Shamayita Sen: Poetry (Voices Within 2021)

Shamayita Sen is a PhD research scholar at the Department of English, University of Delhi. She has been writing poetry since her days at Bethune College, Kolkata. Her research articles and poems have been published in various academic and literary journals in India and abroad. Her first collection of poems, For the Hope of Spring: hybrid poems, has been published by Hawakal Publishers (2020). She is from Kolkata, currently based in Delhi.


The Ghat

I entered the chambers with

a sorry daze. My face was painted in

red and blue, tired by the half-a-decade
long journey
. My father wrapped in white

has already been served on low rising
. The ghats smoking in the distance
sprinkled with dark lights,
the purohit stood as old and frail as my

father's face. His spectacles were

taken off and handed over to the cleaning

lady waiting around. I stood there

wondering that the sweet marinade of

curd and rice offered to Baba would
a purpose better if provided

to the old purohit or the maid lurking

in the shadows. The fire in my hand

caught his beard momentarily

bringing profuse tears I know not

who I was shedding for for I was certain

Baba would wake up any moment now

and look for his spectacles. He has never

slept too soundly in such cacophony.



I cut my finger and

touch the sky like it is

an artist’s canvas.

The moon, slippery

like a smile, the clouds

coil like hidden symbols

in a dream. The blood from

my finger creates a halo, 

sometimes inspiring,

sometimes disheartening

like a hurt sparrow browsing

through fallen dried leaves.

My finger smears red

into the endless blue

forming an unholy violet,

and I know not

what to make of evenings




I roam the childhood
of my school

whose walls of ochre

drip soot-like darkness.

Words carved on

chipped restroom and

classroom walls stick

to my finger nails,

my teeth, my boots

like discarded chewing gum

and mean abuses

The soot mould licks

these words off my hair

wet with beads

of sweat and tears

angrily wiped clean

with the back of a

lonesome morose hand.

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