Tag Archives: childhood

Revisiting An Old Home

The streetlights flicker,
I am caught unawares
in the fleshy orange call
of the tattered, brown dirt road.
My skin is sliced into nimble pieces,
The black tires of my homecoming
Screech, strangling the road
Like rotten banana skin.

One blink, the smell of dust
And the aroma of wet hair
And coconut oil, two blinks,
Then three, and four,
A waking up, the sharp,
shooting tremors and
The boiling, bubbling up.
The wide, gaping mouth,
The rolling waves, childlike
The froth and the fancy
of remembering my body, growing,
resting my back against
Those damp, breathing walls.

I speak a crisp, powdered language
My hunger for touch, for a caress
Burns into the skin like
A forgotten incense.
The waiting mouth of the old home
sprinkled with the remnants
of used up turmeric, cumin,
the rough hairs of
an unruly childhood
bursts wide open,
I slip down her throat
as she gags, darkened, acidic,
Slowly burning, chipping away.

(All Rights Reserved.April 25, 2015)

Note: A journey and an epiphany…to be continued….

A Birthday Song: Re-remembered

A birthday was a dainty dream,
Kisses and sparkles of a day
Lost in the tides of time.
A birthday was a saturated fun
Of cooked food, aromatic spices
And the milk of a mother’s fondness.
A birthday was a chocolatey wait for school friends,
Orchestrated songs and claps, resounding among
A crowded classroom and a makeshift living room.

Every year, an announcement of age leaping
Body and soul of a girl growing, a young woman fumbling,
A grown-up woman, alone like a tunnel,
Wishes and cakes invading, eager and firm.
Each year going by like colored hues of a good-bye.
The numberless years, their memories,
The whiff of a tempest or two, beating above
The nameless silence of a new year
And its fertile, insolent promises.

A birthday is the dusky body of a day,
The mortal flame of a light as I lie
Between the goblets of my old days, in surrender.
My soul flees in between the twilight glory of birth,
The solitary bell of death. Love deepens, darkens
Among the murmur of waves that devours both,
And watches, echoes and voices, fled, migrated,
Like an old voyage.

The morning is full of summer love,
Sprinkled with wishes and songs.
Behind them, I hide like a spider,
Soundless, trembling, barefoot,
Leaning, picking up my distant, drowning days.

Copyright: Lopa Banerjee. August 11, 2014

Footnotes: Fragmented recollections of my birthday celebrations in my childhood, of my growing up years, and the years that followed to my womanhood. My first self-dedicated piece in the month of August, that ironically is both the month of my birth and that of my mother’s demise. This poem is slated for publication in the Spring 2015 issue of ’13th Floor Magazine’, published from The Writer’s Workshop, University of Nebraska at Omaha.

The Forgotten Swan Songs

Rippling in melancholy melodies,
Washing past the jagged edges
Of my furtive calf-love,
My girlhood days breathe in a little nook
Of oblivion, a passing phase,
Forgotten pearls, scratched and resurfaced
In the waves of my kitchen songs,
Nestled in embalming domesticity.

My days, recycling and monitoring
At every turn, I thought my swan songs were long dead.
But a quicksilver flash of torn off petals
Wave at me in the mirror.

In their hushed fog, their half-finished stories
I feel, that their contours are running
Deeper than my brain had thought.

( Footnotes: My poetic attempt to celebrate, search for, bring out the scattered pearls of my girlhood days. The days of my fumbling with school and love songs, the days of my secretly spun girl stories, the days of my sunshine dreams and the trophy of attaining puberty. Created and developed in early December 2014, while hosting an online poetry workshop at a poetry group in Facebook.)

Child of Delight

If I could fill your life with the serenity and magic of fairy tales,
I sure would.
If I could transport you to a true magic kingdom
Of angels and nymphs,
I sure would.
I wish I could carpet your path with roses and
The mirth of sweet spring.
I wish I could give you all this and much more.
But as I whisper your sweet name today,
Just know that life will not always
Sparkle like a diamond.
From your paradise of innocence,
Life will, by and by, suck you to a domain
Of wonder and sin,
Which won’t be magical anymore.
Till then, my child of delight,
I sing of the spring with you in my arms,
Whilst the rough winds shake and ruffle
The brushstrokes of the fairy land
We have painted together.

Footnote: Written for my daughter Mithi who is six now, growing up fast and whose belief in Santa Claus, fairy tales and angels are diminishing everyday.

Life Ahead

(1)

Child of delight

In this coarse life amidst stone, sand and soil,

I behold the softness of your misty sleep.

You float on the dreams of a silvery stream in Wonderland,

I kiss the beauty of your liquid sounds, your lifting smiles.

In whispers and living lullabies, I drink your life,

Carry your warm breath, fragrance and melodies

Show your tranquil light.

(2)

Mother of Darkness, Mother in Gorging Flames

Within you, I seek no flame of rebellion, no reformation;

I’ve walked my life on tattered soil and blackened streets,

Crumbling, decaying and scattered in dust.

Grinding and groaning in the curling smoke of memory,

I’ve sensed the skeleton of your growth,

Floating around quivering shadows of dirt and lies.

A petal bloom in glory, lust and greed of shivering nights

My heart pumps blood for you to wrap you around me,

To grow inside me, cold, parched, starving orphan.

I’ve held you in the wintry chill of thousand midnights

Waiting for a thousand splendid sunshines.

In whispered worlds of crimson blood, gore, sobs and sighs,

I seek the scarlet bliss of your blood,

A flickering flame of your shrieks awakens me.

(3)

Innocence Screams, Pain Dances in a Hungry Earth

A wispy wind uttering secrets at night,

Soft murmurs hovering over a silent earth,

Howling voices of haunted longings and despair,

Scars deep in the soul, muttering and whispering

Rumors and pain.

The red rose wounds of battered infants dying

And living, breathing pain on streets of cold….

I stand alone among heaps of discarded dirt,

In a wasteland of screaming silence and barren shadows

And listen to the lullabies of a soft baby skin,

Straining through the solemn frost of a stony earth,

I follow the voice of an angel carrying divine autumn whispers;

Crossing lonely, dark streets, a sob breaks from my chest

To see a fallen tear, the want of an embrace,

The warmth of tiny fingers in soft caresses

Crushed in brittle dust.

(4)

Life Ahead: Calling the Golden Girl, Calling the Hapless Kid

Blessed be the breast that cuddles, milks and aches,

Blessed be the darkness of empty chests and frozen pain.

Blessed be the crimson blood of the cherubic babe

Seizing its way through dark corners of the heaving womb.

Blessed be the smile of the little boy that dances in the rain

In rasping joys, in the city streets of scarlet pain.

Blessed be the flickering flames of innocent lives

Crushed and battered by bullets under azure skies.

Mothers giving nectar and tender beds of care

Mothers giving the softest music and rhythm of life

To sleepy eyes, fragile bodies and rosy red cheeks

Dissolve in shadowed rooms in a stormy deluge.

In a different deluge, endless mothers breathe and live

In streets of cold, with cracked lips and despaired tears.

Blessed be their feet that walk through sand and freezing ice.

The life that lies ahead in a soiree of blossoms for the golden girl,

Calls out the hapless kids hidden in dust and tears.

Calls out in hunger, eagerness and pain.

Footnote: I dedicate this poem to all mothers and babies of the world, to unwanted motherhood, to starved orphans and to the throbbing life that resurrects in our Mother Earth amidst the suffocating agony of hunger, decay and the debilitating pain of humanity.

The Drunken Lovers’ Song

For all those short wintry days, sheathed under

The soft blanket of the setting sun, they met,

Under the misty halo of twilight.

Their hands clasped, their tongues tied

Under the spell of the faint, blinkings rays

Of the hibernated sun,

Zipped by the pale, urgent moonlight.

They met, they wandered, withered with the moon,

In their own planet, love, the only language of the living.

 

The sky, a euphoria of lofty colors

Threw sparks upon their faces.

They looked up, and down,

Coiled in each other’s faces, sitting

Rapt beside a drunken, luscious river,

Counting baby faces in the translucent water bodies.

The faces, playful, indolent, unbound, never knowing

The toxins, foul smells, the ground zero of the city.

They laugh, rolling, rippling, flowing,

Tiny petals of music, poetry and love,

Fingers kissing dewdrops, evolving

Into a saga of childhood love,

Twinkling dim, blinking out, withering away.

 

In a tangle of two souls, spread out

Like a flowered skirt, the drunken lovers

Surrendered their lavender blossoms.

The stale night whispered, venom sprung

Out of the earth’s crust.

And while the green pastures waxed and waned

With the pale, cold moon,

Deadly ghosts spitting misery, trampled over

Their flesh, bones and honeyed dreams.

The drunken lovers and the moon, consumed in embrace

Quivered, fluttered wings  beneath the deadening cacophony.

The river called them out in ripples

And the unwavering smell of love.

And they gripped, grouched in the dark planet,

Love, the only language of the living.

 

(C) Lopa Banerjee. October 23, 2014