Wednesday, July 1, 2020




They are in lock down,
whirling, spilling between the life and death.

The deadly virus swallows all prayers
fear is spreading in silence.
dead leaves are in heaps on the roadside.

They peer out to the roads, they walk day and night
those migrant workers, their families, little children
unborn babies walk in the wombs,

They want to go back to their roots
in the thatched house, tree shades, hyacinth ponds, paddy fields
water birds flutter across the bridge

The families are buried by hunger
they walk miles, exhausted, starved, die on the road accident
blood on the asphalt, on the broken pavements, on the soil

Faceless figures of pain and wound hover around
eyes turn into blood orbits, tears are incrusted

Their voices are muted,
asleep now, echoes calling them into the dreamland.

And every morning the death lists are out
we bolt more tightly our doors, our windows
we are numbed to the outside world.


I am still alive, I cannot believe-
the tubes are taken away, the bandages are cut
beams of blue light shine down and rove over my eyes,

Someday even the smile of the doctors also worries me
I am scared that someone may wash away in my absence
the quasi-mural images drawn on the white wall,

Making their black script under the moonlight
those hurried notes of goodbyes and condolences
pile up all around in silence.

I have folded them away
beneath the alphabets of death.

The night is beautiful now, so the faces of everyone
the sound of applause rejects those memories of grief,

I am always tender with the mornings, filled with
the tweets of tiny birds,
reimagine the world like Monet’s ‘Water Lilles’.

New Paradise

Behind the horizon the light is spraying.
the sky trembles like a tear,
as if aurora lights open,
the feathered summer withers.
through the leaves a forlorn dew is falling down.

Moving from one place to another
the moons ride over planets in a pastel,
the colour of love-red roses, draw some design
deadened by the weight of weighting,
to my dreams in your name.

Of the earth groping to its roots
quenching the thirst of the unmarked soil,
it’s the heightened senses that reveal
an infirmary of flowers of the field
cast out from the new paradise.


GOPAL LAHIRI is a Kolkata- based bilingual poet, critic, editor, writer and translator with 20 books published mostly (13) in English and a few (7) in Bengali, including three joint books. His poetry is also published across various anthologies as well as in eminent journals of India and abroad. He has been invited in various poetry festivals including World Congress of Poets recently held in India. He is published in 12 countries and his poems are translated in 10 languages.

1 comment :

  1. finest poems on COVID in our country. Strikingly different from others. heart-wrenching.