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Joie Bose's Poems


Joie Bose is a corporate professional in the ITES industry, a former professor of Jadavpur University. She is the India Community Leader of The WIT Network. She has won Bharat Nirman Award for Literature, Nissim International Prize for Poetry, Women par Excellence Award for Literature amongst others. She has authored Corazon Roto and Sixty Nine Other Treasons (2015) and Amour (2020). She is the General Secretary of Poetry Paradigm and Mrs. India (East) 2018.


"It's not a disease, it's memories. You need closures. From all the bridges that you've crossed. Burn them," the shrink said. 

memories stand out as the freckles left on your face,

you had exposed it to the sun for too long.

memories burn the layers of your skin, and leave spots

not always that burn and itch, but you're marked.

memories torment you as a needle on a syringe at the clinic 

which lies await, to pierce your veins before it finds the blood vessels.

I thought the shrink would say it's some sort of disease and give me a box of pills to get rid of this disease which makes me  become so unlike me that often

when no one is looking I try to brush this self away - were it dandruff on my shoulders;

the shrink must have gone mad himself dealing with so many mad people, madness is a disease and this shrink must have caught it- why were I not prescribed those pills?

I can't afford closures, they are too expensive.

Skin sack 

My body is a skin sack

fat filling in and out, seasonally;

summer, winter, autumn and spring

the bulges come and go, periodically. 

Were I to hold on to my winter time

when I'd be shrivelled and gaunt

a cloth hanging on me, my heart cold

I know life would slowly leave this skin sack. 

I let thus the warm fat sit around my waist

I let it slip along my arms and thighs

I let it come and cup my chin

and the face breaks into a smile.

I had starved myself for long and had forgotten to smile

My tongue had parched itself and the stomach had gone dumb

I was much less of a human then.

There have been nights when I've cried for food

There have been nights when I've cried for what the food did to me

And then there was that night when I realized

it wasn't the food that made me cry. 

All my life I have sought for the approval of them 

who handed out their disapproval to me

and that is what which made me cry

and all I did was blame the food and the fat in my skin sack. 

My skin sack waxes and wanes, I accept, I admit, 

and I try not to be ashamed of it.

Joie Bose


It was a soap bubble and I was in it

and all the lovely people around

had rainbow halos around their faces;

People were laughing, as they always do

All people are all born to laugh

and I was born, to be in a soap bubble to 

gaze at the people laughing-

perhaps one day too, I will laugh... 

"Who will burst the bubble?"

they all chanted like a mantra

and they all reached out their palms

Their fore fingers outstretched as if they were all aiming

for a gold medal and if they could touch it

they could too become all gold, twenty four carats;

but I in my bubble all foaming from the mouth of ecstasy,

a champagne bottle opened on a twentieth anniversary 

was soaring higher and higher 

for all the people had rainbows around their faces

and how I love the seven colours... 

Your love and mine is but a soap bubble, my love 

as all human loves happen to get burst one day

and I don't fear it anymore as I don't fear those 

outstretched hands that don't want me to see the rainbows;

But I fear you won't close my eyes... 

When bubbles burst, rainbows go away-

the seven coloured circles that protect you from thorns

make you forget your desert 

as you get drenched in the water of an oasis. 

I have seen children stare at them who sell bubbles

at traffic signals, street corners and outside school gates;

and in their gaze I found me, staring at you from afar... 


the water stands calm with ripples-

a poem will not make it still,

it still remains witness to the night.

your son now on your chest

my son on mine and her son on hers -

how we don't have daughters.

our bosoms hold more than sons

and poems

one day the water will come out

to intoxicate the world

with none to hear the witnesses. 

this were a part of another story

but one day I will write ours. 

Joie Bose


I always have

Nothing to tell you,

I am nothing to you

And you,

Are nothing to me

And we have nothing

Between us,

And I have nothing

Left in me to give,

And I accept nothing

From you.

In our nothingness, realizations dawn

Perfection, perhaps is nothing.


The Pit

Can you equate 

your love 

with your lover,

perhaps put a formula of 

arithmetic, geometry or algebra 

- this is why I fear love

and fall into the pit-

it often tends to become




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