Dust to Dust, Ashes to Ashes

They come up to you, clapping, cheering, waltzing their ways
Into room full of bright light, dinner, wine and coquetry.
Life, as you see, it is for the living
Breathing common, humdrum with the cheer
Of a frog leaping, while they see death is for the dead.
The symphony of all their voices, their breath against each other
And lousy fun reverberate in the evening air
Like the music of love, while death
Through the swaying trees, is heard weeping on the breeze.
From a stealthy, safe corner, I open up the door
And pick up its note unsaid.
Death, the identical twin of this roaring, bustling life.

The evening room is squirming with exhaust fumes and laughter
No one knows where this note came from.
My sensation of travel as I sing the note
Is all controlled and guided.
I can see the river blue eyes of your graveyard
Smell the flesh burning
As its embers flash back in time.
I can see the light, bright white and pure
Exit from the total darkness and surrender,
Entering the green pastures of eternity.

I falter in this room full of the living,
My muffled voice resists reaching out,
Tethers and stops amidst the mad cacophony.
Halfway out the door I found this poem
Ignite us as one.

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About Lopa Banerjee

Lopa Banerjee has studied Creative Nonfiction at the University of Nebraska at Omaha and has a Masters' in English and Journalism from Kolkata, India. She has written a a book-length collection of personal essays and also a poetry collection. She is a regular contributor to 'Cafe Dissensus', an alternate journal of literature and the arts. Her poetry and essays have also appeared at journals and anthologies including 'Fine Lines', 'About Place', 'Yahoo Voices', 'Northeast Review', 'River Poets' Journal', 'Indian Review', ‘The Mind Creative’, 'Prairie Fire' and 'Incredible Women of India'.

6 thoughts on “Dust to Dust, Ashes to Ashes

  1. Louis Kasatkin

    Oddly gripping ,this is strange and slightly disturbing poem that reminds me of one of those cinematic flashback sequences where the audience is never quite sure of the narrative’s point-of-view.Like something from Christopher Nolan’s ” Inception “.

  2. Lopa Banerjee

    Thank you so much for your edifying comments, Louis Kasatkin! This poem actually wrote itself some months after my mom’s sudden death when we were having Thanksgiving party at a friend’s house. It was a time when the thought and the concept of death struck me during odd and unexpected hours of unrelated human activities.


  3. pramilakhadun

    I am deeply touched by these profound words which have strong hues of sadness hovering around.Well penned Lopa.

  4. lopu123

    Thank you so much, Pramila Khadun, Shashikala jee, by your heartfelt analysis of my humble poem! Truly appreciate it.


  5. Maya Dev

    A poignant poem deeply touching and take the reader to those emotional moment with your poetic excellence…..as usual another lovely delivery from you Lopa……:-) Keep it up


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