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

Asima Sarker

Bazaar Bag

It's just that there's no
Sabbatical leave granted;
And you carry heirloom
Of habits and fats,
Showcased like a trophy
Somewhere in the middle
Where the button opens now and then,
With a peeping semi-white genji.
After the morning deja vu,
It will smell of turmeric and spices.

Spinach, Gourd or tomatoes
Waits in green and red;
Freshly plucked with sprinkles
Of water for feasting eyes.
But there are more to it perhaps:
Like finger gaps or a heavy pocket
And a big bazaar bag,
And its emptiness itching your palms;
Or maybe there's nothing
Bigger than a tongue;
The watery insatiate tongue.
And so it's always you,
And not they,
Who sit with clothes smelling nothing,
But only earth and sweat.

With sanitized hands at work
In a table of plates and soups,
Gravy, fries and fish,
You discuss Somalia, Congo,
And even North Korea of
Power and curse.
And in a striped nylon bazaar bag,
With every rising sun,
Dessert squares with struggle,
Amidst busy bargaining tongue.






Green Road

The road that leads somewhere
Is green claimed.
Brown and long,
And long and brown,
With who knows what,
Asymmetrical haircut:
Coloured in a professional green.
Metaphor of love:
And as high as my eyes can see,
They are the venerable emperors.
Hiding the unforeseen infinity,
Prophesying the power of inaction.
The earphone buzzes with 
Unheard melodies,
Metamorphosed into green.
How they balm my senses
Into a timelessness.
Green trickles through my eyes,
Into the passage through my ears.
The green claimed road,
And transcription of converging forms.





Dooars Rain

How the rain scribbles a nation, 
Through the Dooars road.
The privacy of the greens,
Light and shade alterations,
And that’s home,
Where the shower meets
Long lost days.
Gone are the days when 
You would see an elephant
With its young,
Licking love out of the sky.
Now there are lines that lead
To heaven.
Yet on and off, Rain
Scribbles a nation,
Through a Dooars road.





You Dream, I Hope


You dream. I hope to see
A moonless sky with
Glittering stars one day.
Pillows melt in an unbound space,
My eyes evaporate in your shadow.
Sleepless slumber , loveless love
And a lifeless life.
I carry the burden of
Past lives:
lived, unlived, yours, mine.

Thousand years back there 
Was a wound: flowing unhealed.
You are the Sisyphus.
I am the rock,
Shattered into pebbles.
No one thought of me.
No one thinks of me.
I am the Ahalya,
You Rama with a hit of feet
Can you really transform?
Make me into air,
So that I can stop you,
And remind you time and again.
Time and again
Of the blood, deep deep red in colour.
I am the tusk that crafty hands
Carve into show and wonder:
The feast for eyes. You gobble me

You dream, I hope to be
The star with twinkling hope
On a moonless night.








Charity of Light , Camera, Action 

Charity begins in a place, nowadays
Where the sun never sets:
Of light, camera and action.
I have minced myself
Into pieces,
For the consumption of your
Gazing eyes;
Like the ritualistic act
Of remembering through a bookmark.
I have lost the validity of my name:
I quote and misquote, for
My religion is a man long dead.
I utter gibberish in a trance.
I have stopped thinking
Only to exist as digits,
Either 0 or 1.
Beyond this is an anonymous world.
I have stopped thinking.
My grey cells are disintegrating,
As I turn into a voice,
That growls louder and louder
Each day, to be distinct in 
A repetitive crowd.
I have sold my pen, eyes, brains and soul
To Mephistopheles.
In the mirror I see a cover
And a blush out of my vanity box.
Charity begins in a place, nowadays
Where the sun never sets:
And you ask, when will I do
Charity to my soul.







Sunset Morn 


Lying in the bed with
Sights dispersing in the ceiling
Is a sunset morn.
Beyond the wooden lines
Nothing waits to happen.
Dawn repeats as riyaaz.
Sitar strings- smoke and melody:
Yaman alaap, Bilaskhani mohra,
Eclipses a working noon
Of pen, sweats and unseen;
Even the rosy bed of lover’s heart.
There’s a door where there’s no knock,
Even in the light and shade 
Of white moonlight and 
Egg-yolk sunset.
From life to death framed in
A single piece,
Of wood and sunset,
Where lying and gazing,
The ceiling mocks 
The infinite, and blue sky,
And the sunset in a morn.




Wood-Boring Beetles

The envisaging Sun’s rendezvous:
With disarrayed interludes
And a broken dream,
Comes the sunset…
Quite like the declining
Romance one year after.
Faded vermilion mocks
Through the messy hair.
Jasmine garland is a bygone dream.
Rotating day and the Sun
Moves from love to rage, 
Through a shattering expectation:
From a perfect vision
To the non-clumpy powders.
While anticipating
No one thinks of
The wood-boring beetles.





Late August

Not a streak of kajal, but
The smudged black took off a day.
Lonely streets mourns all, that have a face.
Smearing eyes rip off.
I shred my clothes, and you a face.
Hands tread earthly down for ecstasy:
And the space between us
Is late August,
When dogs shatter taboos in the street.



About the poet

Asima Sarker writes from Jalpaiguri, a small town in North East India. She has completed her post-graduation in English Literature from the University of North Bengal and is currently pursuing her Ph.D from the same University. She has worked as an Assistant Teacher in a school under West Bengal School Service Commission and also as Assistant Professor in Malda Women's College and is currently working as an Assistant Professor in Ananda Chandra College, Jalpaiguri. She has specialization in Indian English Literature. Her area of interests are contemporary literary theory and criticism, Indian and Western Philosophy, Indian English Poetry, Women's writing, Gender studies. The thoughts that have found an expression in her verses are those insignificant, small moments of life and living that have an unrecognized appeal, whether it be sweet or sour, spontaneous or reflective.

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Published by The Alternative.