Rudra Kinshuk

1971, Bolpur, West Bengal, India
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Meditations on Covid 19

Meditations on Covid 19
Crawling on the floor to wipe it
with kerosene and a stripe of cloth

The front door rattled,
a cold wave down the spinal tube

While crawling memories of childhood horses
thronged desperately, how far displaced from roots

Suddenly slipped into the kingdom of spiders
under the mahogany cot,
cast away pen-refills, safety pins and a toothless comb
in a peaceful sleep of eternal darkness

Shrieks and premonitions outside,
but I didn’t like to come out at all,
wished to web around me silence…

In such early morning Bipadtaran, the fish seller
shook the front gate with his urgent hands

From much distance I wanted
to avoid his touch, even invisible

He lectured me on non-significance
of lock-down and left with anguish

I washed the gate with sanitizer,
sanitized me carefully,
still felt uncomfortable,
so the second cup of hot coffee

All on a sudden I discovered
an aparajita creeper growing on the window sill,
a small flower, brave and brilliant

The slightest noise gets me startled
and thinking a fool
in the self a poet or the newspaper seller
or a cable-tv- biller
with a face smiling irritatingly

Waiting beside the closed window
I’ve now steadied my argument,
gradually the rattle grows stronger
Peeping through a crack I see
the black cat wriggling
with grills of the front gate

A shadow of Covid 19 looms across its furs

My own hands are now not mine,
Who’ll come to your rescue, improvident rascal?

At 9PM news break:
Nine more have tested positive

Stone pieces start grounding,
Anger, disgust and fear have
got the lights overwhelmed

My country looks strange, unknown
This body of mine proves to be my solitary prison cell

The world of these furniture pieces
look befooled

The street dogs have started howling,
Why do they do so? Any shadow in the ether?
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