Sekhar Banerjee: Poetry (Voices Within 2021)

Sekhar Banerjee is an author. He has four poetry collections and a monograph on an Indo-Nepal border tribe to his credit. Sekhar’s works have been published in The Bitter Oleander, Indian Literature, Kitaab, Muse India, Ink Sweat and Tears, Setu, Panoply, Bengaluru Review, Mad Swirl, Cafe Dissensus, Borderless Journal, RIC Journal, Spillwords, Mad in Asia Pacific, Dissident Voice and elsewhere. He is a former Secretary of Paschimbanga Bangla Akademi under Government of West Bengal. He lives in Kolkata, India.


You wake up early in the morning to count 
the number of common crows 
on messy tram wires near 
Ezra Street west; they sit like an assembly or a conference 
or an urgent municipal meeting 
and you try to make a guess at the spread 
of love and sickness 

Does an even number of crows signify
something adequate like a happy couple or two symmetrical sides
of a closed gate? 
Is odd more public than private? 
You don’t know if you can break this sequence 
of symmetry and oddness 
and you start comparing yourself

with a leap year – a shortage, 
without reaching out to any conclusion 
about those things 
which we generally term ‘X` 

while masked lovers and astrologers freely roam
in odd and even numbers 
with brittle goldfish jars – a jar, a fish, a loss 
in Calcutta – the old lunch box

A Moth’s Itinerary 

Sometimes you may find 
an Atlas moth trapped like an outdated longing 
in the maroon underground coach 
running fast towards Clarke Quay 

and you instantly know you are going 
to Dhoby Ghaut. The moth might also be going
to Dhoby Ghaut or returning from Punggol 
or Australia

like a somnambulist. It walks around Bugis 
in June or roams in the Arab Street 
in spring
They are not like the domestic bees and I don’t know 
much about a moth’s itinerary 

or how it travels from one place to another place,
from one hotel room to another 
hotel room, one continent to another continent
like a tired migrant in search of

But it always remains to be seen 
if we see them returning 
more often than not from their endless trips, as if, 
to know that there is someone somewhere 
still waiting 


I have christened my backpack Augustine
He sits all day long, 
almost in squatting position, on my back

We harvested enough lullabies, circuses
and death in our backpack 
since the ancient luggage makers discovered
Augustine on our shoulders 
in a prehistoric dawn 
when our nightmares and dreams leaked 

from our sleep and formed Augustine 
on our back 
like any other small thing that holds the large –
like a small photograph 
of a large mountain, or an epitaph

1 comment :

  1. শেখরবাবু, ইংরেজি তেমন বুঝিনা, কিন্তু তিনটি কবিতা পড়ে এটুকু বুঝলাম, আপনার poetic ইমেজারিগুলো সত্যিই অনন্য, অসাধারণ। ধন্যবাদ।
    নির্মল ধর।


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