Poems from the East

By Sekhar Banerjee

Lataguri East Cabin, south of Nepal

Did I ever tell her– Moon always looks good 
where rail tracks intersect and depart near the woods?

She never found a moon over the rail tracks south of Nepal;
for that you need to have a railway cabin near the woods –
a crossing, and rail tracks that are resolute 
yet unmindful
Because all rail tracks are cartographers 
on vacation, like us 
Rail tracks have established their claim, as if, to be set up
near the woods and settlements
They know the shortest route 
to stations, home, the woods
and the location of an honest full moon

I should have also told her 
how it feels to be a forlorn railway track near home 
where only two trains pass to measure each other every autumn 
when the leaves of shimul trees float mid-air,
and descend slowly on railroads to feel the warmth 
of ballast and metal 

It is simple and cryptic, when tracks meet and change path
like baffled lovers; they depart –
changing towns, stations and homes but locked 
permanently in intersections 
near a full moon somewhere over Lataguri East Cabin, 
south of Nepal 

The Middle Path

You look at your own room – 
it is your last hypothesis on earth
The middle path
Your inertia of taking a side, left or right,
is the wisdom of a carpenter
who knows how the saw goes straight
like a judgment 
and it saves half of the continents, 
skin of an orange,
dolls from China, notebook from Bhutan, 
while giving you options 
to take a U-turn, to give up or to start
and proceed straight like a termite 
in a labyrinth inside a piece of driftwood
where there is no side like a Murakami book
on your table which, in the third chapter, deals with
cherry blossoms and music  

Your room is now almost Buddhist 

Sekhar Banerjee is an author.  He has four poetry collections and a monograph on an Indo-Nepal border tribe to his credit. His works have been published in Indian Literature, The Bitter Oleander, Ink Sweat and Tears, Kitaab, Borderless Journal and elsewhere. He lives in Kolkata, India.



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