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Poems by Arnab Chatterjee

Arnab is the author of over 10 volumes of poetry and his verses have been published in the UK, Nigeria, India and Australia. He is both a hard core academic and a poet.

The Night's Queen

When the night spreads its reign,

I can well see your smile dissolved in it

it’s night when you are wide awake, it’s night

when I am awake too!

That's when the use speaking of the day,

The clouds, the rain, the sudden bursts of thunder? 

It's for you that the night sleeps in 

my eyes and the day resides on my limbs. 

Where is the evil that rises its head, the horrible thunder, the muffled cries? 

It's calm tonight, totally calm, I can 

even hear the silent tunes of love, 

in the owl's wings... 

It is dead calm, but the dead are sleeping, 

they will never rise their heads, will never come out, 

For your smile and the delicate embroidery of your eyes 

is dissolved all around the trees and the sphere, 

that often sends a shiver down the back. 

But not tonight, for it is calm and silent, 

It is not the silence before the great cosmic storm, 

nor heralding the horror in the head, 

It's the blinking of your eyes 

that has caught a tune with the dead silence of this night.

When we can discern the troubled heart of the stars, 

often clouded from vision. 

It's the loosening of your invincible locks, 

that sends the sweat dreams in our eyes. 

Those Perils

Thus, I begin the long awaited task, 

I resume it as I should, 

without an illusion that there shall be no voices, 

or that a sudden cry shall not stop my feet. 

May be, I shall turn around and see none, 

But on turning to look at the path, 

I would have lost it once more in the woods. 

I shall go on even in a trench, 

or in mire with thorns all around, 

with my being trapped in it, 

My path may be stopped by a corpse, 

quite familiar to my eyes, 

As it shall be mine (who knows)! 

Perhaps the sky shall groan, the wind shall pierce,

The earth shall rise up like a whirlpool, 

or coat me to the end, making me blind. 

Even with my bones as the bonfire, 

I shall keep on moving and roaming, knowing all these, 

I begin my work tonight, 

At this dead moment, with the world asleep, 

That shall wake up at an appointed hour, 

with dream still hanging on its eyelids, 

But that shall never know, 

That a resolution has been made, 

without the horror of being stopped. 

The Night's Queen and Those Perils are from Residence Beneath The Earth by Arnab Chatterjee, Poets Foundation, 2008


Let me drown you into a pool of hibiscuses, 

Till you grasp for breath and beg for life and love 

And yet they shall fade, as usual and only I will 

remain with my unconditional love... 

The vows of eternal companionship. 

Am I not a fool for drowning you like this? 

For ants like sweet assets. What more can 

you expect from fools? 

These all shall surely vanish, and all 

my endeavours to compare you to these hibiscuses 

are sure to go in vain. 

Exasperated, you'll emerge like an iceberg 

and ask with a crescent frown if 

I have bought you for a slave? 

Another Face of Beauty

Tiresome! Utterly tiresome had been the endeavours 

For much has been said, 

Lyrics, fit to fill sacks have been made, 

A thousand ballads been sung, 

And the tiring work undone, 

On the beauty of a dame. 

Tell me, why not to wake up to the beauty of an old woman

Perhaps, something warrants that you should not see,

the beauty of her wrinkled face. 

Tell me, why can’t you unlace your tired and tied soul

weary of praising the beauty of a maiden, 

Yes, tell me ? 

I saw you besides the river that day , 

When on that hot day of May, 

You were pondering o’er the ravages, 

made by slow and silent time on you. 

But why to worry, may be a few like me, 

but a many one day, 

When they shall see you on the hot days of May, 

Will arise, surely arise to the beauty of yours, 

Like me! 

Hibiscus and Another Face of Beauty are from In Desolate Dwellings by Arnab Chatterjee, Poets Foundation, 2008


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