Culture & Society

Three Poems By Sonnet Mondal

Sonnet Mondal writes three poems: 'Footprints of the Clock', 'An Afternoon in My Mind' and 'Beginnings' for Outlook

Three Poems By Sonnet Mondal

Footprints of the Clock

Sounds of the wall clock,

ironic annotations

in my fitful sleep,

break in like autumn

through the gap

in the door.

I try to pierce

the thrust of darkness.

As I think of opening

the unvoiced envelops

of the sightless night


stray cows pass over

sleeping farmers in rice fields

an eagle waits for daybreak

to hunt down its prey

an old ferry horn

lifts up sunken impulses.

Like a pebble drop

in a meditating pond

the tick-tock returns

with flawless lyrics.

An Afternoon in My Mind

I don’t remember much about waiting

for the bus to my mother’s village

or how we made summer tolerable

while waiting for trains to the cities.

They were like the ignited wick of a cracker

stripping me of my patience.

But like a clogging bunch of thaw

in the flowing canal of my memories

I have this photograph of catching fish

with Mama, Bhai

and Dadu—the stoutest one there

holding the fly rod.

Ecstasy still lies in the frame

but Uncle and Grandpa have passed away.

The fish we caught that day

still flutter in my mind.

The pond must be

keeping our reflections safe—

somewhere in its water

captured by the late afternoon light.

Note: ‘Mama’, ‘Bhai’ and ‘Dadu’ denote maternal uncle, brother and grandfather, respectively, in Bengali.


When I read a book of poems

I try to think of the moment

when the first flow of thoughts

gushed through its pages.

When I hear a music album

I try to think of the moment

when the first note

of the first track in it

kissed the muse of its roots.

When I walk barefoot, pressing

ageless soils and gravels —

I try to think of the moment

when the earth was reared from ashes.

But, never do they recite

the first anecdote of the planet.

My head like a shapeless asteroid

revolves around beginnings —

to peer inside

the static stance of time

and the state of mind

that sets it in motion.

Sonnet Mondal writes from Kolkata and has authored seven books of poetry.