Sreya Mallika Datta
Look. There they are. In time-trapped frames of
There, just beyond the pillar, Saturn
Devours his peach-fleshed son.
His frenzied eyes dissolve into
plucking out life, for a moment more of existence.
And there, sportive cherubs trifle around the Poet;
The crown of Inspiration is a laurel-second away from his head.
Only if you look, you might chance upon
Colossus and catch yourself in a stifled gasp
That dies in your throat, unborn.
The night merges into his waist as
he rises above the whispering hills
where men are strewn like rage-torn strips of
A sunny grace-day.
A dog curled up on its paws is
about to yawn at Jesus washing his disciples’ feet.
Have you ever felt the twilight-waters
of a river once kissed by the sun?
Down the hallway,
An artist paints the infant Margarita.
Margarita, who is forever caught on the
Bud of womanhood.
He will paint till the edge of time,
For he himself is painted,
Always a brush-stroke short of the final touch.
When you cannot walk any more,
You may just come across Sisyphus.
The jagged weight of his rock
reminds us of the times when we have lost our
Only to remember they were never ours to lose.
Yet, we must go on.
And just for a razor-edge moment, we
wait for time to stop.
A spider’s web moment.
Tick, tick, tick…
History breaks out of its frame and
Spills into the world where you are.
All time is here, now, All at once.
Fade. And look upon yourself—
Lost, amidst the mist-maze of Time;
Trapped in a little burst-bubble of
[Note: The paintings referred to in this poem, in order of allusion are: Saturn devouring his son– Rubens, Peter Paul; Parnassus-Poussin, Nicholas; TheColossus– Follower of Goya; The Foot Washing-Tintoretto,Jacopo Robusti; Las Meninas, or The Family of Felipe IV-Velázquez, Diego Rodríguez de Silva y, where Velázquez portrays himself, painting the painting itself, on the left of the canvas; and Sisyphus– Titian.]
Schoolgirls at a Crossing
Sreya Mallika Datta
Schoolgirls at a crossing.
Light turns green.
The errant one, looking up at pigeons
Sitting on dusty tram cables.
Patiently suffering the mid-noon sun.
Cars zip, zap, zoom ahead.
All her friends have crossed the road.
They laugh in sharp, pebbled voices,
Silly girl, looking at the birds!
Stranded by the green leafy light
Which lets the cars pass
While she is bunged , reproachful
On a slip in a busy day,
Abandoned in her pigeon-moment of
Sreya Mallika Datta is a post graduate student of English literature at Delhi University.
Sometimes these, sometimes those
they move and dance
to some unknown note
like a chorus in an ancient ode.
Wet petals hide behind them
as do the destitute ants
they are shelters of peace
when heaven weeps rampant.
A treat to the eyes,
a dancer to the thunder
let the leaves grow
grow green in number
Shouvik Banerjee is a student at Jadavpur University. He is pursuing M.A. in English and is in the first year of the course. He lives in Chandernagore, Hooghly.