,
At a quiet cranny, Nora's crochet and embroidery lurk.
Who calls you 'A Doll's House'?
Nora's starved essence, her miracles and crushing blows?
Ibsen squints from his cold grave.