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Poems by Joie Bose

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.

The mosquito

You come to me, as that buzzing mosquito

and I try to kill you but I can't,

I fly around my palms, I look mad as I do it

But a dog in heat, and a woman in love is mad!

(Mad is all that is ridiculed)

You are not here, so you can't be that mosquito

but that mosquito is a memory of you from before

Had it been you, breathing heavily before me I would

have slapped you, and torn you apart with my teeth.

(A memory is not tangible)

You plagued me, and I was diagnosed with dengue

The platelet count went down and my skin burnt as the surface of the sun

and I had rashes all over, I couldn't breathe, I was gasping,

it could have been deathly cholera a generation ago.

(This is the time of the dengue)

I managed to kill that mosquito, finally and there was no buzzing anymore

I managed to forget you and there is no pain anymore

I'm fine, I'm fine, I'm fine- I repeat like a chant and on the sly

I look down at the face of my palm to see, a small blood stain. 

(The blood on my palm is beautiful)


I carry all the grudges, the pieces of stone, in a gunny sack on my back

My back, it was fine but now it aches from the weight

I'm a daily wage earner, nothing more, going about the day

I know I can earn my daily bread , I get paid my wage at Day end.

I will put down the bag, and on how well I have borne it 

I will be paid what I yearn - another day. 

I have learnt the art of balancing the weight

Art is to be learnt with pain in grace 

But with so many grudges, I have become lonely

And at night, I'm all alone under the stars. 

I see laughter and love, jump in and out in dreams

When I am dead to the world, that's when I live. 

I am not I, as you are not you

We are all stones, we are all grudges.

A letter to Loveless

Dear Loveless,

I'm sorry that the love in your life died,

May the soul of your love rest in peace;

But souls don't die, only the body perishes

So the soul of your love continues evolving

From a chimp to a human.

I often wonder how long will it take for love to be human,

For the love that is known is a wild beast, hungry. 

I will give you a bunch of flowers to take for your love

Perhaps they won't be white, I don't like white flowers

Perhaps it will be stained with the colour of blood

For the love that you had known- was stained.

I often wonder how long will it be before love becomes unadulterated,

But it won't, for it doesn't thrive in innocence.




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