Sharmila Ray (Voices Within 2023)

Sharmila Ray is a poet and non-fiction essayist, writing in English and anthologized and featured in India and abroad. Her poems, and non fictional essays have appeared in various national and international magazines and journals. She is an Associate Professor of the Department of History at City College, Kolkata. She has authored eleven books of poetry. She has edited a bilingual anthology of American and Indian writers-Bridging Continents with Gopal Lahiri. She was on the English Board of Sahitya Akademi (National Body of Letters, Govt. of India), Conducted poetry workshops organized by British Council, Poetry Society of India, Sahitya Akademi. Currently she edits English poetry section of Darabar Jaiga, a noted Bengali journal. She has been reading her poems in India and abroad. Her poems have been translated into Hindi, Bengali, Urdu, Slovene, Hebrew and Spanish and Uzbeck. She has received many awards for poetry. She has been reading her poems in various National and International Poetry Festivals.

 

 

Poem Infinite

 

Your poem

My poem                                      

Our poem

transform my exile.

Like shading pencil they create design

to merge now with the past.

Ecstatic I breathe its fragrance

taking each word that poured out

of the heart to invent a red dress,

where clouds pass without rain

and azure-rose landscape embroider the hem.

From distant lands other poems zig zag and

fall upon the dress to create a pattern.

The sentences wet reflect other skies, legends,

drowned cities and scattered stones on the shore line.

They lend a texture to the dress.

 

Wearing the dress I plaster myself with word-smoothie.

As if this was not enough blizzard of words settle on the dress.

They change into Japanese cherry blossoms and

Pissarro’s ‘Bouquet of Pink’.

I know they are ephemeral

What will remain are only memories to be born again

to be renewed,

to be regenerated.

 

Bliss

Mesmerised

 

Rini walked along.

Along sharp stones and pink white shells. It was beautiful.

She wanted to organize the weather, stuck arrows into rain clouds and suck out the rain. Her throat was thick with passion and she felt the wind on her waist.

 

She walked along…

 

Suddenly the moments became very private and words, there was no need. It fluttered, flew

and then dropped

at her feet. Anything and everything was no more distant than a breath in and out.

 

How long do you think this lasted ?

 

There was no answer

only

river voices

railroad whispers

wave after wave unending…

 

Copernican Space              

 

Down moist sounds I recapture frames-

Soft undulations of the mind holding enigmas.

Christ strolling on the Riviera

Amrita Pritam on Wall Street

Neruda and I drinking coffee in a small bistro.

obscure history of the Gangetic plains and Gypsy vocabulary,

all are fragments to create full story, half story, unsaid story

on the Copernicus Space.

Maybe someday they will metamorphose into reality

waiting for a new century to decipher.


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