Latent Fire

Somewhere the leaves count the dewdrops
The minutes and hours wash the darkness,
Perhaps the soft light points the way,
Your fingers count the soundless stars

Memories hang himself in the shadow
Silence is tender like crushed petals,
As if a child climbing in mother’s lap,
Strong winds translate the twilight.

There are no words for the evening
Bolted and closed the glass windows,
Beyond those myriad possibilities
I know too that students are bruised and battered.

A wakeful flame descending inside,
Who are those men with masks?
With blood stained iron rods, fierce sticks and stones?
All thoughts, all figures ignite the young mind.

Perhaps the victims are not alone!
Not all are stirred and shaken,
A time of resistance, a moment of protest,
I can be split into you, you and I
Light up the sky with the latent fire!

Gopal Lahiri is a bilingual poet, critic, editor, writer and translator with 24 books published, including five jointly edited books. His poetry is also published across various anthologies as well as in eminent journals of India and abroad. His poems are translated in 16 languages. He has been nominated for Pushcart Prize for poetry in 2021. Read other articles by Gopal.