Poetry: Old Gwalior, Poems of Gwalior

July 23, 2010
Amitabh Mitra


]many aeons back when rock changed faces many a times and clan men resisted irrefutably time the sky always gave way to unhindered horizons to newer lives in dust torn revelry each time we passed the long languorous tunnels of waking each time we found ourselves on ledges of looming betrayal the fort grew taller and higher overlapping many a skin many a shadow many a summers and i thought that perhaps one day you would tell me a secret of holding the lizard in my grip of a moment knee deep in a drying river of your breath navigating a stronghold of refute you told me the ruddy earth would also change the peacocks would be no more fungus and fern would darken such agreements such love insisted and we would remain torn answerable only to the wind.

why did we run away each time the
sun changed surfaces
why did we cross eye storms
ensnared long hidden stars
why did we eclipse in patterns
of lip talk on your neck
why did we turn one and only one
burnt one single night
why did we then never die
why did the fort
kept silent

beneath us
deep down
stayed the dargah
the mad man danced
looked at us
in sightless eyes
we had seen him before
much before
when the hot wind
blew away advancing
and departing reasons
a maratha willingness to melt away
at each nightend
we saw him still
shaking his head
his hands sang the song
of the next blitz
the dead around in cavernous
holes never slept
we knew
the rainriver
would storm down
in crypts and crevices
in sultry memory lanes
weather broken thickets
on to those
living and buried
we knew then
it was the moment
of a quiet dismissal
of unhastened departures.

families left for far shores
and houses sprung up on
rusty dreams
a dishevelled robe dragging
a far innocence
hands sought to hold a
and eyes stored tears
on your lips i saw a murmur
loves disparity rootless in
undefined times
i told you the stillness of the fort
stillness of our drifting
stillness of the riversong
stillness of an everydaysky
we lived
shattering long drawn thoughts
in strange dawns
old gwalior.

Poem and Ink Drawing by Amitabh Mitra

An orthopaedic surgeon in a busy hospital in East London, South Africa, I actually belong to Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh, its long summers and hectic politics. I edit a print poetry journal called 'A Hudson View', a journal on African arts called 'Inyathi' and dream of going back to Gwalior. My blog on South African Arts is http://www.amitabhmitra.blogspot.com/
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Poetry: Old Gwalior, Poems of Gwalior


Author: Amitabh Mitra


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