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

Joie Bose



Crows and crows pass by my window from dawn to dusk,

I watch them as I watch the second hand tick

So hard at work, all the time - no time to rest

Never on top, at most - second best.


Crows have no permanent souls I hear

On judgement day then, they will have no fear

I saw a crow once mutilate a dead rat with its beak

Even murderous crows don't call me a freak.


Everytime I walk out of this door, I hope

Today I'll be a bobbing head in the crowd

Today I'll be an ant on an anthill

Today I'll make everyone proud.


But a million strong gazes scrutinize me

I just want to be a drone but they make me the queen bee

I'm too hideous for the sun to see

I run back into my room, I run back to me.


Crows comfort me, they make up the masses

One day too I will belong somewhere

I fly out with them, I hunt for carcasses

I am a human, I have many layers.




To Wake up


I climb the Everest everyday

To wake up from bed and say, "Good Morning"

Leaving dreams behind as plains and valleys below

A field of flowers I won't go back to

A meandering stream that will one day

Swallow hapless lives - should a wind too strong

Of a lesson too big, overturn the boat

Carrying people from birth to death.


I climb the Everest everyday

To wake up from bed and say, "Good Morning"

Not knowing whose morning I will make or break

The air up here is cold, it's tough to breathe

And I think why do we have to breathe,

Let the air in and out, in and out

Of the body, just to remain afloat

And I question why am I letting the air make love to this loveless soul?


I climb the Everest everyday

To wake up from bed and say, "Good Morning"

When I could stay back home, albiet silent and dark

Burrier in my blanket tent and close my eyes

And see the universe - the planets and the moons

Cirlce around and tango with the Sun

Or perhaps see myself - just happier.






Mutton Stew


I don't like mutton stew for its hearty like cordiality

The insipid grey white broth - a mocking shroud

For the brown shanks of the little kid

Who didn't know when suckling on his mother

That he was born to die to nourish another

Just as Aslam didn't know while praying to Allah

He could serve his god by death and killing.


When I am sick, don't get me mutton stew

For it reminds me of how cruel we are

And don't ask of me a cordial prayer

For I won't play with life, for all your god's sake!






The Room in My Head


Spring is here and flowers are to bloom

But I'm locked up here, here in my room


My room is not in my house, it is in my head

You ask me to get up, but I can't get out of my bed


And there you, all of you have made up an impression

Of this one who indulges in petty depression


I wish what I have could be termed as what you say as indulgence

But stuck in the room in my head it always feels as if I'm paying a penance


I'm cold and blue and soggy from all the water falling from the sky

But when you touch me, my skin is really dry


When you see me, you may see just another pretty face

But I'm stuck in the room in my head and it's not a pretty place


My room is always dark, no matter how much the light

And there are demons who remain, always just in my sight


The dark figures, the shadows looming they shackle me

You may think I'm independent, but I am never really free


I have seen mountains of ants crawling out of my skin

I cried thinking I was all rotten within


And then all those feelings like volcanos erupt

I have to end all this, I have to put a stop


Hope has drizzled out by now, I don't even know what hope is

Friends turn foes and I don't even know what is amis


A tornado ruffles up, my heart and my mind

I have gone far far away and left this world far behind


Why are you calling me, why don't you all leave

These demons are torturing me, they won't even let me sleep


They have put on my head a thorn encrusted wreathe

Trust me I'm trying, but I cannot even breathe


It's snowing outside, but I'm sweating like a pig

Depression is not trivial, depression is big


I'm all locked up in a room inside my head

I can't go out, though I'd rather be with you instead.




About the poet

Joie Bose finds her 'joie de vivre' in Poetry and is popularly known as the Love Poetess for her love for love. Her two books of poetry - Corazon Roto and Sixty Nine Other Treasons (2015) and Amour - Hymns to Aphrodite (2020) echo that. She also loves Calcutta and has edited two anthologies as a tribute to her city - Calcuttadotes (2019) and Calcuttaodes (2019). She has coedited two more anthologies of poetry - Dawn Beyond the Waste (2016) and Cologne of Heritage (2017) She had received the Microsoft GIZ Create to Inspire fellowship for poetry.  Her writings have been featured in anthologies published by Sahitya Academy, Westland publication, Muse India and New Asian Writing. She has performed in London, Tokyo, Shanghai, Stratford and Hanoi amongst others. Her passion for literature has won her the Women par Excellence Award (2017), KKMR's Award (2017) Nissim International Prize (2018) and Bharat Nirman Award (2019).  She is the co-founder of Poetry Paradigm and EC member, Indian Poetry and Performance Library. 

On weekends she helps people on a probono basis being a certified Life Coach. On weekdays she works as a Digital Accelerator with a multinational company.

logo erothanatos

Published by The Alternative.