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

Ritamvara Bhattacharya



A mass of moth eaten cloud

 threadbare and carefully spun

 around a red bullish moon.





 in the end, the cold cave weaver piece together

 the night in parts:



  the map is lost in the missing eye.



 I've come home- the way back

 longer and unsure, long as a life

 wrapped against a battering wind




               in long black lines

 head held back

               throat thrust; trapped

 in static cruciform.



 Retracing steps

                                                            (washed out) ahead of shadows




 I have scavenged

 the tide,                                       (leaving in




 if my feet still have the right to head back-





 Home coming to the unearthly sky

 to the shake of tangerines in the autumn wind

 to the sun inlaid with pearls

 to the streets spacious with laughter and joy

 to the dispersed pigeons on a copper cable wire

 to the cries and blood shot eyes -





 I have come back to you,

 your staring

 as dark as to its transparency





 the gang of ugly rag dolls


 to the cries of bullet shots

 inched in the sky;



  thick through chest

 a missed target and it pierced the dreamy osmanthus tree, an adamant leaf battles it's stay, stays in parts swirling in fragments.



 Let me hold you, my home

 in my tin box until the small window




 O my feet take to a storm



                                                      and          fly







To Let In


She cuts the blood red rose

 of its stem and peels off each thorn

 carefully pinching through their rustic coarseness, beauty engulfed between her fingers, she carries it off in a direction of the storm clouds that only moved but never spilled.

 After few hours, the clouds rumbled away to the farther south and the flower, the blood red rose drooped down between her fingers.

 She squashed the colour darker between her palms and at last bled the blood of mortal self

 Razor sharpen the cut and the thick blood pasted on her skin seeking cure -

 Cure is never a medicine

 and thus every day she bleeds

 Pins, broken glass, blades, tooth combs

 Anything that bleeds her through

 Each cut lets some light in to her cuts, her scars and all that she held between her offended thighs!

 She cuts so that she heals

 Her last rite before she leaves

 And the first cut was never known

 for she never bled to know how much deeper is deep

 still they say," The first cut is the deepest."





Where Our Breathing Takes…


I wonder where do so many birds fly to

Sometimes I love to count and at times counting gives away to its own countless count.

My fingers giving away to the task, hold each other tight and my body becomes a pair of eyes 

It is the month of April and May lurks in misty rain, they had read the weather so.

The barks of the casuarina trees walk with us 

sometimes inversely with roots touching the sky

Weightless, brave, the images are strangers waving across the field, with/without a flag

An ominous monsoon approaches in May

Birds in air that was beyond counting in fingers clash against each other

War of winds intersect and feathers stop their way, in midair suspended

they form a specimen, a constellation

a calm alliance to where we once belonged

a word or a turn of phrase...Places to where our breathing takes.





In Another Life


I went out 

for the stars to look at me

 wish they had eyes!

Don't they have a pair or another

to give it to the gagged sky

Yesterday the sky was shot dead

and with it a pair of herons who were not alarmed until it is 3a.m.now.

Wings pinned together in depth of winter neon

they are tossing down

Backwards the regret of the washed out past

Softly they lock themselves with a pinch of ice

Another bad dream, they say, and toss about

Silence is like a rally of gunshots

I searched the sky again and again

Later the eastern side was a sunrise

and at the other end the herons and me in another life

caught in mid-frame racing stones

two at a time.









If I had to write on darkness

The crow would be my witness

Pondering over the spent day

The sun stoops to see its own face

Repeated many a times on the border of the salty water.

A crow's feather falls heavy

shuns light and transparency.

A raggedy cloud traps the hapless star light

Darkness seems so spacious without any light to fill in

My witness pressed against darkness at opposite end

Blinded by each other’s mortified bleakness

Time stops for some seconds

There -

Deep down into the unfathomable depth of the ocean

Light that was once filtered

Is now spun as an opaque stone

 settled as a day dead

In the bird's soul.


About the poet

Ritamvara Bhattacharya writes from a darling’s heart, Darjeeling. She believes in what Sylvia Plath said, “And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.” She writes for the pleasure of it. She writes for the ‘I am’ in her heart, a voice that creates ripples and sensation.

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Published by The Alternative.