Sharmila Ray

Mundane Little Things

Holding onto life which is lined and dog-eared
is warm and comfortable. Plants in tiny earthen pots
on the verandah, patina covered furniture, clothes piled up
waiting to be pressed and the sound of pots and pans
from the kitchen,
all have the essence of belonging.

The blinds get drawn as the midday heat rises
and the interior turns opaque. The smell of moisture
settles on the floor.
Mashed potatoes, steamed egg plant and tomatoes are
refrigerated, while dreams are thawed and lived.
Like mustard they have a sting that nudges you
from a stupor.
Bleary eyed you realize it is still late afternoon
and all the mundane little things
are imperishable- half closed stars
waiting for your touch.

I’ve Forgotten How To Write A Love Poem…

I’ve forgotten how to write a love poem…

Wistful in autumn, leaves strewn on the ground, the poem
is no longer a part of me. But like all things also a part of my diverse memory.

I’ve forgotten how to write a love poem…
It was there in me long before the tempting Apple happened.
It belonged to Lorca and Jibananando and came down to me
ridding the slopes of dawn.
I treasured its metaphors and cadences, weaving and interweaving
with leaves, coffee and lipstick. I desired its delicate shape and
offered it like a prayer.
But then, that was then…

I’ve forgotten how to write a love poem…
It has hidden itself in the snows of Gulmarg, escaping the horror
lurking in the pine forest.
Some things are lost, possibly forever, yet they remain
in that curious dim-labyrinth between your
blood moon and mine.

Stones of Gwalior Fort

Once here, the stones half defaced by lichen now,
were witness to stories of death and resurrection.
Now covered in darkness and tree roots, they are
drunk with absence and shadows of transient things.
Assorted storylines are embedded in their pores awaiting
a perceptible traveler.

One day, perhaps, the stones will speak
emerging from bleeding night
luminous with sprouted new leaves.

Dr. Sharmila Ray is a poet and non-fiction essayist, writing in English and anthologized and featured in India and abroad. Her poems, short stories and non fictional essays have appeared in various national and international magazines and journals. She is an Associate Professor of the Department of History at City College, Kolkata. She has authored nine books of poetry, co-edited an anthology of Indian poets writing in English and American poets-Bridging Continents. She was on the English Board of Sahitya Akademi. She conducted poetry workshops organized by British Council, Poetry Society of India, Sahitya Akademi.. She has been reading her poems in India and abroad.. Her poems have been translated into Hindi, Bengali, Urdu, Slovene, Hebrew and Spanish. She has taken part in International Poetry festivals.
She has received awards for poetry from Green Tara Initiatives, 2018, from All India Qaumi Ekta Manch, 2019 and from Ethos Journal 2019.


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