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Two Poems by Mallika Bhaumik


Your voice thin and frail is 

the sweetness of Bengal winters in small earthen pitchers of date palm jaggery,

long cravings; sealed.

Your sunken cheeks fill up my laptop screen,

small dose of happiness,

globules of your homeopathy medicine.

The burden of hearing often makes you 

smile words....

I smile back, sad and resigned, 

your endless nagging is now a forgotten art.

My adulthood is full of linear logic and

to do lists

in a distant land where smell of home is a part of a memoir, 

bubble of a song rising in the heart.

Time has left its ripple on your skin

your breathlessness, dim retina, your age 

come as a concern, 

I carry your smile as I crawl back into myself 

to become a ten year old once more,

checkered skirt and ponytails, 

the sound of school bell

and rush of running shoes, 

your tall lean frame waving at me,

my endless prattle under the blue umbrella 

as we walk back home 

in the rain.

Hiraeth is a Welsh word which means a deep longing for a home that might or might not exist

love letter

Far away in time, in a quieter world ,

a love letter was written with clay baked words 

the winds blowing over the land between the two rivers carried their breath

the whistling desert wind blew away some of the alphabets 

some words chased the dandelions 

yet it travelled through the eons to reach her address

the brine of the Arabian sea caressed her face

the mulmul laheriyan dupatta rippled over her skin 

her lips opened, the warmth of the words probing her mouth 

open fields, granaries, spice markets, mosques, minarets dissolved in a while 

language sprouted and language died, 

cities and monarchs rose and faded with time.

The words unfurled and bloomed 

a bed of damask roses,

their musk wafted and filled the room.

An ancient word glowed on her laptop screen 

~a pictograph (cuneiform) of a flowerbed. 

Cuneiform: Ancient pictorial script of Sumeria, Mesopotamia 

mulmul: a type of fabric 

lehariyan: a kind of wave like pattern done on fabric found in India


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