Rudra Kinshuk

1971, Bolpur, West Bengal, India
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Fragrant Anchors 2013

IN SEARCH OF HOME

I descend into the tunnel,
spiral darkness on the way.
Stripped fears turn
to romances of adventure.

White candles burn
in the tiger’s yellow eyes.
Shaken-off
feathers piled up,
my looked-for home on the open space, long.

Light of harvested crops
overwhelms my quest,
a quest for one’s own home
in this body …

FIRE-TALE

Crawling smoke howls,
tortoises scuttling
over the marine floor of sleep.

Assembling over the mystic culvert
they exchange
their personal fire tales.

Tales follow tales,
each pocket has
its own tales to pour down.

Ulki-marks on their hands
get reflected
in the intimate water

Shivering cold, bird-less canvass,
People among the silent leaves
read the fire in others …



FOOL

I scatter moonlit cotton of laughter
over countless buried heads.
Thus I earn my soiled bread …

Evening moves to midnight,
shooting stars make shadows
which deepen fall of brown leaves.

The great spider sees
how I close the windows
behind the silhouette of trees.
The moss-green shirt hangs
from an indistinct hook.

I look for me, myself in own shadow …


EYEHOLE

i
water smoothli calm.
a woodpecker, its long beak.
a greenroom’s opening.

ii
a swell of yellow leaves.
the fool looks at it smilingly.
a blue sea, rolling.

iii
two hands on a book.
the wind caresses its yellow pages.
silence blooms …

iv
ripe mangoes fall
on the ground.
a storm in me
makes my water
flicker like fire.

v
horses look terrified
when they stand before mirror.
a different race course there.

vi
the tall tree feels lonely
in the open sky.
the ants on it don’t know.


vii
birds look like new mirrors
rocks get drenched excellently.
scarecrows weep for seeds.

viii
snakes burn like flames.
the tube, a smooth passage upward.
a lotus blooms, its fragrance.

ix
a bird on an oar.
churned water, broken mirrors.
reflections of the bird
are numerous.

x
a man’s voyage to some estuary.
yielding water churned.
two men returned home.


THE OWL LANGUAGE

Darkness freezes
on the headless shoulders.
And from all wooden boxes
of our private life
small owls fly away
to the burning tree-tops
and their feather burn
gradually
to become
scripts of fear.

Crops get bloodied.
Behula, the peasant woman
looks for the beheaded body
of Lokai, the farmer.
The river knows the story,
the river knows how
faces masks.

The blind
and dumb
read the cryptic owl language
and the massage of
an impending storm.

Glass-palaces fall silently,
silence thus becomes meaningful
sharply fearful...

UDDALOK

Conches blow
in the green music hall,
ever widening crops
open secret doors
to these rituals
of prayers and songs.

Let me lie
on the fertile soil
of anchored tales
and ballads
of rich crops.

When my body
in visinity of crops
will be full of leaves,
call me Uddalok.

HORSES OF GRANDMA’S TALES

Horses in grandma’s tales,
of different colours and sizes
move gradually
towards the untrimmed orchard.
I find them ripening yellow
fragrant oranges.

Dark horses come
out of the scented xerox-machine,
producing countless copies of our dreams.

I in dreams,
the horses laugh at
the collapsed indigo-houses.
The ancient tamarind trees
go on dreaming
at the rainy nights.

Water moves,
anecdotes follow
anecdotes.
Grass grows ever in memory.
Bodhisattva, you learn this story from life to life.


CALIBAN

The Tempest has quite a number of entrances.Prospero and magic opens a door to the world of miracles. Miranda’s physical windows delicately open to a world of fragrant lullabies of oranges, the game of moonlit fish and open-winged butterflies.

And Caliban, depicted as half-human looks for his tongue lost in a world of strange light, traumatic bees caught in a complex web of moving spiders.
Crop-anecdotes and ballads of fishing are lost for ever.

Prospero and his men will return to their homeland.Crown and celebration for them.Perfumed rains for Miranda’s dreams.

Caliban, will be groping at lost memories at darkness.

A greenroom opens itself in silence.Bears once walked on the sands,
difficult to remove their colonial footprints?


ARSHINAGAR: A MIRROR-HOUSE

Suffocated wind has fainted down
at the feet of the huge fly-over.
The farmers whose corpses flowing
into the rivers
know that towns and cities
are no longer places for them,
but for their ghosts.

Compradors have builtup a big market.
its jaw
I’m a toy of the market.
Play with me.

Standing before a mirror,
I see this body, an arshinagar
a mirror-house
where Lalan, the mystic singer
sing the song of birds.

I try to move away
from the sadness of luxuries
and look for the yellow bird.
Lalon, knows my thirst.


ANNIVERSARY, MARCH 14

Human skulls speak
in darkness
in a chorus.

Water shivers at
the prospect
of seeing knives at cruel hands.

We have finished
our duties
to raise slogans.

Lord Shiva knows that
we, being timid find it easy
to walk among those
who once killed us.

Forgetting is a crime,
an aboriginal sin.
So, try to remember
the slaughterer of your crops,
the plunderer of your folk-songs.


SEARCH FOR ROSE

Better to say
may has spent his life to explore
the mystery of roses.
Such a long search
for roses has taken
to the distant hill.

How long I’ve travelled
among the gypsies,
among the toto-people
and the small houses of the santals.

How many words for rose I’ve learned
to make out the music
of the red colour.

Now I’ve rested my weary legs
into the cool water of the river Khari
and find
that rose has no meaning
without the total body
of the woman whom I killed once
and scattered the pieces
over into this planet.

This tiger-skin, these long hair
this long journey life after life
— all meant for your, rose.

BLUE DOLLS

Three blue dolls
come out of human flesh.
Almost unreachable bottom
of inscriptions of golden crops.
I study.
Intense exercise
scripts the rise and fall
of intimate letters.

Not defeated,
I grow again and again
like grass,
rhizomatic wonders …


SQUIRREL

A squirrel jumps
from the roof
to catch hold
of a branch
of the myrobalan tree,
hovering on the roof.

This small jump is not
to be found anywhere in its body.
Only its possibility
remains displaced
as colourful ornaments
in its soul.

My squirrels,
out of strange space
jumps on the blue
of the white paper, a profound zero.
zero begets zero, as urdent non-existence.

SUNLIT WATER

Heaps of scrape-iron

Small whirl-wind takes away
pages of those poets
once celebrated with kingly pleasures.

Earthen pitcher broken,
water moves far away.
The morning sun
gets caught in it.

Words are brittle glass.
So I mix a few grass-seeds
with them.

The next season of rains
may fill the homeyard
with green grass,
a few small buds.
Among them the dumb children
will listen to
a strange whistle of an ancient ship.


SONG OF EGO
(a tribute to Sourav Ganguly)

Your determined face
conceals numerous pages,
a profound well
which we put a pail into for stories,
for stories of treaking and longing
for a path to move onwards.

Agony has made it
a glorious inscription to read.
Defeat is no defeat,
no final judgement
so long your horse stands firm with dreams
in the battlefield,
so long you burn yourself
in the burning brazier of life.

Dwarfs laugh.
Your silent weeping
overwhelms the meaningless chorus around.

Silent tears are of such greatness,
I could not know
unless I saw you
fighting against the hungry sharks,
Santiago, the eternal ego of my soul.


TOY-TRAIN

No you’re floating
in her liquid darkness,
a seminal sea,
controlling firmly
my steps, breathing
and my dreams.

A tenderness makes
a galaxy of stars,
rainbows
in the aquariums of my soul.

A toy train moves
day in and day out
along the narrow lines of sleep.

You move gradually
into the marrow of my alphabet …

I enjoy the bliss
of looming darkness,
me, of my own self.


THE COCKROACH

The cockroach knows
the women cooks shadows
and longing for water.

Cracks open gradually
on the frying pan.
Agae grows on
the rosy basin.
Water coughs and weeps.

The cockroach feeds on
cooking-gas
and reminisces
and apprehends
a break-out of fire
into the heap of collected cotton.


SALIM ALI

What’s that injecting
shadow and mask to the crop’s
milky simplicity?
The waves stop before
the unmovable mounds of sands
in the rivers.
What’s that archer, a secret fool?

Terror-stuck,
you hide your cowardice
under the tale of Dharmabyadhyo.

In dreams we discover
Salim Ali standing on our collective shoulder,
with binocular in his one hand
and countless blue magpies
twittering on his broad shoulders.






JUGGLING

In the tune of a small drum,
the simple sum 2+2=4 puts on
its multicoloured cloak
and a wonderful mask.
A ballad of salt and blue.
It becomes zero = zero + a travelogue.
The guitar breaks into dreams
of falling apples.

Such is the tale of reading and fall,
of seeing and crops.

The clown juggles
with the red balls
and the blind owls
along the periphery of the stage.

All the fool-anecdotes
become meaningful in the world
of sezy madness.

OWL HAIKUS

1.
An owl on the scarecrow.
Ignorant mice move.
And crops look startled.

2.
Six mice move in your soul,
when your owl is dead.
A cage inside your self.

3.
Cultivate crops and owls
together in your garden.
Fallen leaves teach the trees.

4.
The scarecrow and his owls
do not crop for
darkness blooms in thier vision.


A CAVE OF INSCRIPTIONS

Water bursts into bubbles
which nurture bright buds.

I take birth and bath
in this silhouette of dreams.

My palms feel contended
from the oozing of date-palm trees.

This body is a wonderful box,
a cave of numerous inscriptions.

FOR A BOUL SINGER

The huge banyan tree
has hung down numerous roots
from the branches.
longing for soil opens like a folk-song,
a nascent fairy tale
of fire and water.

Life and death
walk hand in hand
in the seeds,
in the phallic symbols of Lord Shiva.
Waves thud in the secret sands of this body.

A boul-singer
croons a tune, waiting
by a huge stock of wood
with a burning match-stick.

Melting fire of women,
melting ambitions flight of stairs
I remember that a roll of fire
moving bar
since childhood
from the burning brazier
of song, distant fire …

SPARROW

Towering trees
on both sides of the road,
uniformed military forces.
Human discipline
looks shackled uniformity
and monotony.

The abundant jungles
a collective chorus.

The man to sleeping
with a computer on his chest
finds in his dream a sparrow
emerging out of his machine
to light up the room with profound simplicity.


GRETA GARBO OF TOLLYWOOD

Your sharp figure
reminds me of that
man has no death,
no old age.

Man can be a dark horse
if his woman wishes him.

Years pass, yellow leaves fall
but we can believe
when we see you walk

Years fall down at our feet.
Feathers fall down
at our feet.

We go to sleep with you
in the world of Arabian Nights,
where death can be deterred
eternally.


CHAND SADAGAR KNOWS

Chand Sadagar knows
that his journey to the new territory
is a journey to a different body.

This makes his homecoming
a painful discovery.
He cast a jealous look
on the chubby face
of Sanoka, his wife.

Somewhere bridges fall down
somewhere boats sink into fathomless water.

Chand Sadagar, the eternal boatman
knows that snakes live in his own body.
He rows and rows in his body
and discover
that Manosa, the goddess of snakes
waits with a bloodied knife.

We have only forward journey,
no meaningful homecoming.
The whole world has become homeless.


TIME RIPE

The time is rip
to respond, positively
to respond to the blue whips
which get red
in the blood of crops.
The silent skulls.
Crop of under the crumbling bridge.

The volcanic birds
fly near and near the whirlwind.

Time ripe for walking over water,
to enter the fire
to make a magic bird

A little man croons the song
which lights up the terror-stuck hall
to an aspiration of a new sun,
of a new crop,
of a new river
of a new fairy tale


MY POCKET AND ITS CONTENTS
... extraordinary things will come running out of my pocket.
- G. K. Chesterton
I

I always keep a soiled photograph
of Charlie Chaplin in my pocket
while I go out.
I walk among the crowd
and see buried heads of people.
Charlie askes me smile.
I stand on the over-bridge of the railway station
and look at the soiled pages of books.

The tied-up horses,
grazing on the autumnal grass
know that I’m a magician
who knows that burning coals
look like flowers.

Charlie opens my bird-windows,
fish-windows and make me bloom
like a river.

II

I always carry
a sea-green comb in my pocket.
But never I use it, except being at home.
But when I carry it,
I hear it speaking of a sea-floor,
numerous animals move, dance and sing.
It informs me than
the world is larger than the one we see.


III

A bird-feather, snow-white
I must keep in my pocket
of my t-shirt along
with a few cinnamon-seeds.
This makes me feel lighter,
to remind me of my trip to Galudi-forest
and of that to the Thirparrappu-fall.
Those who take bird-feather with them
know quite-well that
birds often lay eggs into our spinal tubes.

IV

I adore a fire-tale in my pocket.
I collected it from Dinshahitala,
a saint’s place.
When I’m around a campfire
I take it out
and free it among the people around.
The others also do the same.

I come to know that each one
has a fire of his own and its fairy tale.

RAINS OF MEMORY

Your talking dolls and speechless bears
have magic hands which bring water
back to dried-up wells and pleasure-boats to my river.

My fishing rod treambles
in evening breeze,
crimson grasshoppers
disturb the peacock-feather
now and then.

A shower of rains
washes the roots of big trees.
The magical fly comes out
of the box, burried under the slush
of the palm circled pond.

TO LOOK FOR ME

Wind blows
into my soul
and make me think
that water makes fire flowing
in a natural way of smile.

Words and laughter
burn in an illogical soul
of a female deer
which has got itself
lost in the forest of the mind.

A shower of rains
looks for me
like a flock of wolves …

Among rains I am
in seawrch of the toto goddess
and her victory
over the demon, pidha

Darkness falls among
brown leaves, doors of roots
open, all on a sudden

ERASURE

I look for the guava-tree
growing on my navimul
and for the folk-tales
in which the birds can speak
to human beings.

I look for all these
off your map
and read the cartography
of my personal wonder.

I erase your inscriptions
with a scented erasure.
And I write on the clean slate
the notations of my folk-tales.

I don’t like to swim in your water
but in that of my own.

I kneel down before a tree
and long for these birds
emerging out of trees
those fish, emerging out of wonder…

THE BIRTH OF SUN

Nian-ko-sha, a new word
from the Toto_folk-tale
I’ve picked up.
I stand under its cool shade
and recount the tale
of encounter between
Sainjini, the goddess
and Pidua, the demon.

Sainjini becomes the winner
and I hope
that all the farmer-women
once would be adequately strong
to ward off the sezy hands
that do’nt hesitate
to rob Lokai and Behula
of their crops, their dreaming songs.

Yellow egg-yolk turns
to be the sun in the story,
the source of light and life.

I dream that all eggs hatched
to be the suns
among the terrorized farmers.



BIRDS AND ROCKS
(a tribute to Jayanta Mahapatra)

Light and darkness sing in chorus
with your letters.
In small mirrors are reflected
little human faces,
worn out, greedy, sad, defeated
and dreaming.
A wonderful bioscope,
life’s another name.
Thus winged roots
and rooted wings
build up your castle of letters,
Utkal, a space
of global aspiration,
of lobal colour
where birds and rocks
live together
with kaleidoscopic amazement.



BUTTERFLIES

butterflies know that no orchard safe any longer,
the world grows smaller and smaller
in the well furnished flats,

while sitting on the flowers at the corner of a balcony
butterflies come to know serialized losses
have been carpeted carefully among the sleeping pills.

afternoon passes by with specks,
memories lie on a wheel chair,
butterflies get startled to see the long forgotton
bamboo flute.


THE SPIDER

twinkling, waiting
at the centre of your universe,
the dew soaked sun caught
at your eyeful web,
urnonavo, a web under abdomen
observes the rolling waves
and smiles to see
the dramatic furies of the fools
around the net
ever widening...


THE FABLE OF A CROW

A crow, seated on the branch
with small pieces of meat...

The fox praises him
and its teeth rattle.

Water deciphers the hanging story
and flows down to memory.

Shadows walk, stages treamble …
iced fish suddenly becomes
sign of tommorrow,
we get caught
in the story of falling
and iced fish.

None can dift away
from them
hands with fire and water
weawve the sparkling web,
under which numerous blades
used and old populate...


THE COOK

(a tribute to Bibhu Padhi)

The cook knows
that his shadow
burns in the fire.

Turmeric fragrance drives
hungry crocodiles away
from the greenroom.

While cooking himself,
the cook discovers
that each fire has its own inscription.

You know how profound
the fire is, how much
it demands from life.

Cooking is self-cooking,
discovery of fire-roses
getting wiser in the soul of a bird.


OBLIVION

Rains have washed everything
the blood of those who
lost their lives to protect
their crops.

flutter of flags, slogans
and discriminate relief
have wiped out their memories
from our souls.

Oblivion is thus the predicament
of these lost souls.

Standing over the bank of my river
I know that time will make
grass of new memories grow
over the burial ground of lost memories.

Man is vulnerable to such a crime
as forgetting.
We forget everything,
the best wealth of our souls,
the memories
which could make us prepared
for future wake-up
for future crops.
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