[Inspired by renowned artist of Bengal Benimadhab’s artwork of Kali (woodcut litho print) which I received as a gift during the book launch of our anthology ‘Muffled Moans Unleashed’, done in collaboration with Green Tara Social Initiative, Kolkata, India.]

The Kali in my being, a calcified truth of light

overpowered by savage darkness.
The Kali in my soul, a perpetual naked cry
Reverberating in the defiant winds

amid the centuries-old settlement.
The Kali in my body, the ancient city of salt, blood

and the garland made of devilish sins.
The Kali in my home, a riot of scarlet shades

of mythical poetry, blackened, brimming with denials and insolence.
What do I do with the devouring earth of Kali
As the frozen walls hang over my burnt out poetry?
What nameless flames and endless nights and days

spiraling in circles, as I pour over,
A molten lava of Parvati, a deafening breeze of Mahamaya,

an eager earth of Kali?
I find the moorings of my burning, blistering fire,
My cracked, scraped earth, my tepid water bodies

in this wishful thinking of Kali,
A no-name song, a repartee

between darkness and light.

 

Kali: Kalika, or Shyama, the savage, defiant form of Durga, one of the ten Mahavidyas, the Hindu Goddess of Time, Power, Creation and Destruction.

Lopamudra Banerjee is a bilingual author, translator, editor and adjunct faculty of creative writing at Richland College, Dallas, USA. She has authored six books and has co-edited four anthologies in fiction and poetry. She has been a recipient of the Journey Awards (First Place category winner) for her memoir ‘Thwarted Escape: An Immigrant’s Wayward Journey’, and also a recipient of the Woman Achiever Award (IWSFF, 2018), the International Reuel Prize for Poetry (2017) and International Reuel Prize for her English translation of Nobel Laureate Tagore’s selected works of fiction (2016). Her nonfiction essays, fiction and other writings have been published in various journals, e-zines and anthologies in India, UK and USA. She is also a consulting editor of the e-zine ‘Learning and Creativity’, India. Recently, she has been an honorary poetry fellow at Rice University, Houston and co-produced the poetry film ‘Kolkata Cocktail’ directed by Shuvayu Bhattacharjee, where she has also featured as one of the lead actors. Her works are available on her website www.lopabanerjeewrites.com and also in Amazon.com and Amazon India.


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