Poems of Gopal Lahiri

Gopal Lahiri
What is that hour?

I walk on the pavement, shadows lengthen,
the red sunset touches the skin of the high-rises.

I am not carrying any umbrella; I don’t want rain.
The sky greys, unaware of my mistakes. 

The old city lies, the ambulance goes past hooting by the
car shade, the evening makes it way to new dizziness.

Someone leaves a rubber sandal near the brick wall,
concrete steps go slippery, to the edges of the water.

There are people ahead of me, carrying white flowers.
so, I wait, and more wait, and they leave.

A slow sadness holds me firm, eventually loses grip.
I find now a large hole in my recollection.

I am all alone, a train to catch, a deadline nearing…
What is the time, what is that hour?
***


Long Read

Between these pages I weave a magical trapdoor
you come and go, leaving unknown palmprints
somewhere underneath the red pillows.

I see Kandinsky canvas still outshines the rainbow
without losing the rain, because those who can
no longer drop flame petals and yellow buds,

Assemble on the green courtyard, singing almanac songs,
cyclists on the street still circle the round square
and on returning home, keep feathers in old diaries.

You dance to the sameness, collect red yellow synonyms
and when I do not want to go on with more words
you write long read stories in dark blue ink.
***


Contours

I find while stroking the wall, I know
where the image is, imprinting the isobar
contours you now see in my face,
the elevation, the twist, the sink zone
the puzzle without white squares
as I revert back to the secondary level.

That was when arteries were lit with
innocence and laughter, foam and froth,
and of beauty that thriving on a single look,
an allegory of life perhaps, I do not understand
that thing, even now, a book I borrow 
always talks to me with my father’s face.
***

Short-Bio: Gopal Lahiri is a bilingual poet, critic, editor, writer and translator with 24 books published, including five jointly edited books. His poetry is also published across various anthologies as well as in eminent journals of India and abroad. His poems are translated in 16 languages. He has been nominated for Pushcart Prize for poetry in 2021. He is the recipient of the Poet of the Year Award in Destiny Poets, UK, 2016, Setu Excellence Award, 2020, Pittsburgh, US and Indology Life-Time Achievement award, West Bengal, India. His latest collection of poems ‘Alleys are Filled with Future Alphabets.’ has received wide acclaim. He has recently edited an anthology of poems ‘Voices Within’, published by Setu publications.

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