Poetry: Sekhar Banerjee

Sekhar Banerjee is a bilingual poet. He has three collections of poems and a monograph on an Indo-Nepal border tribe to his credit. His poems in English have been published in some of the major literary journals in India and abroad.

parallel life

During this asymmetrical autumn
somewhere in an empty field
near your ancestor’s sold out building

over the border of unintentional myths
and the thoughts that prolong in the middle of
an aged clerk’s sleep,
an ordinary blade of grass suddenly quivers
out of turn in autumn
near a settlement of the refugees

This is an apology for living
beyond history - the lost land-lord of ease

Now, you must learn why
silence is almost a parallel life
***

holidays 

The things I have decided to do
before reaching the railway station –

looking for my seat, a cigarette to finish,
calls before returning, going to the washroom,

some more thoughts to conclude, assessing
the co-passenger, looking at the newspaper,
inviting some final peace of mind

One by one they get done
Only some odd pistons stuck in my head
and an incompleteness in my sigh

for the aborted thoughts of a new life
that I have left behind
***

errata for the second edition 

Please open the autobiography at page sixty nine –
the last sentence
It should read ‘pretence’ in place of ‘change’
 ( It’s getting late, the last metro would leave at ten
I need to go home early . The locality looks
almost Jurassic after eight in the evening
and the Epicurean moon,
you won’t believe it, just melts on every
lamp post in the street, and
I always think of packing my old valise. )

Would you please erase ‘ existence’
and write ‘ naturalized citizens’ ?
(I have had bad dreams about Gods
And the Demons, you know . All starts
with a capital letter.
The pathway to my rented home gets stretched
on full moon nights and I walk on and on .
It never ends. It is elastic. )
Anyway, at page 123, second paragraph, last line,
do replace ‘logic’ with ‘ psychologist ’
and ‘emotion’ with ‘wild hyacinths’

Would you be kind enough to remove
all commas after ‘speed’
from chapter nine to twenty six ?
( I have completely forgotten about my past lives.
I can only remember that I was a cat
in my last life. I was imported here
by a little refugee girl .I died in a road accident
and I was born again
as a citizen of a new land.)
Would you please insert an interrogation mark
just after my autobiography’s last sentence ?
(I became a refugee again and I crossed
the border in search of another world.
Nothing actually lasts.
And the last sentence again becomes the first. )
***

Shadow

The shadow of a huge edifice
stands by me
silently
it looks at things I need

to contemplate on:
re-evaluating the course, waiting
for a better time, slowing down

It scolds and teaches me about
Darwin’s theories
and the religion of selection

In the middle of a day, I stand
under the sun
with the edifice on my head


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