By Mallika Bhaumik
The Third Eye
Night swims in the pool
of her eyes
the lover that never was,
the dusk of her skin,
the doe eyes,
those that prompted the poet to call her ‘krishnakali’,
look up to see the circling blades
the jingling bangles count the moments.
The melancholy of Bhairavi trails off
– ‘my armlets are falling off ‘
the dreams of beloved’s home hide behind a cracked mirror.
Memories of hopscotch days
run along the kaash field,
the whistle of the train beckons.
Durga sits on a tulip-painted bedsheet,
clutching a crisp pink note.
The blooming buds of mogras
twisted around her plait,
Her window opens to a dingy lane
of worn out tales,
the eyes do not see a sky,
the embers of the night’s rage
faintly colouring the distant horizon,
– the third eye.
The city, my muse
A love that unreasonably
stretches between the cantilevers
of a bridge, joining its twin city
over a muddy river
at the fag end of her journey,
a love that has flipped the archived pages of the history of defiance,
old serpentine lanes breathing the tales of Swadeshi.
A love that runs barefoot to
the ghat, where the symbol of Nari Shakti, Durga is immersed,
and the rambunctious kids play in the mud
cheering for her arrival next year.
The fluid emotions of the soccer fields,
a sip of chai from the steaming earthen mugs,
the hot kathi rolls and rosogollas of K. C. Das,
the gleam in the eyes during monsoon,
when silvery hilsas throng the bazaar.
That’s my city, the one who has seen me
blossoming into a woman.
I have also seen her in her gentler mood at night,
singing to me her lullaby
as the last tram hums by
its vigilant neon lights.
Dogs and people often curl up in the quiet corners of the streets.
Mallika Bhaumik had been a student of literature and has a Master’s degree from the University of Calcutta in English Literature. She is passionate about writing and has contributed to many national and international anthologies and e-magazines. She has acted as a judge in different poetry events and participated and won many contests as well. She is the author of her debut anthology of poems, Echoes, by Authorspress.
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Read the latest issue of Cafe Dissensus Magazine on ‘Narrating Care: Disability and Interdependence in the Indian Context’, edited by Nandini Ghosh, IDSK, Kolkata, India and Shilpaa Anand, MANUU, Hyderabad, India.