The Blog of Cafe Dissensus Magazine – we DISSENT

Two Poems on Kolkata

Charcoal painting: Arunita Barui

By Lopamudra Banerjee

Kolkata Rains  

Originally written for the #Kaafiya prompt on rains (in collaboration with Rhythm Divine Poets, Kolkata)

And then, the morning grew, like froth on earthen tea
And I swallowed, convulsive, yet tame, as all the raw seasons
When I came down, and visited your endless pathways.

I slide from one burst of orgasmic rain to the next, the bed of grass
Softened with ancient tears, never wiped away, the puddles
And the potholes, remnants of grey waters, de-fleshed,
De-veined, waiting for me at the end of surrender.

And then the morning grew, like the crisp promise of a rain
That had kept me company on many a sleepless night,
when my wails exploded, and I stood in its sway,
Tasting its downpour against my threadbare flesh.

I have gained pounds and shed some more
Then gained some more, drunk with the Calcutta cocktail,
My adult eyes taking in the froth and soot like a courtesan at night
Whose jasmine smell wears off in the morning, and all that remains
Is a sad smile, a wrathful, hungry burst.

Bubbling, simmering, the morning grew, behind my makeshift bedroom door,
And I picked it up, with the earthen tea
As I sauntered, in a scum of worn out memories.


This Lonely City, These Empty Skies

Note: Inspired by a poetry prompt, ‘This lonely city, these empty skies’, a concept initiated by the Facebook poetry group, ‘The Wordsmiths’ and fellow poet/author, Vinita Agrawal.

This lonely city, these empty skies
Yeh soona shahar, yeh khali aasman. 
A forlorn soul, walking on the pavement,
She has eyed the dark soil in the yard
Mapping the streets between her heart’s cracks.
This lonely city, these empty skies
She has aborted her embryo and her dark poems
Hanging in her room like carcass.
She has lost the name of the street where she parked her dreams.

This lonely city, these empty skies
Yeh soona shahar, yeh khali aasman.
A dog comes closer, sniffing her hands.
She smells of half-baked meat, red rain and raw wounds.
She thinks of sporting a boyish haircut, her blazing breath
Slicing the air in shreds.
Fairy tales infuriate her, she searches for words,
voices that would bind her in harmony.
She thinks of her mother, long buried, the city of her body,
The pink-red bloom of her madness, the cloudburst and the sky.
This lonely city, these empty skies.
Yeh soona shahar, yeh khali aasman. 

Lopamudra Banerjee is an author, poet and editor, currently residing in Dallas, Texas. She has co-edited two fiction anthologies, Defiant Dreams: Tales of Everyday Divas and Darkness There But Something More. Her memoir/narrative nonfiction, Thwarted Escape: An Immigrant’s Wayward Journey, has been a Journey Awards recipient at Chanticleer Reviews and Media LLC and has also received Honorable Mention at the Los Angeles Book Festival 2017. Her debut poetry collection, Let The Night Sing and her recently released book of translation of two novellas and six short stories of Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore, The Broken Home and Other Stories has also received critical acclaim. She has received the International Reuel Prize for Translation (2016) for Rabindranath Tagore’s ‘Nastanirh’, translated as The Broken Home, and also received the International Reuel Prize for Poetry 2017.


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Cafe Dissensus Everyday is the blog of Cafe Dissensus magazine, based in New York City, USA. All materials on the site are protected under Creative Commons License.


Read the latest issue of Cafe Dissensus Magazine on ‘Remembering Sir Syed Ahmad Khan in Bicentenary Year (1817-2017)’, edited by Dr. Irfanullah Farooqi, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh, India.


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