Arunima Das

Lost in War

With war-ravaged landscapes;

And crimson-red blood seeping,

Through the rugged terrain,

Contorted shapes lay strewn everywhere;

Howling in agony.

Booming sounds of cannon, Blaring in the distance,

Sent a slight tremor hurtling

Across the soil.

Wounds and gashes galore,

Screams and cries aplenty

Humanity’s wails echoed, Through the altar of Autocracy.

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When the city slept in silence with intermittent rasps and signs of life somewhere in the decrepit ghettoes, the Dargah was awash with prostrate devotees awaiting the morning call of prayer. It came after a zealous night, when generous streaks of Surma blew winter breezes into our moist eyes, and made them gleam like rhapsodies of serene pledges, of an enthusiasm never beheld before. The robust day dawned on the early notes of Azan and was besmeared by the fragrant attar bought out of a little shop.

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Monologue for Have-Nots

Summer silence breathes into the bright city windows; windows that perform like art-gallery portraits slipping in and out of moving figures- some busy talking, some in a stroll or some puffing at crisp cigars; smokes like ink paint the sky and stars blink, they blink-tense and shy-looking for life far down in the shadow of sighs. Poets are dead, or so it seemed. But I saw a blunt light on the terrace of a rickety house; a man perched on a bench, despairing and damned. Death shadows heaving chests from under canopies and across the pond’s ripples. I walk and speak in monologues; monologues uttered on a summer terrace are never spoken in vain.

Courtesy: Photo by Valeriia Miller from Pexels



Songs of Far

Islands of pain; limp of air in boughs,

Mobilises militants and shepherds in countless hordes.

Bleating goats and exploding shells

Hover alike on the debris of plains;

Walk slow, walk still, into smoky cliffs

Of those islands; tirelessly drowsy with pain.

Landslips, from miles away, cry out;

Pleading, pleading to artillery’s sway,

The valleys had stopped long ago;

with skeletal vows buried deep.

The waters in history recede;

and jolt away from scarred shores

Of phony piety.

Shepherds return home, cattles sing into twilight;

Guns rage on, unperturbed and unstill.

Songs of far; poignant in humanity’s cry for survival.

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Confounded, a feral stagger served me to ecstasy/

A breed, that grows flowers of despair on soft meat minds./

Lingering, a desolation drawls a manoeuvre of anarchy,/

Firm on precarious ropewalking, mocking puppets of flesh and fury./

Earthly arcs ascend frantic chases of cold chimeras;/

On veins that sparkle in blood and wine.

Drowned in a pool of salt and water;/

A blob of fragile corpus of cells proclaim a love,/

While miles away wither a tuft of unruly tresses;

In tears ugly./

A snake emotion wafts out in coarse rasps,/

And pledges death to love’s honest ways./

Turning on a blind alley, drives it into throats of hungry cliffs./

Skies haven’t witnessed debauchery worse,/

Laughing at the mayhem unfolding beneath their generous clasp.

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