Sabarna Roy: Poetry (Voices Within 2021)

Sabarna Roy is a much-awarded, critically acclaimed bestselling author of 6 literary books and 1 technical book, which has been translated into 8 major European languages. His 7th literary book: Fractured Mosaic will hit the markets in February, 2021.He was awarded the Literoma Laureate Award in 2019, Literoma Star Achiever Award 2020, Random Subterranean Mosaic: 2012 – 2018 won the best book of the year 2019, the A-List Award for excellence in fiction by the NewsX Media House, Certificate for The Real Super Heroes for spreading a spirit of positivity and hope during the COVID-19 Pandemic from Forever Star India Award 2020, the Certificate for Participation in the Indo Russian Friendship Celebration 2020, and the Literoma Golden Star Award 2020: Lifetime Achievement.



Poem-1

I look at the starlit horizon
The fine gravelly quartz balls trickle down by gravity monotonously from the upper cone of the hour-clock
An allergic hissing sound creeps inside your eardrums: Time is running away

You feel three crimson balloons leave your soul up in the air 
They float; you look at them

Your wife plays rummy with her lovers at Cafe Kali
Your kids are cool dudes: They watch Kanan Gill and Trevor Noah on Netflix and laugh their hearts out in their star-lit rooms

You have wasted your life where you have lost the capacity to love and be loved

It is not the strangeness of loneliness
It is the inertia and peace of a dimensionless numbness
That you are at peace with yourself 
You feel no anxiety, no agony, no pain

You remember your days of youth with small shots of morphine
From Neelanjan, who studied at the Calcutta Medical College
For happy bursts of sleep

You now wish for morphine so that you could dive inside an unending blackness
To avoid the starlit horizon
To avoid the allergic hissing sound of the hour-clock
To avoid the balloons leaving your soul

The fever shoots up, and you sweat 

As your eyelids kiss, your ears echo with crooning screams of Monisha reaching you from miles away
Who blamed you for writing hopeless trash of loathing and self-pity 
And left you to marry Neelanjan, the city's top-most gynecologist and obstetrician
Monisha herself a top-class anesthetist

The fever shoots up, and you sweat 

You have lost the zest for life, as Abani da, your mentor, would tell you
Who would also warn you that you were born with a feeble heart and no appetite for life
Possibly because you were born two months ahead of time

The fever shoots up, and you sweat

You look at the starlit horizon with hope
For Abani da advised you to live with slivers of hope 
A man should never allow despair to win over hope in times of personal and public calamity

You try to remember the time-ravaged face of Abani da 
Who adorned a mystic smile 

Like those inflated crimson balloons that left your soul 

The fever shoots up, and you sweat

I look at the starlit horizon
The fine gravelly quartz balls trickle down by gravity monotonously from the upper cone of the hour-clock
An allergic hissing sound creeps inside your eardrums: Time is running away
***


Poem-2

The rains, nowadays, remind me of the grasslands of childhood
The unending water-logged fields spread across the horizon
The beauty of naked adolescent boys 
Nascent muscular torsos entwined in motion 
Pacing and swerving a wretched football 
Against the friction of water and blades of uneven grassy growth
Pools of mud
Sheets of water falling from the sky
Speeding drenched cheetahs as if in a choreographed wild opera
In slow motion 
The last move and then a shooting volley inside the goal
Hands thrown up in joy 
Applause rocking and roaring as a bolt of massive thunder 
Divides the universe into two teams
One that wins and the other that does not 

The drenched cheetahs run again for another goal

Images ravaged by time float through my mind like ancient cinema 

Aging is reaching tranquillity 
Aging is getting plundered by the pain of memories of other worlds
***


Poem-3

Sandy got up inside his dungeon: smelly riff-raff
Another dawn
Shining darkness on broken stones
Tired
Thirsty 
Loveless
Another dawn
Sandy crawls out and attempts to stand up
To look at the strange sky

This sky
And, the arid road has been with him for a lifetime

He lost his mother
His father
His brother 
On the road 

Sandy cries 
The salt in his teardrops on his tongue reminds him of an ocean:
Of his childhood

Sandy starts his day walk
The agility returning to his warped skeleton gradually:
With his sack on his hunchback 

He is driven by a dream of a field blooming with pumpkins 
That he wants to harvest, own, and eat

And sleep among pumpkins and die while the wind blows through him
***


NH 44

My hands
Calloused, weathered, and beaten
By sowing seeds
During Kharif and rabi 

In soils – hot and frozen
Hydrated and desiccated

Forever against the coldness of the cosmos 

I have provided stale food on the rusted iron plate of an impoverished soul
I have provided gourmet cuisine on the ornate cutlery of oligarchs 

Tonight I stand on the highway with my comrades 
The night sky invisible in the fog 
The fire that we lit to beat the freeze burns with a mystic halo 

The government –middlemen of oligarchs – do not listen to us with empathy 
For they do not understand what soil, air, and water have taught us

Why is it that I who produce rice; with passing years, can no longer afford to eat any more rice
Why is it that I who produce pregnant oranges; with passing years, can no longer afford to taste a slice

In the name of policies, you hurl bombs at me

Unburden tear gas and water cannons when I raise my voice

Do not push me back beyond the wall that my spine bends against the steel of concrete
And, I am forced to take up torches of fire and throw them at you where I know you, and your cronies will burn and melt
I tear your larger-than-life-flag under which you want my unfailing loyalty and trust
I go berserk, amok like a rabid dog
And, sting at you, and all your likes

Who are compradors of oligarchs

I know it will become easier for you to encounter-finish my body in the name of self-defense

My friend, Sandy: the poet, who told me there is no meaning to life and is otherwise a social misfit
Tells me tonight it feels wonderful to stand by a pulsating crowd engulfed in vaporous condensation dripping like rain in slow motion
A discotheque of life playing out on the highway on a winter night


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