01 January 1970

Troika And Other Poems

Weekend Reads

Troika And Other Poems

Here are six original and unpublished poems by Gopal Lahiri.

Credit: Getty Images
Credit: Getty Images

1. Troika

Every morning I’ll pick you a bunch
of flowers from the flagstones.
For you, I will come with a burning lamp
towards the last cinders.
Then let us meet
in the space between the bloodstained sleep.

You walk slowly in the twilight,
then struggle.
Under a thick frown of clouds
we follow the shores.
And fear through thin fault lines
will descend now until it vanishes.

The perimeters fade. From here
you keep groping back,
Some words are spoken in silence
I will stich-up them with simple kisses
Mid-sentence, I recall a few poems
that break our hearts.


2. Ghost Moon

In my village the moon does not wear clothes
her face is black, not silver.
she wants to hide under water of the pond.
I have seen her floating in my sleep
she wants to pierce curtain like a needle
and the pin hole allows a little light to escape.
She never tastes the wind,
she creeps on the silhouettes of the coconut tree
and breaks into haiku and senryu.
Someone says she wants to be a figurine
one night she comes out of the pond and
hangs on the bamboo bridges.
A rock stands alone on the hill side.
she drifts along, open her eyes with the grass
at the dead of night.


3. Smokies

My heartbeat is low, slow today
I keep my hands on the chest
what will be my life readings/
the graph charts wavy lines all along
should I dream of the surgery table?
Outside, the clouds conspire to
wrap the blue peaks of Smokies,
pine needles are making patterns
on the uneven pathway,
the branches wait to open their arms to me
How strange if I show my electro cardio graphs
to the lonely humming bird.
How strange if I chase the bird in the open sky.


4. Slow Speed News

Because of all these you are here
a knowing that there will be a microburst,
soggy tree and a knee-dip mud,
Megh Mallar tune spreads all around,
another night you think
the dark sky will rain alphabets
syphon the whiteness of the skin
and wait for the last sand mines,
hours spent, windows searching for breeze,
you wait for the pauses to come
and embodies horror stories, but
shadows and darkness return together,
because of all these, you cross the bank
and mark the line of incision,
take the blue ribbons from the bird
and the news spread slowly but surely.


5. Soul Searching

Some slaughters are heard, never to arrive.
within the confines of four walls
The paints are applied thickly
on the wall in irregular strokes
but at the same time
each stroke is a decision, a conscious decision.
How many ways does the light split
only to scatter, like ribbons of fishing nets?
how many letter boxes are damaged by gun shells
in border skirmishes?
I do not know.
I know why the wind thins, sings in soprano
and with it comes a feeling of illusion
a smell of unused stamps.
But I do not know how deep it goes
inside, never to arrive.

6. Human Love

This morning a single bird glides in the air
above the water. Thin and yellow wings.
It vanishes on the other side, it appears again
then begins to descend slowly, then it is gone
For something to do on a summer day, a squirt
of clouds drops fingers of rain on petunias
Turn off the news, erase every line of the wars,
conflicts, cyclone, viruses, skirmishes.
Discount the exile years, a series of yesterdays,
peel the memories, those sleepy and misty eyed.
Walk down the streets, so often looking up
At window sill, the rufescent past flutters there.
Imagine, our togetherness, under the blue sky
It suffices, it is all peace along with human love.


(Gopal Lahiri is a bilingual poet, critic, editor, writer, and translator with 29 books published.)