• Poems on Kashmir 2009-19

    Debjani Sengupta

    August 20, 2019

    Image courtesy Financial Express

    Haiku XXIII
    (Kashmir 2009)

    The weeping willow
    Touches the bank,
    Red with blood
    No one can see.


    Haiku XXIV

    The narcissi
    In my hand
    Droops fatigued
    Plucked from a land
    Distant and bleeding


    Haiku XXV

    What are those trees?
    Their soft green leaves
    Like new fingers
    Curling in the air
    Reaching out
    To the dead.


    Haiku XXXXII
    (for R.)

    Is it night already?
    The waters of the Dal
    Gleam dully
    Under the neon light.
    The night heron sits
    Patiently waiting.
    We are different
    We sit
    Far apart,
    Not waiting at all.
    For we have acquiesced
    To the end of


    Haiku 55
    Septemper, 2010
    (For the disappeared children)

    I believe
    You are lost
    In the maze
    That is Syria, Damascus, Srinagar.
    The once lush city parks
    Hide your thin body
    Your flailing arms,
    That clutch
    Unseeing strangers,
    Who may lead the blind way
    Home, to us.
    We, who wait,
    Like the river,
    For our turn,
    To lose ourselves, too.


    Unnumbered Haiku
    (Kashmir 2019)

    The mountains murmur
    So do the chinar forests
    Can you hearwhispers,
    Of lovers, separated by barbed wires?
    Ghosts wander the towns
    Where life has been wiped clean
    Where even babies despair
    Oh Kashmir
    Who has rubbed your eyes with soot?
    Who has crushed your soul under his boot?
    Our eyes are doom laden
    And our hands un-clean
    Oh Kashmir,
    Await the footsteps of the living dead.


    Debjani Sengupta is the author of The Partition of Bengal: Fragile Borders and New Identities  (2015) and has edited Mapmaking: Partition Stories From Two Bengals (2011). She teaches at the Department of English, IP College, Delhi University.

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