Wednesday, July 25, 2012

A Brief Note

Silent girl,
Who harbors cryptic thoughts,
I love your inscrutable dark eyes;
I can hear,
The perfect note of deep sadness
That resonates in your silver laugh.

Queen like
You hold back your unspoken words
While I fumble with the poor sentences;
I can read
The ancient scripts, but am illiterate
To what is clearly written in your eyes.

Leave the silent ways to the old queens
And heartless gods;
It is spring already in the mountains,
Let your heart sing.

Diptesh Ghosh

Advice to the Mediocre

Wild dogs will hunt in rabid packs
A cast of vultures feeds on the dead.
The buffalos herd in largest groups:
For there’s safety and strength in numbers.

But the tiger walks all alone
And each time he moves in the grass,
The children in villages shiver,
And parents, wiser, close the doors.

Diptesh Ghosh

July Night

Half my life I have stored secretly
Little bits of every night I lived:
A bit of midnight, hours of dusk,
A moment from before the dawn,
A little of the dark hours,
When the last person goes to sleep.

I had kept these pieces of the night
Stored in little round jars and urns;
So that when you come, if you come,
I could add these stolen hours
To keep you that much longer
For one long, meandering night.

But the wind, aware of my theft,
Has run through my book-laden house
This wet, July day:
And all the jars are dashed to the ground.

You are not here,
But my world has become,
A July-scented chapter,
Of a dark and protracted night.

Diptesh Ghosh

Waiting for the Sun

Dark sky and just a few minutes to dawn:
Only two ravens flying out of their nests,
Their dark coats invisible in the dark dawn.
The persistent gurgling of the vagrant stream
And the twittering of hidden long-tails
Breaks the silence of this dark world
Awaiting the first light.

I am afraid the cold peaks of the north
Shall disappoint me this gray lightless morn:
What was unseen shall remain, one day more.
Or perhaps, the snow shall dazzle me in ways
Completely unanticipated: The first gold
On the barren crags, and the pink and blue skies;
Sometimes it can happen thus.

It matters not. The sun will shine when it will.
Meanwhile in this beautiful mist laden world
Caught between the visible and the imagined,
There are the songs of birds and gushing streams…
And this patient wait for the promised sun.

Diptesh Ghosh

The Road Not Taken

There it stands, waiting, the road not taken.
Like all other roads that I have walked on,
But only less defined, more mysterious.
Like Frost, I had once not made up my mind,
For I was young and there were such choices.
I know now, the road must choose us as well.

Often on days when things do not work out
I look back at past cross-roads wondering
What if I had taken that other road?
And when I am tired of my charted routes
I recall this old road that perhaps leads
To the purple mountains, the bluest sea.

The loves we love most have really no shapes
Except what we conjure up in our minds:
They are lovely because we will it so.
Amidst all of life’s great disappointments
We cling to old roads that were not taken:
For there must be that one untraveled road.

Always beyond our reach but recalled well,
Mysterious, promising, and so perfect.

Diptesh Ghosh

June Clouds

Your thoughts have drifted into my heart
Like the first clouds in the eastern skies,
Moist with fragrance of the distant rains.

The summer was long: the thirsty roots
And the babbling brooks have dried up
Like green dreams, withered in the sun.

I know these dark clouds will not burst forth
As chattering rain on my window-panes;
But the day is dark, and I seek darkness.

Lightning streaks the sky with a promise,
To fall with unrestrained joy one day:
Not here, not now, but someplace else.

Diptesh Ghosh


I remember one winter afternoon
In that old town, during the holidays:
I was lost in the comic books, piles of them,
And there was a smell of ripe oranges;
Oh, the tangerine-scented afternoons.

I had left behind a purposeless morning
Of slow steam engines and lying in the grass;
And all I waited for was the evening:
The football, the mist, and the long night
Of sleeping late in my red-quilted bed.

And then you walked in, quite unexpectedly.
Early with some joy that you did not share.
I can only recall the radio playing,
And you were singing quite passionately
The wrong words of your favorite Tagore song.

All this while you carried my troubled mother
From her half finished chores in the kitchen:
She was laughing in your arms while we tried
To keep pace with your waltzing feet: your voice,
Unmusical, while the soft radio played.

That was long ago. I cannot recall
The voice as perfectly as once I did.
Where do they go, when all this is over?
The song, the singer, and the afternoons?
It was a joy then, and now but a memory.

Diptesh Ghosh


Like me, evening lingers,
In uneasy balance;
The day is almost over,
And dark night waits.

The dusk trembles, shimmers,
This order cannot last:
One push, one unkind word,
And the red sun will set.

At the threshold, I wait too,
For your final impetus:
I cannot come back to you,
And I cannot move on.

Diptesh Ghosh

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


Your heart is stone, so dark and beautiful.
All my soft entreaties, my words of love
Have washed over you like the July rains.

I know that the rock will not bend to rain.
Touch it, you’ll find what I already know:
The stone is still damp with the touch of rain.

Diptesh Ghosh


A late September day:
Under a perfectly blue sky
The restless wind ravels
The yellow leaves of Maple
As they fall gently on the ground.

I see no one around:
The pastured fields lie bare,
And the roads are empty.
Somewhere in the dark woods
A nameless bird breaks into a song.

Between the barren rocks
A clump of tiny weeds
Have sprouted to bright life;
And in the horizon,
Rows and rows of dark evergreens.

My heart suddenly aches
With a deep yearning for something:
Despite all the losses,
I cannot but be glad,
On this wind-swept autumnal day.

Diptesh Ghosh