By Gopal Lahiri


In the wide-open field  the stars rest on my shoulder,  the immense vista of silence  between the lines,  waits at the edge of the sleep,  each moment is a quiet recollection,  the moonless night is so complete in itself.  A crescent of rock-framed sands  washed by arcs of blue water,  I do not know  how to speak before  my own silhouettes,  I only learn to sit and condense,  clouds bow down to touch the earth. 

Shadow Line

I often bend down to collect a few footprints,  in the shapelessness of darkness, I see a shadow,  I pluck one to meet myself in a new time,  It is a process I do not want to forget anymore.  At the end of my journey, I always search for  wobbly hands. My mother. The fingers stand like  soft white candles. Each togetherness  calms heart and fills the smell of absence.  She dips her nib in blue ink, catches my whispers,  the glass, the unseen faces, the ancient night  chisel the forgotten alphabets and syllables,  the prayers unheard, gods never arrive at my doorstep. 


The silver lily lifts its tired feet and floats,  as if a prayer by water’s edge,  then rustling in the yellow reeds join and  turn back to the snakeskin bodies  of slinking rivers.  Bushes thriving under hot sun,  will laugh with the wind of curse  behind them,  stones are now free from their places,  eroded and deported far away.  A jungle of concrete will slowly destroy  the spreading roots, seeds, and earthlings,  the animated hymn of birdsong,  There will be no one to carry them  back to their silent, natural way. 


The trees listen to the birds with quietness,  and for a while the rain falls with ice  around their wreath of darkness,  the leaves unfurl and speaks in tongues  through stony lips.  Here the flowers live and die in silence,  the richness of fire is touched  by the transformation of rain,  like an old love comes back again  in a soft embrace.  Now little seeds sprout,  the rough edges of the world  are toned down, the air is blowing  with petrichor, barren land is awakened  and dance to the tune of rain. 


Gopal Lahiri is a bilingual poet, critic, editor, writer, and translator with 29 books published, (10 books in Bengali and 19 books in English) including six solo/jointly edited books and two joint books. His poetry and prose are published across more than 70 anthologies as well as in eminent journals of India and abroad. His poems are translated in 16 languages and published in 12 countries. He has been nominated for Pushcart Prize for poetry in 2021, He has received Setu Excellence award, Pittsburgh,  US in poetry. His collection of poems ‘Alleys are Filled with Future Alphabets.’ has received Pan Asian Ukiyoto awards in 2022.  ©gopallahiri