Vignettes of a South African Township called Mdantsane

Thursday, July 29, 2010


east london caressing a bleak winter sea side
or did i run away
when nothingness
surmounted gwalior
only a fortitude strung
of lingering summers
with your name
tied up
the reddening sun
the reddening fort
an eye refusing the absence
of silence
when the sea here shared thoughts
random talks of an unsure emblem held
in a night just before the dark
many years since
why does then
your name
so deftly on a seascape

Poem and Watercolor by Amitabh Mitra

Tuesday, July 27, 2010



sardar shitole’s palace
was the last to be ransacked
by a sudden gusto of time
creepers ran taking over a ruinous
i didn’t
even when you had left
its just a matter of moments
you said
stones only remember
the violence
of eye storms.

Poem and Watercolor by Amitabh Mitra

Saturday, July 24, 2010



knives i love in quiet submission
a sheer habit
a linear stabbed dermis
an ooze turning into a
splash hits the words
i incise into each night
breath streaks
a slash and then a murmur
of spent needs
sleep eludes unspoken lust
i cut my dreams often wide open
a night walker perhaps feels the wound
a dog yelps

in suggested desolation

Poem and Drawing by Amitabh Mitra

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

old gwalior


many aeons back
when rock changed faces
many a times and clan men
resisted irrefutably
the sky always gave way
to unhindered horizons
to newer lives
in dust torn
each time we passed the long
languorous tunnels of
each time we found
ourselves on ledges
of looming betrayal
the fort grew taller and higher
overlapping many a skin
many a shadow
many a summers
and i thought that
perhaps one day
you would tell me a secret
of holding the lizard
in my grip
of a moment
knee deep in a drying river
of your breath
navigating a stronghold
of refute
you told me
the ruddy earth would also change
the peacocks would be no more
fungus and fern would darken
such agreements
such love
and we would remain torn
answerable only to the wind
why did we run away each time the
sun changed surfaces
why did we cross eye storms
ensnared long hidden stars
why did we eclipse in patterns
of lip talk on your neck
why did we turn one and only one
burnt one single night
why did we then never die
why did the fort
kept silent

beneath us
deep down
stayed the dargah
the mad man danced
looked at us
in sightless eyes
we had seen him before
much before
when the hot wind
blew away advancing
and departing reasons
a maratha willingness to melt away
at each nightend
we saw him still
shaking his head
his hands sang the song
of the next blitz
the dead around in cavernous
holes never slept
we knew
the rainriver
would storm down
in crypts and crevices
in sultry memory lanes
weather broken thickets
on to those
living and buried
we knew then
it was the moment
of a quiet dismissal
of unhastened departures.

families left for far shores
and houses sprung up on
rusty dreams
a dishevelled robe dragging
a far innocence
hands sought to hold a
and eyes stored tears
on your lips i saw a murmur
loves disparity rootless in
undefined times
i told you the stillness of the fort
stillness of our drifting
stillness of the riversong
stillness of an everydaysky
we lived
shattering long drawn thoughts
in strange dawns
old gwalior.

Poem and Ink Drawing by Amitabh Mitra

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

July Afternoon


july afternoon
an unbridled river rushed
down the fort
on to the chironji trees
a battle cry rose
eyes and steel
glinted in forsaken
a cloud burst galloped
in many a steed
on the dead and dying
the green turbaned man who lives
with bats in the cave
came out again
touched the rain
his eyes swirled
birds screamed
in stronger silence
we had held on to
your hair closed me in
your hands held my thumb
palms caught the language
of rage
a maratha rain
a tale as old as this fort
you said
is a slaughter of rumination
you and me
would still grow
in this broken sun
in a fallacy
of such a gwalior noon.

Poem and Watercolor by Amitabh Mitra