Still My Paradise
I see some faces floating
in the froth, in the clandestine clots of street-water.
One looks like our prime minister,
another like a boiled egg, or turnip.
The only human features I relate to,
turn out to be you; everything else vegetates.
There are layers of melancholy
that protect you from my thirst.
Some of them, like forgotten music,
carry an ambiance unknown, unasked for.
Some are disguised as masochism.
Ill-placed and anachronistic punishments.
It all started when the rains poured down.
The drizzle, the torrent,
the pitter-patter on garden leaves:
they all became a more beautiful music.
And then, suddenly,
the rain-woman of my fairy tales died.
Not in my arms, as I yearned for,
but in her voice that carried a notion of distance.
A distance bordering on the foothills of Himalaya.
A distance conveying states of separation.
States of segregated minds as well.
I appealed with human frailty,
and you, like a fragrance,
dissolved without trace.
I sniffed the cruel undeserved void.
Your voice reeked of violin strains,
beautiful and forlorn in crescendos.
You claimed so boldly all distances
breached by a lack of longing.
They brought with them
the stink of dead sea-fish.
Weighted by scale and priced by requirement,
even though I lay there devoid of my body,
entangled in fishing nets.
My senses I devoted to you,
and hence, in rhythms of urban sensibilities,
they have been rendered vestigial.
Even in your presence, time never resumed.
Even with your return, the rains did not soak me.
Instead, they flattened the horizon
and sunk into the far away sea.
Standing at the shores, I could taste the salt.
In voiceless languages, your rains
still moisten my eyes.
In coffins of embalmed tapestry,
you still smell like my paradise.
© 2007 Ritwik Banerjee
Still My Paradise by
Ritwik Banerjee is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.
Entry filed under: art.