Childhood is an awesome period,
Little was known then though
Summer holidays were really special,
Fun with cousins and on-set of monsoon is memories to be treasured
Icing to the cake was summer exhibition,
Plethora of our favorites toys, food, rides and was no less than Disney world.
Weeks were spent to come up with list of targets,
Usually ending up conquering only half
Always wondered how my parents control their instincts,
As you see it’s full of tempting things around
Money chained our hands from buying whatever we like,
But what’s held them back as they have it in plenty
Always had an urge of asking them but somehow gets missed by another eye catcher.
Now being in their shoes I realized it’s maturity that changes ones thoughts,
Responsibilities comes free with age
Childhood was limited to fun and studies,
Whereas middle age is for survival
Even painful wounds once will look like minor scratches,
We evolve with time so do our priorities which change with age.
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 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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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