Naina Dey (Voices Within)

Naina Dey
Naina Dey is a critic, translator and creative writer. She has authored several books and her numerous articles, translations and creative work have appeared in books and journals both in India and abroad. She was awarded the “Excellence in World Poetry Award, 2009” by the International Poets Academy, Chennai and twice won the Heart Bytes poetry contest organised by Sacred Hearts College, Kochi. She was a member of a team of young Indian writers to be felicitated jointly by Sahitya Akademi and Visva-Bharati University on the occasion of the 150th birth centenary of Rabindranath Tagore in December, 2010. 


And just when your eyes
Are no longer able
To withstand so much love
So much mercy
They kill you
With their praise of a colleague’s chastity
Or another’s culinary skills…

You sulk outside heaven’s door
With dismembered Woolf and Wollstonecraft.


At the drop of dusk
There is brisk business at the phuchka stand
Mothers with their teenagers
Gather about in groups
A motorbike meanders in between
Trying to make its way          
When the rider’s eyes
Fall on her through the helmet’s slit
A fair oval face
Lit with youth stands out in the crowd
Her long dress gently fluttering

I looked too
At the startled eyes through the helmet’s slit
And then at the comely face
My neck bristles
Thinking of bygone days
And pairs of mesmerized eyes of nameless faces
Floating from the past
That had beheld lustrous hair
And slender form
And then remembered my specks of grey
My extra dollop of cream

Big Hunt
The scream shattered the night
Scream after scream
Like a corrugated nail
Twisting over and over
Each trying to cling onto life
Mingling with the predator’s screech
A cosmic struggle of life and death
For the barn owl
A big hunt tonight

The screams resounded
And made the night quieter, lonelier
The other birds
In other trees
Must have heard alright
Scream after scream
Claws digging deep
The hooked beak
Foraging feathers
To find the mark
Through which life will seep
Emptying the delicate frame

So that death would live again. 

Voices Within-2020 :: Setu, February 2020

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