Shambhobi Ghosh is a recent graduate from King’s College London, UK, where she studied for a Master’s degree in English: 1850 to Present. Her creative works have found places in a number of national and international journals for poetry, such as Muse India, Ariadne’s Thread, UK, Reach Poetry, UK, and anthologies such as Inspired by Tagore and Inspired by My Museum (published by British Council and Sampad, UK). Her first collection of poetry titled A Stranger’s Conversation was self-published in 2014 from Authorspress, India. Her translations have previously appeared in the anthology Bharatiya Engreji Kobita, (Abhijan Publishers, Kolkata) and the Tinpahar e-journal. In 2016, she was awarded the Sera Bangali: Kalker Sera Ajke Award by the ABP Media Group in West Bengal. She is currently assistant-editor at Stree-Samya Books, Kolkata.
If I wake up tomorrow
forgetting all this rain
the night before,
the howls of thunder
throbbing lethal against
trembling window panes,
and only mildly wonder
at the aftermath outside
that reveals the broken boughs,
the torn leaves, the ravaged nest,
the dead sparrow
will I still remember
your receding footsteps
as you turned and vanished
without warning –
never promising to be more than
just a dream?
Two Poems on autumn
- The Addict
In the long, late autumn nights,
His cigarette burns between fingers.
quietly poised over the ashtray;
and a chain as lingering
as these hours going by
breaks out with a single heaving sigh.
His heart is now a lump of smoke.
It uncoils its strands through veins
that mingle with his ever depleting blood.
The chain now entwines his wrist.
The last tufts of hair on his battleground head
are grey. He has stopped hiding
the regular tremor in his hand;
as if to dissolve it in the night air.
- The Returner
I wouldn’t have thought this to be the end:
the year before last when winter stopped short
to take in the perfume of decaying petals
that whispered goodbye to my receding steps.
There it stood still,
that nondescript hour in the evening
when everything else drowns in small-town talk
among boys on benches,
faces changing every November,
forever the same.
And just when the teashop guy
serves his last sugar-bomb chai
in tumblers hacked out of frozen tears,
I wake up to know
I am not there.
Sleep burns out like cigarette between lips.
Night air creeps in through
the cracks of a sealed window
that opens only half way through
and charms the radiator
to deep purrs.
Words have abandoned their pictures
as they slip out of languid hands
into the room. Out of the crack.
A stray white tulip kisses the wall.
It’s serene out there, the birdcalls.