Gopal Lahiri

Open Secret

Each morning is still a secret for me.
Soft sunrays are
like the underplayed rhymes.

A conscript of happier times,
I love the diction of the passing clouds.
And the tweets of tiny birds.

rock formations over sugary sands
crystalline water
I want to float,

I long for the centre of the eyes
On the oil in canvas frame,
A far more formal.

Those poems written on wildest dreams
by candle ends, last night,
seem to feel closest.

If they are awkward,
This may be ironic but then
Again it may not.

Hollow Stars
someone to talk to,
coasters, dressing table, comb,
the beds with curved back,
pen and ink illustrations,
as if colourful masks,
on the dark wood frame.

drip-stands, nurses, trolleys,
capsules, medicine box, syringe,
no hope to cure perhaps,
in critical care unit,
it’s all glass, cold, frozen.

open window,
in the street
multi-hued buses
two wheelers,
marble dealer
spiking the way,
roadside eatery
still breathing,

in moonlight
needle eyed people
walk in and out
of the temple,
women in
bright ensembles,

the passing bell
makes it short,
just that way,
the sterile image
of the hollow stars.
What if
What if, every evening
drops me on the pavement?

Slipping so well with the blood stains
and bullet holes in the narrow brick wall,
get used to terminal failure,
needs some space, the fading light,

forgotten easily the tweet of the tiny bird,
a dark crow and a lazy pigeon
sit still in pouring rain,
look into each other’s face,
perhaps in search of the feather-mask.

a pool of water on the wayside,
the crowds go among trees,
stream in and out of the park,
they have seen already
unseasonably warm temperatures.

knowing fully well the meanings
of the quiet stirrings around
the circles on water,

the sailing moon
never quite understand
why evening is just a metaphor.
A few local trains come and go past the station
Churning people with their clutched brief cases,
On quiet evenings, the girls with deep eye lashes
Walk past in a hurry at where I stand,

I still see the young boys as if in facial masks,
They smoke, not so cheap cigarettes,

Once I glimpsed the slums below where
People fought on any pretext and hurled
Abuses at each other knowingly.

I shared that night and the silent stars
With frosty faces that became regal anyway.

Hardly a night goes by without a scar-mark,
The crackle of the forbidden sound bites,
The hints of impasse as a tormented footnote.

I do not know why I am standing still
Night birds, I can watch only their flight
Under the pastel yellow moon light.

But this is not about you, it’s the truth
Of unspeakable, the unrecorded idioms,
To weigh up the pros and con of the dark side.


In my eyes, it is so obvious
sync with life

set of her shoulder
tilt of the forehead
look in her round eyes

life in a plastic bubble
under the brutal sun
its always worth asking

what is the gist of earth?

The long nose and the abrupt curve
On the undulating forehead
Haunted, immutable.

speed, force and movement
they are all, on canvas.

Gopal Lahiri was born and grew up in Kolkata. He currently lives in Mumbai, gopalIndia. He is a bilingual poet, writer, editor, critic and translator and widely published in Bengali and English language. Anthology appearances (among others) includes National Treasures, Indus Valley, A posy of poesy, Concerto, Poet’s paradise, My dazzling Bards, Jorasanko, The Silence within, Indo-Australian Anthology, Homebound, The Dance of the Peacock, Illuminations. His works have featured in journals Indian Literature, Taj Mahal Review, CLRI, Haiku Journal and electronic publications Arts and Letters, Underground Window, Muse India, Poetry Stop, Debug, Eastlit and Coldnoon Diaries. He has jointly edited the anthology of poems: Scaling Heights.