“I am an old harmonium”: Three poems by Sekhar Banerjee

The Harmonium

I watch houses with kohl-eyed windows
Ferns in tubs
a geranium grows in a solitary pub

In autumn, we are  content
with the maroon
clouds that hung in our ribcage

symmetrically paired
We are talking less again
than what we have decided

before the birth of fire
Every fallen leaf in autumn hits
the ground like our fingers in sleep

They touch gently
my twenty-four  ribs – one rib
every hour. It is a feeble music, as if

I am an old harmonium


In a Zoo

Standing near the shore
I find
sea is a prehistoric  animal
and it is blind

Distorted spectacles move
up and down
palm trees, human beings, conch shells,
incomplete footprints
and a few colonial buildings and vessels

The sea does not see anything
It feels
the small things
to sense the merchant route and happiness
of a submarine

The shoreline extends far
beyond the cage
Sea is fastened to the sky
and vastness is its bondage


the mirror

Standing in front of a mirror
I see
a century-old golden-yellow oil painting
There, an adolescent is searching for
a playmate
in a huge mustard field

I curse him.


Sekhar Banerjee is a bilingual poet. He has three collections of poems and a monograph on an Indo-Nepal border tribe to his credit. His poems in English have been published in literary worldwide. Recently, he has been selected as the Author of the Month by Setu – a bilingual monthly journal published from Pittsburgh, USA.

Read more poetry on Bengaluru Review:

‘In Bronxville, I meet a banana tree’: Six poems by Devi Sastry

‘And we smelt like guavas’: Five poems by Nilim Kumar

‘You may see the city slowing down’: Five poems by Malcolm Carvalho




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