The World Around Us, 2020


We saw you coming, with dreamy eyes

A resurrected year, born from the ashes

Of sufferings of the past years, rechristened in

The divinity of a newborn body,

But then, 2020, you ushered in our lives

With the fury and madness of demolition.

With the rapacious monster of a virus,

a deadly battle consuming our fragile flesh.


Held in its sway, the privileged sing anthems

Seated under soft lights and plush comforts

of our stay-at-home shelters, while the poor

Grope in the empty dark, seeking their homes

Disappearing on the horizon, and then, nothing is in sight

But the staccato coughs, the crowds of hungry bellies,

The thick smoke of an overwhelming nothingness.


2020, you ushered in our lives with the murderous notes

Of cyclones, your ostentatious displays spilling over

Our already jagged edges. Your gusts of storm, your rain

Flew along like a lava of molten grief.

Today, voiceless horror hangs,

in the pitch-dark villages and ravaged farms.


Humanity dwindles and rises, aching in its own cradle of sins

Each day in history, a chunk of hatred, a splinter of hope

Bubbles, pops up from the crevices of a weary, dying universe.


And yet, history has it that we rise.

We rise like precarious seeds from the cracked earth.

We rise, no matter our homelessness, our persecution, our exploitation, our exodus.

We rise, in the wholeness of our creation,

As parts of an invincible script of life in continuum.

Lopamudra Banerjee is a bilingual author, translator, editor and adjunct faculty of creative writing at Richland College and Texas Christian University, 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 and also in and Amazon India.




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