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

Amit Shankar Saha

The March of the Plague

 

This February
is not February.
There is no sharpness
in the air.
There is a laziness.
The coffee doesn't turn cold
if not taken soon.
The fan starts
the marathon run slowly
for the last stretch
is too far.
There is a stillness
of indecision
in the afternoons.
This February there is
a bit of deja vu too.
Not cruel, I say.
Next month a locust cloud
hangs for an invasion
of my memory.
The plague is soon.

Once in March

 

March is the cruelest month,
it brings back the pachyderms
to trample on the fronds
of yesterday.

On the foothills of my mind
no tracks have been laid
that lead to the forests
where naked emotions dwell.

Only you. Only you once
encountered them,
stumbled upon their
shameless existence.

Remember that river,
where we built our stoic dams,
whose sluice gates broke that rainy day
and flooded two friendly states,

it is still in spate.
Now that winter's gone
the pachyderms return,
wading through watery ways

where strolled once our happy days.
March is the cruelest month,
I say, you don't say,
but the rivered heart betrays.

 

After the Ides of March

 

In the month of March
everything gets repeated
but nothing is the same.

At the tip of the toe
a bud germinates
and grows into a grove,
shading with mind-canopy
the existence of my body.

Spring paints my pupils green.
They cavort in the parks.
The summer heat lulls
with splashes evergreen
until autumn squeezes 
the pulp of my heart.

Something breaks, a rib
perhaps, and nothing…

Winter covers with icy sheen
all, all words, breaths, sighs,
times, times lost and times gained…

No birds build nests in the trees.

A wind sleeps in my lungs.
A yellow leaf travels
into my head and at the tip
of my toe now grow weeds.

 

 

In Anticipation of a Few Treacheries Still Unmet

 

On my bed summer snores
for a latent rebirth.

I hang my old days 
on my clothes peg beside
the chirping birds of
memory. One flies
away and I rush
out hoping to chase it
to your door. Your address,
I never asked, did I?

The withered foliage
of my brain weathers
a storm. Birds keep flying
away but the tree
of heart is stuck with
immobility.

What can spring bring 
if nothing is the same?

In the well of our eyes
an escaped drop will hang
and die. What runs in
the veins will not change.
But no blushes will bloom 
on the sad tendrils of 
our face for spring’s gone
and the new spring is of
unmet treacheries.

 

 

 

Petrichor

 

The petrichor of last year
still lingers in my mind,
even though there is 
nothing left behind
.
Last year we had a nest
of singing bluebirds.
They sang the blues out
all through the summer
.
Your tears evaporated
in the heat of the days.
Nothing fell on the earth
until the first rains
.
The bluebirds metamorphosed
into stormy petrels,
flew away with the clouds
and never came back
.
Last winter it was cold,
it froze my memory.
This summer it is hot
but there are no birds to sing
.
The static clouds in my eyes
await my skin's burning
and in the empty nest
slouches emptiness

About the poet

Amit Shankar Saha is a widely-published award-winning poet and short story writer. He has won the Poiesis Award for Excellence in Literature, the Wordweavers Prize, and the Nissim International Runner-up Prize for Poetry. He has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and the Griffin Poetry Prize. He is the co-founder of Rhythm Divine Poets, the Assistant Secretary of Intercultural Poetry and Performance Library and the Fiction Editor of Ethos Literary Journal. His poems have been included in Best Indian Poetry Anthology 2018. He has read his poems at Sahitya Akademi, Apeejay Kolkata Literary Festival and at other literary events. His two collections of poems are titled Balconies of Time and Fugitive Words and his poetry chapbook is titled 'llicit Poems. He has co-edited a volume of short stories titled Dynami Zois. His articles, stories and poems have appeared in newspapers, magazines, journals and anthologies nationally and internationally like Ann Arbor Review, The Winnow Magazine, Harbinger Asylum, Tuck Magazine, Borderless Journal, Entropy Mag, Duane’s PoeTree, Queen Mob’s Teahouse, Le Simplegadi, International Times, Oddball Magazine, The Wagon Magazine, Shot Glass Journal, Cha: an Asian Literary Journal, Asia Writes, The Cauldron, The Pangolin Review, Hakara Journal, Estrade Magazine, Four Quarters Magazine, Coldnoon, Muse India, Palki, The Leaky Pot, Kritya, Writing Raw, Learning and Creativity, Dissident Voice, Different Truths, Journal of Bengali Studies, Desi Journal, Desilit Magazine, Boloji, Rupkatha, Langlit, Diplomatist, Asian Signature, Setu Mag, The New Indian Express, The Statesman, etc. He has a PhD in English from Calcutta University and teaches in the English Department of Seacom Skills University. 

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Published by The Alternative.