Friday, September 2, 2011

The Swansong of Abinash C. Halder


I’ve tried my best, to fit in as I can
In crowds of rust and wrinkled old masks:
I’ve dotted all the ‘i’s and slashed all the ‘t’s
Smiled just so, and wore what I must,
And nodded all day at players on stage
Who rant their lines and paint in the air
And vomit into wind all verbiage of dross
Seeking yet still all statues of gold
With glass-loaded eyes and dimples of grace
That wrench in the entrails with force,
Questions of unacknowledged spleen.

But what would be the point of it all?
What would be the point, if betel-smeared lips
Ruminating hard, with greasy little palms,
Pick out that meat from yellow-coloured teeth
And slaps on my face “Later, we will see”?

Festooned in parti-coloured papers I lie
A papier-mâché puppet of academic dye.

Tight, more tight; the buckle’s still loose –
Mine too the distempered cause
Of Lilliputs in Brobdingnag cloaks.

Could I have known that things would be thus?
Could I, after all the books and medals and praise,
Smiles in the hallways and pats on the back,
Could I have known of backstabbing moves
In petty little cliques of inflated selves
Where we make ledgers of insult and gain
And deck up as straws with leather-lined coats
Tattooed with love on eczema-tic necks?

Down in dreams of unforeseen woods
Mine are the paws that pounce.

Yet still I glance at mirrors and mend
Wrinkles and crease and entangled curls
And rehearse in mute my silly little lines
To flatter that ‘him’ or cajole that ‘her’
And speak as cats might purr.

Boxed in the chambers of uncertain hope,
Mine are the moves of extras on stage
With paydays that flutter and leave.

Listen to the band, checking their set
And wired for blast – hours on end
Of stereophonic drugs!

Don’t get me wrong – I am not a drudge;
When the lights darken and songs are unleashed
I too will join the headbangers’ gang
And trample into puddle with insistent feet
Thoughts that’ll never be discreet.

Think this is why, I’ve dwelt so long
On tigers in wild or eagles in flight
Or poured over Eliot at midnight and more?

Questions now clutter, and pile up in vain
As these do I sweep and broom into bins
And burn into ashes of unholiest grain.  

The wind in the west now halts and waits
As evening expands its tentacular steps
And strangles all glimmers of twilight in spring,
And spreads for us all, its bountiful shroud.

Clock’s ticking down to that auspicious time
When more and more puppets, with finery and glaze
March into halls with punctilious pomp
And wine and dine with calculated ‘blah’
Sprinkled with mergers and shares and dates.
Here do I wander and cling to those coats
Which I have hope will show me some threads
To weave into being my pocket full of dreams.

O, do not ask what they are!
Cramped in pockets for years on end
Burdened with gallons of ‘yessir’ and ‘nosir’,
I no longer know what creatures they are
And pickle them blind with fear.

Who knows what ropes have stalled my feet
And choked my dreams in quicksand of files
Which others elsewhere have quickened into life!

Now they’ll leave and stagger into cars
And leave still a trail of mobil and rum
That others might smell or speculate and sell.

I’ve smelt them out. I’ve smelt them out!

Enough of that, enough!
I don’t have the guts to be Lear in the heath
Nor do I dare to be Job reborn.
I am just a cog that turns as is turned
And leaves all the rest to time and place
And hopes for a dose of rather good chance.

Judge me as you will, why should I care?
Rocked in the desert of cactus and bones
Ours are ships without shores.

14 comments:

sayan said...

wait and hope eh??

wonderful...the entire literary canon..ei ABIN er jeno konodin BINASH na hoi....i am GREEN with envy

Kerry O'Connor said...

This poem has a great momentum from start to finish. You ask some hard questions here!

Thank you for linking up with Real Toads today.

Kim Nelson said...

This poem tells a tale of sadness and regret. Lots going on here.

shawnacymariekiker said...

so much here. ... and now i can't look back as i comment, but there were some powerful lines.
the last two stanzas in particular.
'ships without shores'... postmodernism in three words. excellent

Abin Chakraborty said...

thank u all for ur comments.I dont generally write such long poems.but at times. u just have pack it all an hope for the best.thanks again:)

Jo Bryant said...

great poem :)

Abin Chakraborty said...

Thank you Jo! Keep reading :)

Kim Nelson said...

Abin,
I just read this AGAIN! It is such a beautifully written piece, overflfowing with human experience. I've come back to it several times now. So profound and introspective and sad.
I was reminded that we are never promised perpetual wonder and perfection, and so much relish those moments when we experience them and look for the lesson, for the Divine when wonder and perfection elude.

Abin Chakraborty said...

Thank you so much Kim.You know, the poem is very very close to my heart and I am delighted that it moved you so.what else can a poet ask for? thank you and keep reading.

Robert said...

Whoa! This is long,unusually long and very very beautiful. Good work Mr.Chakraborty! "Festooned in parti-coloured papers I lie/A papier-mâché puppet of academic dye." Durdanto lines.Bhishon bhalo laglo.
And this condition is exactly what they have been facing -- the common man of Laxman and Musaddi Lal of Office Office.This is what we are born in, uncertainities and question marks.

The Poetry Palace said...

honest, deep.

Glad to see you let them out and shine.

The Poetry Palace said...

Greetings: Glad to discover your blog and your poetry talent is profound.

Poetry Rally week 51 is under the way, it would be a delight to have you in,

A free verse or a poem of your choice is welcome!

Bless your Wednesday!
Hope to see you share.
The Poetry Palace!
xoxox

BEYOND BARRIERS said...

perfecto ultimatum!

Paula Rae Thomas said...

I found your poem featured on poetry blogroll. This is really beautiful!