Mr. Raghunath’s Speech to Little Karthik

by Shamik Banerjee (June 2024)

The Magical Blazons of Tropical Flight— Eugenio Granell, 1947

Mr. Raghunath’s Speech to Little Karthik

Your blather ’bout the yellow bus,
A mandrill, or an octopus
When we stroll through the parkland breezy
Helps keep my third age easy.

Go, stain your teeth with bonbons, lollies;
Much care for health ruins childhood folly’s
Amusement. Crave now; you are younger,
For old age steals one’s hunger.

Bone up your French. Learn basic sciences
By stripping home appliances.
Don’t bunk off school. Let classrooms hug you.
A late regret will bug you.

If you have dreams, then go behind them—
Fulfill them as you have designed them.
The time of youth’s the holy grail
For those now hunched and frail.

Don’t be like me, who has traversed
A vapid life. Youth’s not reversed
In sunset years. Tell me, my dear,
Do dead stars reappear?

So go on with your loved cartoons
Or talk of bandits and dragoons,
And with these, let your smiles erase
The crinkles off my face.



At the Village Fair

Jet hair, cream face;
Her pearly smile is glowing
Just like her tassel lace.
Wherever she is going,

I’ll follow too.
There! At the Hook-a-Duck!
She’s just within my view,
And now I’ll try my luck!

But this mad mass
Of youth is ramming, bending—
Eclipsing her, alas!
My heart! My heart is rending!



My Lover and The Moon

It winks at her; she does the same
While softly murmuring my name
And pondering if I am, too,
Charmed by this glowing, silvery view,
So she may ink a poesy
Set in a low-soft melody
And ask this friend to help convey
Her lines to me, who’s far away.



In a Dream

Last night, you paid a visit to my dream.
The marks of angst no longer scarred your face.
Your cheeks—all milky white, each eye—agleam;
And, oh, your form—one that of light and grace.

I came to know that you were free at last
From manacles of gelcaps, drops, and pills,
Which gave you nothing but a morbid past—
A toxic phase that wears and slowly kills.

In awe, I cried out, “What’s this miracle?
You’ve listened to my only prayer, O Lord.”
Last month, who lost all hopes of getting well,
Now stands before my eyes—all health restored.

What I heard next were beeps and raspy caws—
A usual day that hung at Sorrow’s claws.



When Love is Done

When love is done, the stereo
Is not atonal, sad, or low.
The Tulip doesn’t weep with you
Or seem depressed, and ever-new
Buds will arise from it and grow.

As hours pass, you get to know:
These keepsakes do not share your woe,
Yet they’re the reason you are blue
When love is done,

For often they attempt to show
Her walking out, the main door’s blow,
And mimic her deportment too—
Appear impassive to your view.
You want to both prize them and throw—
When love is done.


Table of Contents


Shamik Banerjee is a poet from India. He resides in Assam with his parents. His poems have been published by The Society of Classical Poets, Sparks of Calliope, The Hypertexts, Snakeskin, Ink Sweat & Tears, and Autumn Sky Daily, among others.

Follow NER on Twitter @NERIconoclast


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