The day you hid the door of afterlife —
Earth, flames and ashes
allying illusion and reality.
I still sense your presence
around that door
but a sound from this opening
seems like an echo in the wilderness —
warning as well as bewitching me
to reveal myself to the untraveled.
Still for my senses,
like a deserted impala calf —
I am hurling questions and calls
to the woods drowsy in meditation.
Maa, I know you won’t answer.
I am therefore standing
trying to find answers
in the undertone of this rain
falling on the tin house.
In a skirmish with anxiety
I am awake — waiting
to meet sleep in person
[if she has heard you somewhere.]
Or what’s the purpose of
perpetuating the thirst of my eyes
Tears are digging deep inside
a canyon of remembrances
is getting drilled
of swallowing my saliva
sitting in front of a pond
I discerned the vibrations
resonating the strings of my breath.
Ripplets from insects
falling in the waters disappeared
. like the prevailing silence lost in serenity
. like the lost sound of saliva
. descending from tongue to neck.
With too many questions to be answered
the need to inquire got lost
and I was left with thoughts of the sky
beneath which I was born
the roads which I walked
and the nakedness
that still keeps me intact.
from Tushar’s Apartment [Malabar Hills, Mumbai]
A stable flute is pushing me
and a drunken gale is retaliating.
My life drifts like a stranded kite
between the melodious and the mysterious.
Nature gazes like a winsome stranger
strolling dancing jumping
like the Bauls of Bengal.
Chirrups of mystic birds
ride on the chariot of the sea
pulled to the shore by its horses.
Thoughts in an intercourse
with naked waves
scream of a world lost in lust.
Hypnotism of the inconclusive
charms me into the grey
of pregnant clouds and pensive waves.
In front of paradoxical nature-sounds
. I realise
My mind is heavier than my soul.
. What seemed impossible
. was always possible.
Dear Nature — I am thinking
if to marry you
or, keep you as an escort!
Snapshots of a Dying Soldier
A loath combat helmet lying over a weary head
and an ever vigilant gun pregnant with bullets
lean against each other in a moot discipline
A mixture of the absurd and the fantastic
Eyes fixed on a rising dawn with the Sun at heart
absorb the drowsy silhouettes and weeping clouds.
They blink like Mimosa pudicas as thoughts perish
on the border line of infused patriotism
Shroud of smokes follow far flung air strikes
and the cloud above roars to obliterate screaming pleas
A tired imagination rises and falls like musical notes
on the strings of realism boxed inside solitude
A faithless hand burns a cigarette and pelts stones
at a nearby ditch frowning toward the obvious.
A pair of embattled lips murmurs childhood songs.
An ominous twister forming from wandering smokes.
The head lies flat with dreaming eyes fixed at dawn.
The gun awaits its next partner and the helmet escapes.
The feeble ditch almost dry refuses to lend water
and the seeping blood refuses to lend it either.
A family in its infancy plays at home uninformed.
Reasons scratch against broken walls to find ways
of banishing the magical gun from the pop culture of war.
Mirages of hope smile amidst scattered sands of anguish.
Maa – Mother
Bauls- Mystic singers in Eastern India
Mumbai- City in India
These four previously unpublished poems by Sonnet Mondal were written in English and, as such, are untranslated.
Sonnet Mondal is an Indian English poet, editor and literary curator. His latest collection of poems, Ink and Line, was released in 2014. Sonnet has read at literary festivals in Macedonia, Ireland, Turkey, Nicaragua, Sri Lanka, Hungary, Germany, Slovakia, and in many festivals throughout India. He received the 2016 Gayatri Gamarsh Memorial award for literary excellence for an Indian English author whose work has appeared in major North American publications. Sonnet was one of the authors of Silk Routes project from the International Writing Program at University of Iowa from 2014 to 2016. He is one of the current directors of Odisha Art & Literature Festival, an editor of the Indian section of Lyrikline Poetry Archive (Haus für Poesie), and the series editor of The Enchanting Verses Literary Review. He was a guest editor of Poetry at Sangam, India in 2017. His poems have appeared in Kyoto journal, Irish Examiner, the World Literature Today, the Mcneese Review, Blesok, Palestine Chronicle, Drunken Boat, Indian Literature, Asia Literary Review, Fieldstone Review, and Two Thirds North. He is currently a Writer in Residence at the Sierra Nevada College as part of their MFA in Creative Writing. Sonnet represented India at the 10th anniversary of the International Istanbul Poetry and Literature Festival. He conducted poetry workshops at the Fairway Galle Literary Festival, Sri Lanka in January 2018 and acts as a curator for Dutch poets travelling to India on behalf of The Dutch Foundation for Literature. His poetry has been translated into Hindi, Italian, Slovenian, Hungarian, Spanish, Portuguese, Slovakian, Turkish, Macedonian, Bengali, and Arabic. website: www.sonnetmondal.com