Poetry: Abin Chakraborty

Abin Chakraborty
Ukraine

Billows of smoke
Have cannoned through my screens
And pierced with shrapnel my skull.

I cower, I writhe
I tunnel into fear
And wake up with craters
In the middle of my wall
Through which I can spot
A mutilated pram
Singed and peppered in ash.

Beyond on the streets 
are people in flocks, 
Dragging their lives 
within misshapen bags
Tagged with uncertain terminal and dates
Plastered in reams of historical texts
Which suddenly have bared their fangs.

They speak in the dialect of Sylhet or Sindh
And quibble about Budapest and Prague.
***


Islands

Laughter and French fries mingle in air
As free flowing waves of cars pass by
Booming with music and light.

Behind in the building that's now being torn
Someone still scrubs those grey cement floors
While on its roof, in a tarpaulin tent
Someone else has put on rice on stove,
Perhaps for a dinner for both.

Alone on the roof, I gaze at these scenes
And ponder on lines that never can meet - 

Islands in fabrics of time.
***


A funeral

They praised him in botanical terms:
How far his branches of knowledge had grown
How his hard work had yielded such fruits
How from his shades and evergreen boughs
So many had grown or found their wings
And bloomed into colours untold.

Some even spoke of the toughness of his bark
That even led some to sail their skiffs
Far beyond these pallid shores.

But what he had needed
and what he had hoped
No one had read out or told.

If only those questions were asked
Perhaps his wrists wouldn't bleed.
***


Solitude

At times it seems
That winter never leaves.

And I am the traveller
that's missed the last train
Seeking some shade
In a cold, sodden night
In a platform that's deserted and bare.

Warmth is the headlight 
that dazzles and leaves
Deepening the dark evermore.

So I try some tricks
To turn shingles to flints
And opt for the posture
Of misanthropic sage
Knowing all the pitfalls that lie.

Solitude can only make sense
When you can choose it at will.
***

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