Uneven Path & Other Poems

by Gopal Lahiri

Uneven Path

the solitary bird making rounds
in a way of finding,
the art of survival on
uneven path and graft,
keeping it buried,
softness sets in the twilight sun.

milky white cloud flakes
high and low of the window breeze,
life to be in a half or full circle
world in a microcosm,
seal the glorious moments.
Painfully evoke sensation

no one seems to care that
sea gulls wheeling over the
vast expanse of blue water,
beach cafes keen with locals
dense stands of coconut palms
always care for geometry.

what i am looking at?
There will be silence,
walking on the diagonals
the hanging question
closes in opposites.



The road is narrow,
Meandering, broken stone steps,
The gravel descends,
It’s something amorphous.

For now though, a distant call
laxer, purer,
It’s not the sound of fallen leaves.

Memories buried under the earth
where reflections are mirage,
steep in imagery.

Colour precipitates on the valley
from the setting sun
beyond the solitary tower.

Taunts resentfully, elates, exalts
as though suspicious
sighs and finger taps.

Behind clouds gleaming-
much has been lean-to
for centuries.

It is the listening
Life burst into seeds on hill slope,
the hush that lingers on.


Muted Colour

Some days, in my village, rain
comes with dirt
a pool of water, slippery steps
on the courtyard.
thatched leaking roof, it’s easy to remember
the day, in the dark night too.

that we are promised
to weave dreams, smell of the wet soil, those
leaning bushes
on the bamboo fence reveal
a heavy shower with strong winds.

the distant
rolling voice and then a veil of silence.
the jackfruit tree
on the courtyard clutching
low hanging fruits,

poisonous snakes between
the two wind-warped guava groves, a sigh
of relief, looming over this,
in the darkness,

the ghost who does not have the ability to catch
the light,
everything falls away
at the wayside.

the long held secret code
to unlock the wooden
door, but the clay wall collapses,
and in word,

we cannot explain
the hidden lines. no space now
to hold your wrinkled face,
my mother earth.


Tide and Wallflower

I know what ink and paper is all about,
it never says about the
tide and wallflower.
tears of despair in eyes
and erosion of values.

but the time is stuck in reverse here
back across the mango tree,
outside on the courtyard, the
clay mound crumbles
and drop down to dirt.

from the wooden door to the garden
was once a long walk,
between the two rows of palm trees
tune to the bells
of the Kali temple.

the evening often speaks soft words
of the black oriole,
and still makes sense, that path
we travel, never think of
so many near misses.

Today it’s just an image
goes in and out of the clouds
under the pale moon,
our meandering thoughts.


Fort Kochi

The chinese fishing nets abounds here
suspend horizontally over the sea,
bamboo poles,
the rising wind reminds long history
in the flaps and whistles
of the white sea birds,

In your thoughts, going against
the comfort of sitting idle,
the images that left behind,
of the coconut trees
reclaims identity in delicate pastels,
against the setting sun,

the carved faces of the distant island,
evening wakes up
with mugs of coffee
tall and short people sip unmindfully
smell and taste memory,
weaving and spilling short stories,

ebbing of the light, darkening of the sky
how well we heeded
the evening words,
of the time capsule relic,
how far we have advanced
in tremulous cadences.

click on the billowing clouds,
every moment is changing and different.
eventually the forceful whispers,
reveal the power of argument.
The singe of the soul
in the fading light.

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