Debashish Banerji

Consciousness • Art History • Writing




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I. Alchemist

The reluctances of earth tighten and painful longing backward pressed
Breaks to the acts of hint and secret gesture:
The air thickens with ambiguity.

You would be dove or star
Come fluttering down to rest on the mariner’s breast:
I call you evening. To you I bring the herbs
Of lunar healing on my brow.

But earth burdens us with its belongings
Spies and secret assassins riddle the seams
Dark forgetting in our night are birds of prey,
The brighter flash in your shining
A hint of the piranha’s teeth – we dare not touch.

So, carefully, we refine the shining metal.
So the world rises precariously.
To you I grant the ancient measure of love –
It may be true it may not be true.


II. An Old Bird to his Mistress

The fruit is on the bough, the motley jackdaw
Proposes communal felicity; you are young
And youth in ignorance has its brazen virtue
Not unattractive in itself. The fire gnaws
Within your heart and throws up blazing colors –
Mating colors only?

The comb of many winters on my brow
Is but a battered crown. I have lost speech:
My head in palsy only knows to shake
Spasmodic negations. Winter’s freezing lips
Have turned in me to heaven’s ministers
The stars can hurt with truth; the fruity bough
Is sardonic at its center. You too will feel
The snow of alienation on your wings.


III. Sky Dower

Rummaging through the recesses of the heart I saw
Sky-dower in a corner deep-concealed
An ancient parchment mitigating the law
That the aeons hid in their bosom, became revealed.

I woke and to meet my Lord once more I rushed
The stars perturbed me not; in a white crypt
Where the Bride on the Bridegroom’s breast lies forever crushed
I found him: there we shared the honey-script.

The word that is the body of the Bride
Was hung like a golden sun in an inner sky
Invisibly here all things were grouped and tied
Kneaded together and fused into a cry
That thrilled, rapt, upwards – a torch of bliss
Yearning in a million tongues to the Bridegroom’s kiss.




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