Voices Within: Aneek Chatterjee

Aneek Chatterjee is a poet and academic from Kolkata, India. He has been published in reputed literary magazines and anthologies across the globe. He authored 14 books including three poetry collections and a novel. His third poetry collection “of Ashes and Persiflage” (New Delhi and Kolkata, Hawakal) came out in November 2020. Chatterjee has a Ph.D. in International Relations; and has been teaching in leading Indian and foreign universities. He was a Fulbright Visiting faculty at the University of Virginia, USA and a recipient of the prestigious ICCR Chair to teach abroad. His poetry has been archived at Yale University.


Lonely Lamppost

Standing here for decades like
a lonely lamppost, bereft of any lamp.
Beneath, human beings walk and sit
silently; like a magical show 
of sudden appearances.
They don't argue, don't quarrel, don't cry.
They only walk silently. They only follow.
And when they're tired, they sit and sleep
below, with fellow stones strewn around.
On a cloudy morning, in a clever Saturday, 
one stone got tired of all the glare. 
His friends climbed up silently 
and killed the lamp, 
the lonely lamp, in a lonely lamppost 
that used to giggle.

Now all stones can walk and work silently.
Sit and sleep without any glare, any giggle, any light. 
Now everybody can follow 
the desired in dark; 
talk in hush syllables, without argument. 
Now they look at the lamppost 
bereft of lamp and light,
and cherish a crippled sculpture, 
designed by stones in saturdays and mondays, 
all days, months and years.
***


Amoeba

The vast, ancient ceiling was 
ridiculing me from above. 
Suddenly I doubted my existence 
and felt like a tiny insect 
or an amoeba, you can’t normally see. 
Quickly it dropped two huge iron beams 
to crush my fragile glass, -- my id 
 
After a devastating war, the must-survive 
amoeba looked up 
to view many visible cracks 
on the powered ceiling 
***


Mother

She sent me to the river 
to bring water she believed 
best for her plants. 
Her garden had many colors 
and her kitchen; and the sweaters 
she knitted. 
Our drawing room had many colors, and 
our plates for lunch and dinner. 
She smelt my sweater, in my absence, 
I knew. She smelt my eyes when I 
was before
 
Now the glow of twilight 
is smelling her; there is no water 
in any river I know; all plates are pale white 
and broken. She is lying now; and the discourteous 
twilight has stolen all colors in the world
to shower on her.
***

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