Voices Within: Gayatri Majumdar

Gayatri Majumdar is founder, editor, publisher of critically acclaimed literary journal, The Brown Critique. Her published and upcoming books include A Song for Bela (a novel), poetry collections Shout (Sampark), I Know You Are Here (Red River) and The Dream Pod (Copper Coin), The lotus of the heart (non-fiction) and ‘Home’ anthology (both by Brown Critique Books), which she co-edited. She is on the Review Committee of the prestigious Yearbook of Poetry in Indian English 2022. As co-founder of ‘Pondicherry Poets’, she has been curating the annual Pondicherry/Auroville Poetry Festival. She regularly features poets/musicians on 'The Brown Critique Gayatri Majumdar' YouTube channel.

Coffee Philosophy

If it were not so easy to find,
I would go crazy trying to locate it
in twin rainbows and brass goddesses.
Then over a cup of coffee you convinced me, 
kind of nonchalantly,
the earth and its luminaries
sprung from a seed
of time and space not of our making;
I didn’t believe you.
Look, how we fall over each other?
Getting high with incense smoke raising our ceilings,
wanting to die again, storm dancing uprooting,
collect rain in a bottle,
give a rain check to a reckless prophet
of a lazy hour stroked with dreams.
The Mother plays the organ –
Jesus points to his sacred heart;
we carry river pebbles in our pockets,
some slip through old holes 
in this collision of time
I sit here writing – not sure why – 
waiting for that coffee with cream
restless, I shift around artefacts and memories
in empty space crammed with myths.

Any Given Day

This time I refuse to capture
what is not there – 
let me instead list what is!
The hum, the buzz, the gurgling; 
the overcast sky and the breeze –
bamboo groves and little girl’s dreams.
Unmeasured time continues to tick
around a wooden clock 
with a slight tilt, mimicking as if
the earth’s axis. 
The laptop sinks into sea,
messages from other galaxies float 
losing their way,
looking for other destination.
Now my mind is agitated as small talks
and pink carnations get caught
in the spider’s web. I cannot sleep!
Across the heart, a little sun calms the eye,
warming empty talks and hatching eggs –
My body arches waxing – the sea swells;
my mind still deleting messages.
This time when I return,
I vow to crack the code of a potter’s dream.

John Reese

It’s been raining so hard here all day
the muddied sea lashing
stunned crows freeze on the ledge of sky
raindrops diamond the windshield 
of John Reese’s car;
someone’s life lays broken on TV
Rainwater continues to drench
the wrinkling afternoon
as salt-caramel ice-cream melt around our mouth
as we try to make this impression 
talking about the universe collapsing
in a bowl of celery and aparijita soup
The eyes tear up with the relentless rain –
all our dreams hacked in a dream
dreamt by nobody
So finally, this situation makes so much sense – 
‘stay tuned for scenes 
from our next episode …’
episode after episode – same soundtrack
Who will now save superhero John Reese?

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