A Song From Your Village
Biju Deka

Why are you here?
that was not the question that he first asked me,
and maybe he meant to know nothing either,
but he was a man
just like another one,
made of furs and dreams,
made of rusts and scars;
iron hearts,
ravine secrets
silhouettes descending in moonlight;
that naked forest;
that satin pride and
water glittering when there is not even any more tomorrows,
why are you here?
among shadows and lightening,
a dismal stature,
a born libertine
while the whole town has moved to tame the windmills!
Why are you here,
if all the horses in your stable are pleading you to devour
one ocean after another!
Why are you here,
even when in that moonlit village,
raindrops fall from the tips of the bamboo leaves?


Biju Deka
When I see them,
selling lemons in that tarred street
and quietly the pieces cut of a lemon,
and tourists,
drawing lines in sands;
shoes talking to the wind or to the tiny smoke
all dressed in blue,
all men are equal to nothing,
for every man there is an eagle,
an eagle not so extinct,
a man not so extinct;
at my doorsteps,
asked about my whereabouts.
I am there somewhere counting mice in the godown;
ever cynical of entire humanity on the face earth!
these people out there,
tall trees and empty heavens
and in their streets or skyscrapers,
time is built,
fate is built,
a manufactured immortality,
as a drowned man leisurely passes away the cigarette smoke.


Evenings in Calcutta
Ben Zongte

Evenings in Calcutta were a number of things
They were mostly conversations,
the kind that always linger.
Evenings in Calcutta were honest.
They didn’t betray you with pleasantries,
they were as they always were,
loud and humid.
Evenings in Calcutta were addictive;
An equilibrium of peace and chaos.
They were the color of a perfectly-made Chai
Skimmed with pale brown pollution.
Evenings in Calcutta were glasses of wine,
the deepest red and the mostly sparkly white.
Evenings in Calcutta were life’s lessons
of truthfulness and acceptance
that one’s anticipation of a breeze
would only be disheartening


The Past
Ben Zongte

The past creeps in on pale misty mornings
and like death, envelopes you in a serpentine twine
It suffocates you with flashbacks of vivid betrayals
while your guts churn in disgust.
But I wonder why we allow ourselves this torture.
This torment; This Lamentation
Wouldn’t it be best
If we all just turn into salt like Lot’s wife
Every time we peered behind.