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

Antara Banerjee

The Stone Pelter

 

Goliath needed to be slayed.

The stone pelter  

is not always wrong...

He stands

for his tormented people...

desperate, 
pushed to the wall..

He uses his child-like weapon

to make a mark...

his protest  

against the armoured Giant.

Virtue  

needs to be defended too...

Peace  

is established by dissent.

To stand before the monster

with head held high

is the greatest victory...

the relentless pelting of stones,

a reminder of  

the efforts of the underdog...

Peace extracts its price;

it cannot be dissociated 
from violence.  

 

This is a recurrent theme

in the history of humanity;
when David,  

pushed by desperation

takes on Goliath...

And wins...

Every time! 

A Clinical Analysis of Forgiveness

 

It is a function of
what we let go…
Rather,
what we choose to 
shut out of memory….
But in truth,
do we really forget?

The hurt,
bangs the doors
we lockdown.
It doesn't let the
bad taste die…
instead, makes us tread 
sweetness… 
and intimacy
with caution.    
A restraint that kills
the carefree abundance 
of happiness…
the gaiety of
comfort…
the beauty of
faith…
we could 
otherwise enjoy…

The acid
gurgles up…
regurgitates the ugliness;
And we 
begin to ruminate on
the toxin,
turning it over and over
in our mind,
helplessly.
Memory of 
the stifling venom
burns the heart
all over again.

There are numerous strains 
of the virus 
called ‘betrayal’…
they leave us 
with dents all over,
like Chicken Pox.
Though they heal with time,
their scars remain
and remind…
that the epidemic 
of treachery 
is still at large…
and forgiveness…
our only salvation!

 

Apocalypse

 

Mother earth is tired,
sick to her guts.
Disgusted
with what she thought 
was the best out of her womb...

She had birthed man
and placed him 
in the cradle of nature,
ever so lovingly.
Given him the best,
nurtured him
to be the worthiest of all.
Blessed him
with a million boons.

Little did she know
that her favourite child
would grow up 
to be corrupted by the
Oedipus Complex,
With a rabid desire
to consummate 
his libidinous gluttony
with its own mother...
the child would forge
its own death!

He ravages her 
repeatedly
And loses a boon 
each time
the crime is committed.
Million to thousands…
Thousands to hundreds... 
the boons 
have eroded fast.

The shamed 
and ravaged mother
tries to save him
from her own wrath... 
She lunges 
to smother him
and yet refrains... 
But each lunge 
brings her closer to revenge...
The end of her favourite child...
to wipe out human kind…
A lethal blow…
The Apocalypse!

 

 

Curse

 

You defiled 
my God,
when you bathed him
in blood.
Put commandments 
in his mouth
that he never decreed.
I adored him
until you turned him 
into stone,
Unfeeling, brutish,
Stone!

You took away 
my religion,
when you sowed
the sapling of faith,
deep into
the womb of hatred.
The arrows of
malignant violence,
pitched from 
your bigoted heaven
sprouted demons,
and ravaged my land!

You corrupted 
my people,
blinding their eyes;
giving them a God 
of dubious intent.
Handed them spears,
muted their 
song of peace,
Now, they beat 
ear-shattering drums
of a needless war..

You shamed 
humanity
When you let 
women and children 
be ravished and brutalized.
Drove people 
out of their own land
Broke the code
of human conduct
when you raised criminals
to haloed thrones.
You bloodied 
your own hands 
with innocent blood!

To you, 
the murderers of my country!
I send a curse!
Let my country be exorcised
of this malignant demon...

Our time is fast afoot...
Yours… 
done!

 

 

 

 

Dear Darkness

 

You envelope me

when the strident light

burns away...  

You let me feel myself

with a vengeance.  

 

Here I am,  

Seeing nothing...  

Absolutely nothing!  

Feeling,

just- My ether!  

Never have I felt

so condensed.

Nothing else but,

Me- Myself!

 

I experience

a deep unseeing..  

It doesn't matter

if I am clothed or naked...  

dark or fair..  

ugly or beautiful...

it matters nothing.
No fear, No hiding…
A small Nirvana 
in the dark!

 

 

Defrauded

 

I am defrauded by God

by my creators,

and this world...

My soul has been cheated

into a body,

I never wanted.

 

My heart and my mind,

ache to be in the skin

of a nymph.

God!

I yearn for everything,

that is forbidden!

 

I burn for the love you abhor,

Call unnatural...

But what

is unnatural after all?

Who then, is to blame

for this sinful fire in my limbs?

 

I covet the lithe body

of a woman,

soft white breasts

and

that flaming temple of love

that only a man can worship.

 

Desire slithers

like serpents

on my flesh, every night...

I want to tear away

my ugly manhood!

Oh yes! I really do!

 

Every morning,

the venom coils back

into my guts...

Seething and spitting

hungry... unfulfilled.

I hate myself,

for being me!

 

The mirror smirks

at my tough stubble,

reminds me

of who I am not...

I adorn myself stubbornly

I shall keep it up!

I am the woman

that my reflection forgot!

 

 

Goddess

 

The fiery maiden is born!

with flaming tresses,

billowing around her head,

lashing like serpents...

Blood shot eyes

fired with righteous rage.

She is born to conquer,

only if her own set her free...

only if they feel her fire!

She shall lead them

to freedom!

She shall redeem the world

from this putrefaction,

free it,

from this rot...

this blind decadence

this obnoxious indulgence...

that has turned it into

a tribe of living dead

She,

shall set it ablaze!

 

Arson is what

this ghetto of the dead needs.

It shall be cremated

with its maggot eaten ideas,

Its ugly menace shall be smoked

and burnt to ashes.

 

She shall stoke the pyre

for the incineration

to be complete.

Leave no vestiges

for the vultures to feast on;

for those scavengers,

need to go too.

This unholy chaos

needs to be put to rest.

 

Her tribe shall then multiply

and spread like wild fire.

They shall usher in

the reign of Truth,

The empire of Justice

once more!

 

Then and only then,

shall she enter

the thirteenth zodiac.

And burn bright with it.

Pure and unrelenting!

The Goddess!

 

Unwelcome

 

'We' and 'They'

Have come alive...

Crept out of the pages

of the old grammar book...

Pronouns,

that have become

poisonous realities today...

Rioting on the streets 

of my religion-stricken country...

 

The two-lettered 'we'

has decided,

that the four-lettered 'they'

is a cuss word! 

Both wear colors

And hate each other for it...

They defecate 

hatred and violence...

in the downtown ghettos;

Dance naked, 

with tridents and swords,

to appease

their partitioned gods.

 

While 'us'

remains quarantined 

between the pages

of the Moral Science book,

a curriculum

never taken seriously…

while the pandemic of 

violence and virus

wreak havoc outdoors. 

 

The 'we' banishes 'them' duly-

The unwelcome, ‘Untouchables’

to trudge homewards

under the unrelenting summer skies

and wait for them

to drop dead!

About the poet

Antara Banerjee is an Author and tri-lingual Poet, with three publications, 'The Goddess in Flesh', 'To be a Woman' and 'Pieces of a Tormented Mind' to her credit. She is the awardee of Sanmarg Aparajita Award 2019 for Young Achiever in Literature and Udaan Empowering Women Award for outstanding contribution to Women Centric Literature. She is a graduate from Presidency College, Kolkata and Masters from Goldsmiths College, London.

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Published by The Alternative.