Monday, December 26, 2011

Inside the Chapel of Kebble College, Oxford

Awed by the sky-rising towers of grace
With silence in steps I trickle my way
And stand in the half-light of altars and pews,
Puzzled in the majesty of panels and vaults.

Stirred to my veins, I gaze on those walls
And struggle to now gauge with unblinking eyes
The palette of faith that coloured those lines
And dazzle our empirical eyes.

I tremble and fold my unbelieving knees
And leave with whispers of prayers in the air
To fields of unclouded sunshine and green. 

Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Tower and The Lark

Shores I had strolled with comrades-in-arms
Are gathered in the silence of night.

Cradled in hollows of chambers of waves
Our laughter and song now fade beyond sense
And paper my feet with sand.

Dolphins with mates have heard other calls
And vault and leap in harmony of flight
To waters that glisten elsewhere.

Here yet I stand, with memories entombed
And muse in th’shadows of moonlighted coves
That warble with stars in concert of heart
Libretto of lone-ranging lark.

And even as banners of dawn unfurl
I gaze at his flight, into clouds of light
And bend my ways with cotton-blossom hearts
To quarters up top in lighthouse on rocks.

Battered with waves and scraped by winds
It stands still strong among nettles and weeds
And scorns our whining with shelters in storm.

Spanned along spaces of shores and of stars
I reach for th'music that's rooted yet soars.  

Friday, December 2, 2011

Songs that’ll blow into a Sun

Signs we had taken for hope
Are tattered and mired in streets.

And vultures now hover
Over corpses of claims –
Claims that are rotting in drains.

How does one strive,
And sustain one’s faith
In times, as hooded as these?

Leaves that’ll wither
On branches in chill
Have siblings in spheres elsewhere.
There they must bloom,
In Amazonian gloom
While ours may loosen and fall
And send us their scents
In darkest of nights
For breaths that’ll blow into a song.

So, shackled in nights of fear and pain
We count our losses and hum
Songs that’ll blow into a Sun..

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Casanova Psalm

Focused on snippets of skin
Baffles and intrigues
And simmers on lips
That’ll spill into a smile
And sauce my plate
With spices of sense
That liven with lust
Dollops of boredom and smog.

Cut it as you will
And colour my sins
But this much I must confess:
On tips of my eyes
Hang heavens of sense
Whose presence I never regret.

The Rubaiyat of Dorian Gray

Snuggled in the corners where lights never creep,
Cradled with roofs that utter not a peep,
I shovel through the mire I have piled
And ledger in pain the corpses I keep.

Thursday, November 24, 2011


They shimmied on sky
Over motors and horns
And flew through my pallor of grey
As networks of wings
Beyond drains full of filth
With immaculate whiteness of
Indelible gleam.


Monday, November 14, 2011

Abinash C. Halder in Love

What she had asked was common to the core -
Trying to be civil, artifice of care.

But it tugged at my heart
And played on those chords
That fling my shutters unbarred.

But I who have stumbled on simplest of stuff
Recall my letters in trash.

So why should I risk
My image for a fall
And burn those robes that glitter.

So I measure my pros
And weigh in my cons
And bottle my words into safest of packs - 
Nuggets of proper and prim.

All that are left are sealed into self
Where they would flower and grow
And build from the ashes of questions unasked
Shrines beyond time and its roar.

Saturday, November 12, 2011


In leaves of grime and grease
She blossoms her tunes
And livens our noons
With fragrance of jasmines at dawn
which tower over streets
Of asphalt and horns
And soars into clouds
With pollen on wings
That glitter in the twilight of dreams.

Holed into hours of targets and tasks
I search for her trail of feathers in haze
That light up my lamps at night.

Sunday, November 6, 2011


I’ve sat by the trickles of en-diesel-ed days
And played with pebbles in tar,
As bouquets of red and yellow and mauve
Have withered into shades of brown.

Torn into cubicle of antipodal shifts
Ours are tracks that rarely converge –
Halved by the meridian digits on clock.

Packed into cans of unmoving past
We’ve chewed over recollected passions in freeze.

Digging our hours from albums of still
We play out our acts and crave
Times that are bolted in frames. 

Thursday, November 3, 2011


I’ve gazed into slime-sodden canals of night
With larvae of fevers and pain
And even have chimed with toads that croak
Concert in gutters unclean.

Roots that have rotted are all
Eyes in the bushes can grasp.

And though I’ve searched while choking on mud
Proverbial lotus in filth –
Swollen with bites of insects unknown
Mine is the harvest of rust.

Peeled into puppets of pulverized husk
We totter on the banks of canals of slime
And slither into blind man’s bluff.

Further upstream, the beggar still sings
Blind but dreaming of stars.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Autumn Sonata

Hands unextended
Beneath the weight
Of that still second
And gape at the void
Where meanings are jumbled in pain.

I’ve stuttered in halls of sepia-coloured pics
And peeped beyond edges that are frayed.

Crouched in the hollows I hear
Echoes of yellow in green,
And measure in an incomplete scale
Topos of absence and loss.

Monday, October 24, 2011

The Dark Passenger

Rocked in the tremors of night
I glance
And shiver at the shadow
That pulls those oars,
And battles with waves,
Steeled among pillars of roars.

~Do I steer or drown?~

Shackled in rings of fissures
I strive
And jab at his jaws
Or dope him into ropes
And count for the punch that’ll knock
Half of my horror into light.

[Written in the Puente form, as explained at the Mini-Challenge for Sunday at Real Toads]

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Epilogue of Abinash C. Halder

'I am not Prince Hamlet, nor was meant to be'
                                              - T.S.Eliot    

Glimpsed in the strips of light
That creep
And plate into corners as
Twilight julienne,
I've caught that scent
Of times that have seeped
And trickled through my fingers in vain.

I've fired my shots
And tried my spears
And gambled with harpoon in sling -
Drowned in the ocean
Of dried brown hours
These, my cultivated weeds that sprawl
And cover my walls of silence in gloom.

Trimmed with sounds
Of neighbours in soaps
And deafened with bombarded ads
I slouch in the couch
And text Ross and Guil
And lock my Denmark of Shame.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Stars That'll Constellate in Hope

Throbbing on the waves
Of silence of night
I pierce into dark
And search for my stars
But clash instead
With comets of loss
That hurtle my being
Into orbits of doubt,
Flung beyond telescopic gaze.

The streets now surge
And storm into rage
And claim their futures 
From coffers of fraud.

Sealed into chambers of shuttles of self
I gaze beyond windows and long
To plunge into streets and fuse
With stars that'll constellate in hope.

Sunday, October 9, 2011


Lost in cushions of acres of grass
I find my voice in streams that ripple
And winds that rush
Through forests of teak
And soar with cranes to realms of blue,
Dappled with petals of peace.

Shorn of the clamours of routine and tasks,
Tuned into crickets as fireflies dance,
I soak in with leaves my unhurried sun
And bask in the silence that sheds
This, my week-long isle from stress.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

My Roots have Branched beyond Lines

My roots have branched beyond lines.
Creeping in peace beyond Kolkata and desh*,
I’ve locked my heart in tendrils of love
That blossom through my texts
Of Shakespeare and Keats
And beckon my being
To Boston and Rome,
For I might travel, with Eliot and Pound
And sing with Heaney and Faiz
Ghazals of loss and newly fashioned hope
That branch beyond lines and soar to the sky
And splatter in a canopy of light.

Spilled beyond boxes of bureaucratic forms,
Mine is the uncompassed sail into storms.

* A Bengali word meaning land/country.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Flippant Tunes

        Come on babe, rock-n-roll
        Swing and go.
        Let me slide in your arms
        Burn the floor, high and low.

        Lock your eyes, with my eyes,
        Why don't you?
        On my knees, I shall ask
        Just say 'yes' and 'I do'.

         Stay the night, let me love
         You till dawn - 
         My heart's now all a-flutter
         I've placed it on a platter
        Come on love, in your lips
         My soul will be reborn!

        Come on babe, rock-n-roll
        Swing and go.

[To be sung to the tune of 'Darling' from 7 Khoon Maaf which again was based on Russian 'Kalinka']

Friday, September 9, 2011

Monsoon will rush

Monsoon will rush
Through windows and curtains of rust.
Monsoon will rush
Through arid old bars of putrefying crust
And cleanse into song our ashes of past.
Monsoon will rush.

[In response to the Thursday Think Tank prompt at Poets United]

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.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Anxiety creeps

Anxiety creeps
As worms in petals in bloom;
Anxiety creeps
And spreads and drips
On the floor of the room
Through chinks in scrawlings of gloom.
Anxiety creeps.

[Written as part of the format challenge on rondelet at]

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Online Profile (Status: Available)

I have bought from the mall
All shapes on sale
And stitched into patterns
Of glamour and gloss
That others might favour
And barter their smile
To fatten for slaughter
The purse of the self,
Clutched in the fist
As morsels to the starved. 

Decked to the hilt, on windows I pose
And showcase myself for consumers' gaze.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Symphony of Seas

Words are bubbles that reach
The surface of sunshine and foam
To be lost in the surge of tourists on shore
Who splash and dash
And tan and leave
And never there is
A peep into deep.

Yet, in a corner of rubble and rocks
One still sees
In silence and still
The bubbles that rise
And will not stay put.

Clouds and waves, now meet and mate
Here on the floor of her eyes that glisten
With dews from the dawn-smeared grass.

These be the translated pearls from the deep
Which for the moment shall gleam,
And strung with care shall afterwards sing
Symphony of seas to her heart.

Sunday, July 24, 2011


Unsure steps on sodden stones
Send a smoke to glimmering stars
Through the chinks in leafy tent,
Where perhaps they may condense,
Hieroglyphs of shared minds,
Which no parchment scroll contains,
In these logs of scraps and tweets.

Mingling still in unknown crowds,
I speak a coral language now;
Too far down from jostling foams;
Waiting for one daring plunge
Into the cliffs that nestle in deep.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Circus of Fear

Rubble has blocked our gates.
Buried in heaps
Of girdles and beams
We peep in fear
And browse in the dark -
Homes we had fled
Are razed in flames.

Still the world laughs
And fawningly accepts,
Democratic farce
Of homeless and dead.

Driven into flocks
Of manufactured need,
We've lost our cells
To feel others' loss
And parrot like apes
What's printed and screened.

Left without a net,
We trapeze in the air
As blank stares gawk
In a circus of fear.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Cry Mumbai!

'These tears are shaken from the wrath-bearing tree'
                                                   Gerontion, T.S. Eliot                   

For us, the scrolling stats and pics;
For you, the jaws of tightening fear.
Blood, rubble, corpse and tears –
Packed for us in distant calm,
Garnished with all expert views.

Who knows where the experts are
When your streets are ripped in flames!

Faintest glimmer of hope must die
Here the death of thousand bombs,
For some to climb on skulls to reach
Heavenly horde of whores of God!

These the digital tears I have –
How else to weep and mourn your loss?
What else for us who safely watch
Mortal wounds you daily bear?

The neighbour’s child has painted red
The sea that laps your hapless shore.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Abyss and After...

[My stats keep telling me how many visits there are to this blog and which pages are being seen. but surprisingly, all such visits yield no dear visitors, if you do like some or any one of the posts, feel free to write a bloggers, your response is all we hope for. thanks :)

Trapped in the hall
Of mirrors, I strive
To shatter and scatter
With swords I've forged
In tunnels in the dark.

Shingles now pierce
And jab to the bones
As I wrestle with beasts
And crawl to the gates.

What light, what flight -
Beyond these molten caves?

Choked with smoke I hear
Warbling waves on shore.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Whisper in the Wind

Around the lowering pegs of night
Circle now in silent rings
Logsheets of those unheard calls
Packed and parcelled, pile on pile.

Brimmed in blankness, engine throbs -
Fingers dance on keyboard floor:
Clip clap clip clap
Clip clap clip clap.

This the Bach and Brahms I choose,
For perhaps that single vase
That now lies on cobwebbed shelf
Clenching lifeless twigs it seems,
Dry and filled with dust and dirt.

But would this not in moments melt,
If, for once, when hoped-for least
Comes in flash the tidal call
And drowning all in surging bliss,
Lifts me soaring, surfing high?

A shuffle on the stairs,
A whisper in the wind.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Twilight Train

Sun-soaked ride of twilight train,
where I see just you and me,
And the light and shades, they play
hide and seek on dimpled cheeks
Shining still with moonlit smiles
Bubbling through her spring-red lips.

Drenched in drowning urban rain
This the muse of lonesome heart,
As through winding wetgreen lanes
Weave I secret questing steps.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Restless Ghosts

Beyond the frenzied crowds that cheer
I hear the rustling restless ghosts
Who pace my darkened rooms and muse
What their corpses meant for those
Who on streets now dance and sing.

One by one those wounded heads
Rise from streams of blood and call:
"Where's the price of martyr's blood?
How much long the sanguine trail
From our huts to thrones of blood?"

Dazed in scenes of mindless joy,
Mine is only helpless loss.

Down below in perfect sun,
Feasting ants and maggots run
Nibbling on some trampled flesh
Fanned awhile in gentle breeze.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Nightmare II

The pillars and beams
Of palace of dreams
Crumble and Crackle
And pile into rubble
In fields now rank with weeds.

The eyes in the bushes
The whisper in the air
Now thicken in the dark
That is torn with claws
Which are stained and brown with blood.

Sniffing then the scent of preys and flesh
I hear their paws,
As they circle and wait -
Sinews and jaws of poised intent.

Staring in the dark I bide
Time for the pounce of fate.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Prayer for Good Friday

Splattered and smeared I have seen
Stones and stones with blood.
The agony in the faces,
The horror in the eyes,
The unspeakable torment that boils
In sabre-ridden entrails of night.

I have seen O Lord I have seen.

These are but glimmers that rise:
Moments of pity and fear.
Ours are passions that fleet –
Weeds that fuel
Some flames that fade.

Forgive us this day our sins
So that we may others forgive.

Beyond all sneers and howls of pain
Beyond all measures of debit and gain
Thine is the icon that bears
As scars, the price of our sins.

I know not what hope is left
For us that are reared in doubt.
Here we but toil and wait
Till thorns and nails have cleansed
The dross that shrouds our state.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Since My Reply...

Anxious as ever, with words I wrote,
I wonder in fear
What visions they disclose
And whether they had throbbed
In an expectant heart.

I tailored my words
As curtains that hang
On windows of soul,
Flicker and flutter -
Hiding with hints.

But what if they had rammed
On unwanting doors
And shown in their haste
More than was meant?

How else to explain
The silence that stalks
My inbox for months
With absence and pain,
Seemingly in vain!

Silent and shelled now I lie,
In wave-ridden beaches of time.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Season now of Broken Hearts

Along the night of sullen streets
Glistening still with twilight rain
Float and fall a thousand leaves,
Braiding pain in hundred wreaths –
Season now of broken hearts.

Wrapped around the seeping earth
Flap the scented winds of rain
And blow my way with breezy grace
Pictures of those rippling days
Sparkling still in wistful gaze.

Strange the ways of heart it seems –
Who knows how in seasons long,
In ways we never learnt in full,
The tides, they came and merging on
Surged together for some shore
Where they may in bridal song
For themselves some castles build.

I in golden muslin light
Stranded now in distant lands
Swarming with some unknown tongue,
Search for those in silent gaze
In those smiling eyes of yours
Which keep seeking dream-lit men,
Straddling who-knows-what green lane!

My verbs, they lack the Protean arts:
Season now of broken hearts…

Sunday, March 27, 2011


The shadows now fritter
In thickets of dreams,
As doubts now clutter
The sewers of self
And seeps through the strands
Of sheets of time
To haunt my skull
With signs of dread
That scream and swing
And shout and ask:

"What are the beasts that cry?
What sirens scream?
What are the chants that smother
The whispers on the stair?
What songs? How sung? How?"

Cradled and coiled I writhe,
In barbed-wire rhythms of night.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Colours of Soul

I’ve poured in verse
In black and white words
Oh dear, the colours of soul.

I’ve mixed my skies
With starlight and seas
O, watch the waves unroll!

I’ve packed in lines
My hills and vales
And studded our banks
With gardens in bloom
Where petals of heart unfold.

Welcome, my friend! I’ve opened my gates
Now dabble and smear as you can
The fountain shall soothe
And sprinkle on all
Oh dear, the colours of soul. 

Saturday, March 5, 2011


(For Robert – In Memory of Agha Shahid Ali)

I’ve woven with tears my shawl of fears
And draped our skies tonight.

Still the wind rumbles and roars from depth
My sky, it is crimson tonight!

Troubled and torn, I’ve lost even now
The music of mourning tonight.

Forgive me dear friend, for I cannot weave
The song of your choice tonight.

But your tears are strewn and spangled as stars
On the aanchal of heart tonight,

Where each it glows as rarest of pearls
And sings to my seas, the shore tonight! 

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Ecstasy, in Still

Why should all curves
On stone speak art,
While those on limbs
Are joined with lust?

Words! now dance,
And sing to my tunes
The rhythms that ripple
Through beauties I gaze,
For these must glean
Their pulsating flow
In forms that thrill
With harmony of will -
Ecstasy, in still.

Saturday, February 19, 2011


Tired of receiving such dull replies,
Why should I frame
My lines for her gaze
Which I know this page
Shall never inspect?

The swan doesn't care
What poets observe,
But floats and fades
In a music of its own
And leaves our hearts
In insatiate craze.

These be the lines,
O Heart, take heed:
Words must frame the beauty that leaves
To paint afresh the heart's torn sleeve.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Meatshop Lane

A sudden swish,
A writhing spurt,
And then  the wrenching of the wings.
(Could you change the channel now?)

I've stood with crumpled notes and seen
The daily act of muscles taut
That hack and pull and tear and crush
To suit the choices we dictate
And serve ourselves the dish we please.

No one minds the splattered stains
And rests in peace with newly bought
Powders that would rub them out.
(Could you switch the AC on?)

I am stunned by these images
That sting
And sharpen their fangs
To gobble my world
Which sinks it seems
In rivers of blood.

Weep my beloved and watch
The streets now swarm with daggers and guns
And rend our skies with unremitting flames.
(The pizza boy is here love!)

Friday, February 4, 2011

Magic-Bridge of Time

Return from where to where?
I've left my days of mirth and bliss
Of moonlit nights and choric walks
And find myself now hurtling down
Into the reams of 'pending' lists
Where the clock with gaping jaws
Crouches for one lethal leap.

Let this verse be then
My magic-bridge of time,
For there shall I move
In nowhere, nowhen
And straddle how I can
That which I must
And that which is lost.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


Wrapped around in morning mists
Hazy seconds trickle down
As one by one the rays of light
Kiss those leaves and kneel on roofs
Yawning then with gentle ease
In that morning winter breeze.

Far from cluttering clangs of cars
Or from shrill-pitched rants of night
This, the fragile time of peace
When all the dozing limbs of mind
Round and round the light uncoil
And girdles fresh the dew-lipped mind
Before the unpurged day invades.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Unsung Plea

My swelling desires surge,
Though shapeless as a gust,
For a bower of their own
Where colours shall bloom
To adore and adorn
That essence of her being
Which the eyes never grasp
But flashes like a splash
In summer's cool streams
And breathes through my soul
The fragrance of flight
Of birds that weave
In twilighted sky
Rainbows on wings
That sparkle and melt.

My words are all I have
To plant these unsown dreams
Which once may bloom and sing
In tune my unsung plea
For her who wont hear
What I wouldn't dare.