Translated from Bengali into English by Aritra Sanyal and Shankar Lahiri.

Scent

A ruinous scent wafts along pushed by the wind,
bearing melody and shivers.

Sap ripens inside flowers and fruits-
Pink lines of the palm,
fine granules of the lip.

The stars blazing light,
                      or the one that is no longer a star

In all stages of the pulsar
                                        colors wake up;

Black and pink – chiefly, somewhere green
A tad brown,  
                     a bit scarlet, some blue inside.


Floating in gently,
                 the scent travels far away

Captured in easel and brush
Trapped in the kernel of fruits

The ruinous scent of a dark, enormous rise.

 


You Woke Me Up


You woke me up today in the morning
And showed me the tea cups,
                              water turning into steam,
The silk-cotton trees
             showering their ethereal charm
On the seat of a beggar girl.

Seat! – you revealed this word to me.
And let me hear the babbling of stream;

Called me out from beyond     

Stopped your boat to let me board

Gave me love    and intimacy
Gave me a drink of sugarcane juice,               
                          the girl named Banani,
                               the trees named Deodar.

And I travelled far, to the source of water,
                                          following the trail
Got lost in the woods,    
                   suffered from spring-fever,
Saw the sharp daggers of violence

I have seen them in the evening
            at midnight, afternoon, and dawn

Death of birds, flowers
                                and ideas, so many.

 


Color of Poetry

I fix my gaze, unblinking,
And as I observe
          the painting, I observe none other but you.

I add a little oil and see the colors soften –
A short stroke helps
        and the color in poetry melts.

Color changes color changes color.

I put aside the script and focus only on you.

A little indifferent you are
Graceful        metered         and erotic -
Glance not so alluring,    
Yet you talk to me endlessly, in silence.

Wear your hair down, your coarse fingers        
Wet and cold like a pet lizard -
                                       ever so exciting.

Make me hear the babbles of the stream
                                   flowing in your body,
The stream of your blood and juice.

Won’t you ever touch me?
Is there anything amiss in your body?
-- Now I use the other end of the brush.

Suddenly I am struck by a gust of wind
Perhaps some boatmen
                        weighed the anchor;
I rolled and rocked and saw you too
Rocking, new poetry,
Blurred and obscure,
Swinging, leaning in an eagerness to touch-

Your hair is undone,
                   your blouse is unbuttoned!

 


Wall and Bed


Wall made of ice
Bed bestrewn with thorns
And the song: ‘I love you...’

Words are sloth, letters dizzy and frail,
Yet the tunes are swelling up like tents
The chairs: drowsy and relentless

A leg is stretched out away from the bed  
A few birds chirping inside the tent;

The bronze wings, the cravings,
                           and the rolled eyes.

Defeat, or a dying out antler deer;
Wall, or a sense of collapse;
Marriage proposal,
                  or walk with crutches…
Step by step,
All the way to the icy wall,

             to the bed bestrewn with thorns.

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