The Young Men Left Us



The young men left us.


They took everything with them—

Money, warm April breezes, youth,

The scent of parijats, and above all, love.


The young men left us, 

And went to work as migrant laborers

In distant sultry lands,

Far away from the touch of Heaven and Hell.


All that remains, here in the hills,

Are the dusty poplars, the winding lanes,

The cottages with broken eaves,

The decaying walls, roofs of rusting tin,

And reticent villagers crippled

By the constant hammering of heavy memories.


“Where’s your son?”


Don’t you ask that question!


The answer is obvious.


It is a feeble pointing

With a languid index finger

Toward the dusty gravel lane,

And a cold look with yellow eyes. 


Twitter @bibek_writes

Voyaging Along


Mist, a blanket of death, is rising.


With sunken eyes I look around,

seeing nothing but damp darkness.


The night’s dank dew clings

to blades of grass.


The cold wind chills the marrow—

an invisible stiffness grabs from behind.


A crescent moon rises up

from distant hills


like the face of a corpse,

surrounded by dim, starry candles.


Beside the gnarled tree of ancient wisdom,

under leaves dripping with oily water,


under the wake of an earthquake,

I stand quiet and mute.


Longing for dawn, I move

in a new way to a new space.


Leaving dead petals back

with heavy memories of the Past,


I move on, searching for a place,

where suffering meets its end.


Stepping over black twigs and a dead fly,

with all my soul, with all my bleak thoughts


of death and decay,

I move on, searching for a place,


where misery meets its end—

and shrinks like raisin in the sun.



Twitter @bibek_writes

Not Floating but Exploding


A sheaf of paper drops like a Raku bowl
From the edge of the table.

The light plays the trick, reflecting,
Momentarily blinding
With million images and mirages.

The paper drops and explodes,
The fragments go on and on—
Like rumination.

I was a child once, then young,
Now an exploding piece of paper,
Waving through the furious air.

Rumination won’t stop.
No, not even with the corked bottles,
Or the bright multicolored pills.

I used to hide under the covers,
Or in the closet with my own clothes.
It was of no use.

This pain, this rumination would
Wake me up from my dreams,
Leaving me lethargic for rest of the day.

The juniper outside, the dull furniture inside,
They are of no use—
They do not listen to me rant.

The paper flies away,
Away from a lifeless body of mine,
Across the ethereal void of time.

I am just an object in this space
Without any aura,
Or any meaning attached.

Twitter @bibek_writes

Melancholy Eggs for Breakfast


The time for melancholy
Has just started.

I think over breakfast, slicing
The poached egg into two.
Melancholy is all yolky—
Easy to digest and remember.
I wonder how it is often
Confused with creativity.

I dab the brown bread
With a lump of peanut butter—
Smooth as sadness—
And take a greedy bite.

“Is it the only way for artists?”
My friend had once asked.

I rant of things in retrospect,
Scribble lethargic lines of divine despair,
Unable to keep my mouth shut,
Or my pen down.

I once wrote a hate-poem
About a friend,
Now she’s no longer my friend.

I’ll never forget what her eyes looked
As she read the poem—
Marble-heavy, burning with loathing.

Sometimes silence is golden.
And gold is the solid quantity
To measure anyone’s success.

I finish my coffee.
I eat the last bite of the poached egg.
It’s poetic whether I want it
to be or not to be.

Twitter @bibek_writes