by Bibhu Padhi (November 2014)

The bass strain of your voice

reminds me of my past,

my dark inheritances,

period of guilt,

the earthquake days,

the flood’s immeasurable gravity.


The sea is here, under my

bare feet, unseen by everyone

except me. The memories

of cyclones and sea voyages

carry me to ancestral days—

days remembered and conceived.


No one knows of these

themes, no one participates

in earth’s hunger, its mischief,

beginning with the storms

in mid-ocean, the ships carrying

the dead where they belonged.


Today everything is remembered

in the middle of sleep, with

each turn of the moments,

including moments of my grief.

The sea turns at my feet,

with your voice, its humility.




Bibhu Padhi’s eighth and ninth books of poetry, Magic Ritual and Brief Seasons: 60 Love Songs, appeared almost back to back earlier this year. He lives with his family in Bhubaneswar, India.


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