Probal Basak (Voices Within)

Probal Basak, 31, from India, started his career as a journalist working with Press Trust of India, Business Standard covering mostly socio-political issues. Currently employed as an officer with Department of Information & Cultural Affairs, Government of West Bengal, he writes poetry and his recent works have been published in journals like Dissident Voice, New Verse News, Spillwords, Setu.

A Dead Kingdom
         
She was dead before they noticed she was dying.
They brought a defibrillator –
cannons of water to sprinkle and tear gas to breathe.
They operated, defibrillator kept changing hands
       between the who’s who.
Like a solitary guardrail trying to stop a coup.

At funeral there was no one mourning, only fiery slogans
grieving the market crash –
slogans to put up barbed fencing securing their hatred.
They gathered, screamed – everything at royal behest
         that protest can’t undo.
Like a forsaken bandage that blood oozed through.


Stateless

She is a careless scribbling on the map
but she refuses to accept it.
Not when the lung starts to squeeze
and they stamp on the wings
that silently gets clipped.
Not when the idle wheel on flag runs away
to ferry forgotten stateless tears
that touches no cheeks.
Not when tired legs of barbed fence
long for a leisure walk locking fingers
that no one holds.

She is a careless scribbling and
she refuses to accept it.

When someone tries to erase the lines
she summons the night owls
and they lock her in the cage.


Shelling

Busy fingers of a rough hand making the sound of silence
slip into familiar groove to pry them open with patience, 
I see the green peas, losing their weak pod shell defence, 
are kept in the frying pot amid odour of burning incense.
More and more hands, more and more fingers join to shell
And there, a hidden pea moth, for whom they were on trail,
Gets plucked. Alas, the addicted fingers can’t see, can’t smell,

I see the worm taking all the green peas along to the hell.

Voices Within-2020 :: Setu, February 2020

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