Volume 4 Issue 2, June 2020
Special Issue for Indian Poetry

Gopal Lahiri

Exposure

 

the days struggle

twilight

disappearing fast

in the courtyard

the darkness sounds steely

spoken words linger

in silence.

 

the whisper travels fast

old staircases

exposing

the hidden stories

in the breeze

torn pages flying

in search of answers

 

in the corner room

night sounds

mediaeval

the mirror sketching

old wounds

dialogues are now in

long queues

 

 

New Script

 

From across the canal

The mountainous silhouette come and go

In a halo of clouds,

 

Haphazard high rises hugging the shore,

The dense and fertile lava-land

Dishing up delectable local produce.

 

Images of slum dwellers and smoke of old factories,

A retelling of a modern nightmare,

Where poverty segregation and doziness hold sway,

 

In this curious time capsule 

The old man on a donkey in a narrow dingy lane,

Sketching strange figures,

 

It is all about 

Changing centuries,

Script your unforgettable dream. 

 

 

 

Stagecraft

 

There is a plenty of craft in twilight clouds

Relentless in creating magic

Of colours

Energy never dipping,

Entropy has now become a leitmotif.

 

Ignoring migrainous grey cloud

The evening blossoms

In eerie milk like fog ambling across the horizon,

The crystal-clear night sky is now ubiquitous 

From every angle.

 

Knowing how much salacious and

savage can time be,

For a period that witnesses the

Shift from the past to present, 

Hidden stories draw on a cache of scripted letters.

 

 

 

 

I Still Love

 

I have kept in my hidden box the exosphere,

a place where the cerulean air recording

stories of the distant past.

 

From where I live and take breath,

It’s impossible to fathom the depth and spread

Of the mystery and magic.

 

Let the glass windows open up

Lighting up the stars and galaxies and wipe out

The anguish and miseries.

 

There is no scripture to tell me the right path

Still striving to know the difference

Between sermons and love songs, religion and terror.

 

I promise I still love and desire the spilled

Sun over my naked skin and bone

Of my coming back to you again and again.

 

Let us not fight over the yellow border

A grey evening have sewn stich by stich our love

Unlock the lips in a slow motion.

 

I still love, I promise I still love.

 

 

 

 

Leafy Past

 

One of us hurrying to cover up fear

I read lying down- your inland letter

Eyes blinded in wariness,

Find myself alone looking on the mirror

My past is gliding like fallen leaves

Slowly in silent sighs.

 

We sleep uncared on the wooden floors

Forgotten behind the concrete wall,

Our hands rags like torn feathers

Caress the white window panes

See the left-over moments in front of

The barricaded apartments.

 

We always have a love stored in the iron chest

may something end now, we do not know

those dark drops of yours and mine

before the raging storm

Barely touch our buried fingers,

I call out your name, only the days flicker out.

 

 

 

About the poet

Gopal Lahiri was born and grew up in Kolkata, India. He is a bilingual poet, writer, editor, critic and translator and published in English and Bengali language. He has authored nine volumes of poetry in English and seven volumes in Bengali and jointly edited two anthologies of poems in English, a book on selected songs of Tagore translated in English and published one translation work of short stories of Israel.  His poetry is also published across various anthologies as well as in eminent journals of India and abroad. His poems are also translated in French, Spanish, Bengali, Hindi, Punjabi and Urdu. He has been invited to various poetry festivals including World Congress of Poets recently held in India and also participated in various poetry readings and panel discussion organised by Sahitya Akademi in Kolkata, Manipur and Dera Baba Nanak, Punjab. He is the recipient of the Poet of the Year Award in Destiny Poets, UK, 2016.

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Published by The Alternative.