Exiled: A Prose-poem

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It is a miracle, isn’t it? In a cluttered space with books, with the marijuana of remembrances, with misplaced rage, the exiled poet keeps birthing poems.

Worn-torn memories reopen their scarred flesh. They bleed raw with coagulated chunks of rape, maiming, bombing in a motherland fresh with familiar faces, and recycled anguish.

The heart races back in time, all those memories of voiceless horror rushing in the bloodstream, in the pitch dark of the night in the silent refuge, thousands of miles apart. They hang tenuously in the recesses of the heart, in the membranes of the brain.

It is a miracle, isn’t it? The throbbing and aching for justice well-deserved, justice denied, showering like unforgiving rain in the migrant trails, the unfamiliar streets where the poet meandered, year after year, awake in the pitch-dark night, under the blackened sky?

The poet wrote in scraps of paper, published blogs fertile with sufferings and unrest, a dangerous aberration in a nation gulping its scars well. Why make wrong choices, why wear tattoos of importunate truths, with words chafing against prevalent culture? Isn’t dominance sacrosanct, universal?

Isn’t it a miracle, the cadence, the music of recalcitrant words that live on, even inside the murky prison, in banishment?

The poet engraves his soul with words, the clock chimes from hour to hour, year to year, decade to decade…the poet breathes in the scent of a half-remembered Syrian town, the molten skin of parents, siblings crumbling to dust.

There was still poetry of hope, when the poet was hungry, scared to death, when the bombings in that small town in Syria took away their breath in nameless spasms. Isn’t it a miracle that Hope turns into frayed words, loose manuscripts in a faraway land of exile?

The sky spreads its wings in its ashen clouds, in its rainbow, the same way it did, in that half-remembered land…. the poet surrenders to it, thinking of life, a monstrous mess all this while. Poetry has reclaimed its space again, with the call of a virtual rendezvous of cacophonous poets. The online space, the glaring screen is all they are left with, in the throes of a mammoth pandemic.

Isn’t it a miracle, when they all say that ‘Poetry Unites’? The poet flaps his unseen wings across the window frame, in the dark, choking refuge, or is it ‘HER’ unseen wings? Just like poetry itself, the poet has become sexless in all these years. A war-witness, a crusader, a political prisoner, a refugee…the jargons change, but the blood-inked pen doesn’t.

Staggering, writhing in refugee pain, the exiled poet keeps birthing poems.

Lopa Banerjee is a poet




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