Poetry - Rita Bhattacharjee

Rita Bhattacharjee


(An ode to violence-torn Kashmir--
in memory of the beauty that she used to be).

I didn't travel much, but I
visited paradise
once upon a time
when school closed
for annual festivities
in autumn, many
moons ago. I remember
lofty mountains
where Pan's pipes
fluted pastoral
ditties, a merry
and melancholy mix
of mountain tunes
to soothe the bored ear
and manic mind.
Chinar leaves
floated on divided
wings, a celebration
of the beauty
in death, and
a promise of new
beginnings in transit.
My paradise had
a sky majestic,
cerulean blue
with strokes of
white, God's breath
against chilled windowpanes,
meth for the masses.
I banished myself
from paradise
to willingly go back
to monochromatic
city existence,
life's balance sheet
the slave master.

In my fallen state
memories of paradise
faded and dimmed,
till one day
flickering images
beckoned once again,
me back
to the very same
spot where I had
stood aeons ago--
something had changed
in my paradise,
green valleys
were charred
black and bleak,
rivers had turned
a muddy crimson hue--
the sky had lost its
cerulean blue tint
and was trapped
sighs and tears,
a dull grey. Saints
and sinners
lamented in unison
as rights
and retribution
jousted for the
golden trophy--
Kashmir, the fallen paradise
of my childhood.

Eden Denied

between sleep and wakefulness
I float in a tranquil sea, instinctively
knowing I am
I have no
I am lulled by
half-forgotten dreams
faintly-remembered faces
barely-audible voices
that croon to me
from afar
for generations
over centuries–
my time is infinite
free of the weight of
at last I am one with the universe

cocooned in
till a mortal gateway
sucks me into a world of
my sharp wail the only protest
at being played as a pawn
yet again–
will have to wait.


your skin, shining orange
I peeled, drank
chilled with a dash of honey
for breakfast.
your eyes, black olives
I nibbled, crunchy
with a mix of sweetness and salt
at lunch.
your heart, blood red
I carved, painstakingly
with my sharpest silver
for dinner.
I consumed
the last morsel of you–
not even aftertaste
yet you appear every day
in the mirror
in the crowd
on the bed
your black locks, serpentine
my shackles.
your green gaze, venomous
my prison.

1 comment :

  1. excellent write.very deep write.great wordsmith.god bless the poet.


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