Thursday, November 22, 2012

Death





As I hurtle down at breakneck speed

In the gigantic roller-coaster…

At one quite unnamed point,

The fear dissipates and I’m thrilled

With the topsy-turvy journey,

The end of the ride, and the prospect

Of finding land beneath my feet.


Diptesh Ghosh

Fireflies and Truth





I sit under the deodar tree

Watching the valley far below:

A few fireflies flicker, briefly,

But the bright lights of the valley

Mock at their short-lived brightness.

Far above me,

The million stars,

And the bright moon

Keep their silence.


Diptesh Ghosh

Flight





A vast cliff separates you and me.

I cannot go back on the road I’ve come.

By day your home is forbidden,

At night the world keeps you away.

Those like me, without a bridge, have no choice.

When I step into my world of dreams

All the grand canyons cannot part us:

I am superman, I can fly.


Diptesh Ghosh

Poetry





The dawn is so beautiful

That I’ve forgotten everything:

Even my poetry stays wordless

Like dew-drops on the green oak leaves.


Diptesh Ghosh

Gestures




I’ve placed the sweet jasmines, dawn fresh,

By your bedside, in a bowl of water;

They will barely last out this long day.

But all day, brief day, your hours

Will be scented with the sweetness

Of something that is perfect,

Something that is fading fast,

Something only for you.


Diptesh Ghosh

Fragment





In the folds of this book lie the petals

Of what was once a beautiful rose.

She had plucked it from the garden, laughing,

And handed it over to me playfully,

“To remember me when I am not here”…


What had been the pride of my garden,

Lies as stiff and motionless

As the pages that have bound it now.

She who had laughed is not here,

But her laughter echoes across the empty room.


Where have they all gone, I ask myself,

That fragrant spring, the one who had laughed?

Nothing remains the same, nothing stays.

Our shadow falls and our touch remains

Even when we have gone somewhere else.


But in some corner of our battered hearts

There is always spring, where faded roses

Escape from the pages to bloom again.

There she’s always laughing, rose in hand,

Waiting for me to find myself again.


Diptesh Chandra Ghosh

Silver





I wake up alone, late at night.

Something silver shimmers and gleams

Outside my dark window;


The sleeping world, the row of trees,

The road that leads to the gray mountains,

The leaf-strewn fields, the babbling stream,

The baker’s shop, the temple bells,

All lie bathed and sparkling

In the silver light of the moon.


Everything that I ever loved,

All things that have been dear to me,

Wobble in this vast silver sea.

I am now adrift, a lost sailor,

Among the shimmering silver waves.


Only the faint sound of music

Playing in some invisible home

Keeps me moored and steady:


As if the notes are an anchor

That ties me with unseen strands

To the shorelines of reality.


Diptesh Ghosh

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Love





I cannot see clearly.

You have fogged the windows of my mind

Like after a bath on a winter morning.

I, who should clear the glass with a cloth,

Spend my hours writing your name on it.



Diptesh Ghosh

Time and Love





New love tastes like fine Tuscan wine.

You roll it in your mouth gently,

Relishing the Oaken flavors,

The touch of the warm French sun,

Till the sweet grapes lift you to moods

You thought never really existed.


New love can be seen from afar:

It sits on you like a silk dress…

Embroidered, a lovely work of art;

New love is always a journey:

Every day in a brand new town,

Fraught with million possibilities.


Old love is a different kind of fish.

It tastes like a plain home-cooked meal:

Simple, but it warms and fills you up.

Old love is the frayed cotton dress

You wear when you set out to sleep.

It is soft and smells of happy days.


Old love is the purpose of your quests:

When you traveled, your roving feet

Were always leading you to this place…

The familiarity of the boring house,

The narrow walls ringing with laughter,

The need to never travel again.


Diptesh Ghosh

Semantics





The first rays of morning fall on the yellow leaves:

Each dew drop sparkles like a small diamond…

Or what I imagine a diamond must sparkle like.


I have been down with unsolicited sorrow.

Somewhere under my ribs lies a beating heart

Smashed to smithereens with unrequited love:


I ought to feel quite terrible, I tell myself.

There is much in the world to brood about:

And while I insist so, some unseen bird,

Breaks passionately into a song

Like his life depended on it.


If you think so, or feel so, in the end,

There is not much difference between

The dew drops and the sparkling diamonds.


Likewise, when your heart is free to feel,

Sorrows and joys can be quite alike…

Especially when the birds are singing

And diamonds sparkle in the morning grass.


Diptesh Ghosh

The Liberated





When I had paid up all my old debts,

You counted out the silver coins

And cut the bonds which had bound me:

The dark door which had kept me in,

You opened, and with one last kiss,

You set me, who dreamed of freedom,

Free at last into the wide world.


And yet, when the world is sleeping

I find myself adrift outside your door:

Once I had loved the sound of all words

And now I prolong this odd silence;

The lights of your home are switched off,

But I stand transfixed in the clear night…

The stars are so bright, and countless.


Diptesh Ghosh

Shiuli Blooms





After a sleepless rain-drenched night,

I walk this gray September dawn:

The gusts of wind shake the last drops

From the showered leaves on to me;

And from the wayside Shiuli tree

One white bud has fallen on me

Like the very breath of autumn.


It is a small thing, still breathing

Her sweet fragrance into my hands,

Just a white bloom, an orange stalk:

A tiny inch of perfection,

The first of September’s flowers

Telling me that the season of fall,

This new autumn is upon me.


I remember how much you loved it.

So I carry it in my hands

To keep by my empty bedside:

When you awake, wherever you are,

Perhaps you may find the familiar smell

And wonder from which distant tree

The wind has carried it home to you.


Diptesh Ghosh

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Garden





You had planted that first tree here.

I remember you walking sprinkler in hand

Surveying the watered, tiny saplings

Like a doctor among the new-born.

You used to talk of the green days yet to come,

And I could almost hear the cackle of birds

Returning to their nests in the evening…

In these towers, which we were planting then.


You had told me what I recall even now:

“Every leaf is a dream coming to life.

And spring is just the vision

Of a million leaves dreaming.”


Now as autumn winds blow, the leaves are falling

In shades of gold, and yellow, and dappled red.


Hundreds of dreams, falling fast, slowly failing.

How frail are our dreams, how brief their stay,

How lovely they look as they break.


Diptesh Ghosh

Impossibilities





Early morning

After a sleepless night

Of thunderstorms and shrieking winds;

Now this clear dawn, the empty roads,

This sleeping world:

The orange ball rises, shyly,

Turning the snow-white peaks red,

Lighting the green valley

That lies ripe with yellow mustard.


Utterly beautiful,

Quite impossible

That such loveliness exists.


I am greedy.

I have this strange yearning

For an off-season mango,

And your presence;

The mango months

Are half a year away,

And you and I

Are forever split by the bounds

Of customs and propriety.


But this is a make believe world.

I find you by my side,

Laughing at my mango fondness;

You ask me, sleepy eyed,

If I too find such dawns lovely:

I answer, tongue-in cheek,

With a warm smile,

“Impossibly so”.


Diptesh Ghosh

Self-Assessment





I have cast again the silver web tonight.

Like a master fisherman I’ve laid out the nets.

And see… my hands are still empty.


No you are not mine,

You never were mine to begin with.

And in no foreseeable outcome

I can see you ever become mine;

But are we two accountants or bankers

To squabble over such a petty thing?


When I was a child I would wake up

Every day, unfailingly, with a start,

And open the window to welcome

Each new day with such possibilities:

So sure was I that the world would change

And inevitably for the better!


Are you a siren of the high seas, mermaid?

Does your song end in the rocky shores and ruins?

Or are you the wisp-o-willow in the marsh?

I have followed you in the darkest paths

Where one dark thing certainly waits for me.


Yet, judge me poorly not on that either.

If this be my lot, how glorious it is,

To ride down the winding path

Of one’s own chosen destruction…

Listening to the serenading sirens

By the wisp-o-willow’s silver light.


Diptesh Ghosh

Silence







Winter morning:

Even the birds are sleeping.

Cold and silent, frosty,

And this gray fog;


I think of the great silences:

The vast dusty libraries,

And lonely roads after dusk,

The unsaid words,

Things the Heart will never express,

And the forever stilled lips

Of the newly dead;


And then, somehow,

I think of you

Somewhere in this wide world,

And me drifting alone:


I am a lost stranger

In the busy cross roads,

Voiceless among the million

Strangers in the towering city;


I am a star, among the countless stars,

Frozen in a dark universe,

Utterly silent, oblivious

To the babble of the planets.


Diptesh Ghosh