THREE POEMS BY KUSHAL PODDAR

PHILOSOPHY OF THE BLIND

The way someone blind 
wears his ignorance and
gallivants through a throng

Tim holds his hope, says,
“It’s me.” over the phone
to the number his deceased
wife used until the May end.
May means many things.
May all calls are answered.
The blind reaches the crossroads.
Here sometimes sights return
although it costs the vision.


THE BATTLE OF THE MASKS

The savage arrives as one and in scads,
and it has no mask, its grin naked as
serrated knife. The victim, on the other hand,
wears one carefully forged from cotton clothes
by his wife when the authority encourages
making those at home, wearing them outside.

These are the days. Pandemic, pandemic – susurrate
from the unused coffee machine to the dying fauna of the zoo
unvisited, almost everything. Your daughter goes
to the novel virus potluck party where kids frenzied
on the dearth of high invite someone blighted, and
the chicken dinner shall go to the one who may catch
the infection. These are the days. I climb up the slope
toward the house with the widow in the window,
in my hand a cardboard box of ashes, and startled
at the cacophony I see, I have never seen
such a gathering of birds in the firmament.
The teeth of the clouds, unmasked, pose as if
there exists a hiss somewhere in the blue.


MY SAVIOUR

Turn on the street lights.
A car chokes at “Step away
from the car with hands
where I can see those.”.

Kneel into the ebony asphalt,
utter, “I have a son back home.”
and see the anorexic shadow
of some tree donated to the city

dying and rebounding into another birth
as the cop car flash rotates this chronotope.

I lift my head to see the gun. Why now
reels the hymn -‘Oh, the sweet joy this sentence gives,
“I know that my Redeemer lives!”‘
in my kidney and spleen and liver and heart.
Where does this consciousness exist?

“Keep those hands where I can see.”
Blue and Red and slim fit tree, oh I know
my Saviour lives.


A poet and a father, Kushal Poddar, edited a magazine – Words Surfacing, authored seven volumes of poetry including The Circus Came To My Island, A Place For Your Ghost Animals, Eternity Restoration Project – Selected and New Poems and Herding My Thoughts To The Slaughterhouse -A Prequel. Find and follow him here.  

4 POEMS BY KUSHAL PODDAR

RIDDLES

One July your father disappears.

In his mind someday you will solve

the mystery of logics behind,

never understanding that to decipher

a riddle one needs a partial anamnesis

seeking the wholeness. One July

comes oblivion. A face. Then nothingness.


Most of the years chubasco blows this month.

Some leaves stick to their branches.


MURMURATION

Tim’s daughter’s loneliness kisses 

her tutor’s.

The couch smells of spilled caffeine

dried into dust.

That night the tutor will bury a box in

his backyard –

ash to ashes, dust to dust.


Tim does not know about all these.

He moves his hand to birth a sterlings’ murmuration outside the old mill.

I have nothing more to report for now.


THE UNLOCKING OF THE PUBS

When the pubs open their mouths

between two thighs of pestilence

I bid for a pint of both black and tan.

Saqi, let the thirst die along with the thirsty.

You have a red plague mask on. I raise mine

to sip from the heavy chested glassware.

Social distance makes the squeak and squeal of the rats heard.

Shadows of people populate this ghost town.

Pour a second. I raise my glass, empty.

You can still give those expressions even wearing masks.

An evening for the lady. I order. Wind blows outside.

Everything is heard.


THE SONOGRAM OR A FAULTY MEMORY

The sonogram shows the drowned;

a deep breath begins to singe my inside;

I cannot quite reach the great depth 

where the memories wrecked 

and sunken turn into a shapeless green.

(Imagine something evergreen and yet never in vogue.)


The sonogram, if (“If” – you used to utter

like a long suppressed sneeze) anything,

questions me, “What do you see in this Rorschach?”

and I say, “One man toying with his braised chicken

thinking – the only company he has for dinner is fried and stewed.”


Imagine the object caught by the sonograph 

feels and feels like confessing to someone

typing on an old world typewriter. He has to hit

some keys thrice to get the right impression. 

(Oh, what does it say? I fail my diving instructions again.)


A poet and a father, Kushal Poddar has edited Words Surfacing, a poetry magazine, and is the author of seven volumes of poetry, including The Circus Came To My Island, A Place For Your Ghost Animals, Eternity Restoration Project – Selected and New Poems and Herding My Thoughts To The Slaughterhouse – A Prequel. Find and follow him on Amazon, Facebook, and Twitter.