One eyed bird cut through the evening’s grey skin
sharing stories of muddy river,
a lot of dark clouds in eyes, in flapping wings.
I wipe the dust from the pages of the love poem,

The more dust I remove, more shadows pile up
merging with the dark border of the book.
hideous back alleys take notes from Neruda’s Friends,
chasing pleasures at the edges of the dark pavement.

Poverty, wound, hunger- you draw a bell curve
with its inbuilt sadness; twisted, indifferent,
walled city slowly sifting itself down to ash.

Picking my way through the damp leaves and
dark shadows until I close my eyes in bright light
Is it peril or oblivion? The road is now shadowless.

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.