Aneek Chatterjee (Voices Within)

Aneek Chatterjee is a poet and academic from Kolkata, India. He has been published in reputed literary magazines and poetry anthologies across the globe. His recent credits are: New Asian Writing, Chicago Record, Ethos Literary Journal, Shot Glass Journal, GloMag, The Stray Branch, Ann Arbor Review, Montreal Writes, etc. He authored two poetry collections “Seaside Myopia” & "Unborn Poems and Yellow Prison". Chatterjee has a ph.d. in International Relations; and he taught at the University of Virginia, USA as a Fulbright Visiting fellow. He also received the prestigious ICCR Chair to teach at reputed foreign universities.

Chocolate Square

they won’t allow me to the podium
so i climbed up a tree with great difficulty
i could have climbed the podium
with much ease; they won’t allow

the tree is much above the podium
much higher to me, my now forgotten id,
much higher …
the happy chairs look so small,
flowers decorating the podium look so plastic
faces of vibrant dead men are nothing
but surreal paintings
and the lady announcer
vanished all of a sudden

the podium invited me, why, i do not know
they obstructed my entry, why, i do know
happy chairs turned sad, why, i don’t know
plastic flowers appeared real, why, i do not know
why the lady vanished, i don’t know
why I climbed up the tree, i do know

my solace, my id now scanned the podium
my tired hands and legs instructed me
to stay on the tree
chairs look so small, and the podium
a little box i fancied as chocolate square
in childhood
chocolate chairs adults prefer
in a little box

Dilapidated Wall

The train that slowly moved
past a dilapidated wall,
pink flowers, suddenly took
a reverse gear

A boy surreptitiously
crossed a big whole in an
ancient wall to fish from the
black, silent pond;
pink flowers watching with
surprised birds and ghosts

And in winter nights,
the dilapidated wall crumbled
several times to allow dacoits
with big, primitive guns.
The boy shivered in fear
till the morning whistle
of the locomotive creates
a rhythm of safety
and silent laughter

Inside Out

Wrinkles on my face
are like unhappy lines of
a dry river bed.
They’re saying
I’m getting old. In every winter
breathing trouble ails me
& I’m unable to express my feelings
due to intermittent bouts of cough

Arteries & veins inside my body
are getting thicker due to trashes
gathered from society & flow of
oxygen to my heart is getting choked
day by day

But believe me, I’m young at heart
I still love migratory birds to adorn my gardens
I like mothers peeling oranges for their
children in sunny winter mornings
I like the tingling sounds of
uncertain trams sailing over
I play football with both
green-maroon & yellow-red jerseys
Long addas on cemented rocks
still rejuvenate me like a sudden
poem in the dingy, smoky coffee house.

Don’t look at my face
You may be fooled
Instead dig deep into my heart,
my young heart
I’m waiting for
a magic touch from you
to turn a dry river bed
into a flowing Ganga in search
of the magnanimous ocean

Voices Within-2020 :: Setu, February 2020

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