Sekhar Banerjee (Voices Within)

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 . Lately, he has been selected as the Author of the Month by Setu - a bilingual monthly journal published from Pittsburgh , USA.He considers poetry as a spurious medicine which, if administered sincerely, can cure even the deceased. 

The Pseudonyms: An elegy to Fernando Pessoa            

Every contradictory pseudonym of a poet
visits him in his death ; on the dividing wall, they sit
and silently read

hymns of forgetting
from the pages of a poetry book, sonorously blank
like a traffic sergeant’s head

You tap the periphery of bottomless sleep
It clangs like a cymbal
And you return from your carefully
preserved levitation in autumn ;

We have heard so much
about common bliss and the poetic ache; they coagulate
the days and nights together
I consult the sour smell of parting in the air

and try to know ourselves – the distant pseudonyms
through constant forgetfulness

Cloud Barracks

I count everything -intricately carved minarets
and manholes of the capital
in the cloud barracks ; the forgetful gods are waiting

in my thoughts
as if, nothing has ever happened
without any reason

I refuse to be taught anything new now– I resolve
Far from the capital, I am lost
in this assembly of unending
future and the prospect of the present on a holiday
in a retreat

There is a fresh coat of paint at heart
And there is a tourist smell in the air
In this resort, everything is now almost delicate

Downfall, social scenes the palace intrigue,
the celebrations next week, floral bedspreads ,
women copiously decked up,

enginemen in striped ties and branded suits
stare in my holiday sleep - punctuated

Scarlet Balloon

Every bamboo in south-east Asia is turning
yellow in the groves
in November – the month

of eating oranges in loneliness
Idols of owls and elephants hug
the warriors in sleep , licking the scars

of the massacre and huge defeats .
Colourful balloons
go up between old immigrant’s buildings

gasping for baby food and oxygen
I know I need to mend my shoes
clip my nails

shampoo my arm pits, take extra medicines
for my shadow in grief
I have to search the alleys and back alleys

of autumn

for a scarlet balloon in my sleep

Voices Within-2020 :: Setu, February 2020

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