"You earn death bit by bit": Three poems by Sekhar Banerjee that you cannot and should not miss.

Sign in

  

Delete Comment

Are you sure you want to delete this comment?

"You earn death bit by bit": Three poems by Sekhar Banerjee that you cannot and should not miss.

Poetry by Sekhar Banerjee

Scheme of the Post Office

In spring, I try to catch the butterflies
in their midday sleep; they uneasily flit
Disowned letters flutter everywhere, they breed

in a forest of Jamun trees
and words die here very slowly and merge
with our skin

Do we have a permanent address? Yes or no?
I ask the butterflies, the envelops and the Jamun forest
Butterflies nonetheless flit

I understand familiarity breeds almost nothing
There must be some greater scheme
of the General Post Office: I cannot decipher anything
of any message, mail or an official letter
At night, I sincerely touch

a postman’s original grief
I look around
the horrible mist, silhouette of trees, my shoes

I watch movement of clouds: on every bumpy
cloud I send
a butterfly to the Supervisor of the Posts

***

Second Flush in Danguajhar Tea Estate

In the middle of Danguajhar Tea Estate in northern Bengal,
I lie down with nothing in my head
or on my hand; there are no lines on my palms
I want to start all over again – like a tea garden in autumn

I sniff the crushed Dooars tea leaves and borrow the organic smell
of being grounded yet again
to grow the lines of head, fate, sun, life, and heart
and a local train passes through the closed tea garden

like a lump in my throat for being what I am not
I cup my hands before the large shade trees
The stillness after each passage fills my two palms
with unknown lines

like two-second flush cup of tea, complete and lingering,
as if, it is a second birth. I squat before the blades of grass, violet
grass flower and a water tanker with a leaking tap
and breathe my deepest in November

***

Ritual of Loss

You earn death bit by bit
like putting coins in a rusted piggybank or in a frog bank
or in a duck bank or in a post office

where every clerk is blind, even the postmen are blind
They roam the streets and let go the butterflies –
a nectar sucking insect,

to know if you still exist
when the people know that you have lost on an idea:
of distance, fear, and life

or stuck in the tenth line of a sonnet that had to be fourteen, but could not
because it was destined to be short
What is not deeply intended can never happen – like budgeting,

life, a bumper crop, love
or, for that matter, the ideal easiness
after this daily ritual of loss

***

Sekhar Banerjee  is a bilingual poet. He has four collections of poems and a monograph on an Indo-Nepal border tribe to his credit.

Support our literary endeavours by subscribing to the FREE Newsletter service of Bengaluru Review here. Reach out to us with any queries or ideas of your own at reviewbengaluru@gmail.com.

Like
Comment
Loading comments