Poetry: Ajanta Paul (Tagore Special)

Ajanta Paul



Names there are

For most things, we know,

But some there are

That in us grow,


Gradually in organic aggregate

Compensating the merely sensate,

Or in sudden seizures of sight bestow

Linked miracles in an orchestral flow.


Those nameless intuitions

Impossible to christen,

Weave an overwhelming pattern

Of stories without words,


Music without notes,

Broken, wooden flutes

Sounding despair's antidotes

In life's lilting litotes.


His is such a name, found everywhere

Dispersed in the atmosphere,

A ray of light, a falling tear,

A soaring song somewhere near,


That heavenly hammering of notes

Crashing against the door of consciousness

To let in the divine madness

Unleashed through his supernal sense.


His is that indefinable presence

Fusing nascence with prescience

Deciphering cryptic codes from a cosmic core

To achieve an incredible sapience.




Who Lives in Whom?


Who lives in whom

Is what I've often wondered.

Is it not proud to assume the dead

Live again, in our memory

When we celebrate their lives,

Or remember them otherwise?


So powerful are we, indeed

That we can pull the sleeping spirits

From their rest,

Achieve resurrections at will

For the comfort of our own minds,

Before the world comes calling again!


Duty is done, you may say,

The framed photograph catches the eye,

Incense, candles and flowers

One must admit, have a way 

Of urging one, not to betray

That loved one gone early in the day.


Is it true we bring them back

On the mantelpiece of memory,

Rehabilitate them in a life since changed

To bask in the glow of fresh eulogy?

I should think it's the other way around,

Where silence gives meaning to sound.


The living, their sense of being derive

From that eternal past, that well of stillness

Whence they sporadically retrieve

Their lost loved ones, before relinquishing them 

Once again to their death,

Truer than this flickering flame called breath.



Bio: Dr. Ajanta Paul is a poet, short story writer and literary critic who is currently Principal and Professor of English at Women's Christian College, Kolkata. A Pushcart nominee, her poems and short stories have been featured in literary journals such as Spadina Literary Review, The Pangolin Review, Lothlorien Poetry Journal, Verse-Virtual, The Piker Press, Harbinger Asylum, Shot Glass Journal, Written Tales Magazine, The Bombay Review, The Statesman and Setu Bilingual Journal, to name some. Ajanta has also published a collection of short stories - The Elixir Maker and Other Stories in 2019 (Authorspress, New Delhi). 

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