The Smell of Death

by Bibhu Padhi (September 2015)

Let the things come to me as they do,

In their own natural order, using

their own words, completing their own wish

to find a sequence that was not there earlier.


What else happened around us that asks

For our permission, awaits our separate wishes

For building up empires of our own, allows us

The timely need to complete our never-ending plans?


I mean the larger things that won’t wait

For anything, that always believe in what we see

As an end, always tempts us to believe in pauses,

As our proud acquisitions smile at our stupidities.


If this be the smell of death, let it be so.

It hangs in the air, just above us, lies about us

On the ground horizontally, asking for our attention,

Laying claim to all our small tales, epic narratives.


Talking about yet larger things is another matter

That may not include the body and the mind,

Just as the sky may not include its colours,

Its rounded shapes or the sea, its waves and emerald-green.


And since it is so, let me live in my no—wish house

And regard things and their sequences as something

That I alone deserve, the result of my inattentions

Of the past, the clever pursuits of the mind.




Bibhu Padhi’s tenth book of poems, Midnight Diary, has just been published. He lives with his family in Bhubaneswar, India.


To comment on this poem, please click here.

To help New English Review continue to publish original poetry such as this, please click here.

If you enjoyed this poem and would like to read more by Bibhu Padhi, please click here.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

New English Review Press is a priceless cultural institution.
                              — Bruce Bawer


Pre-order on Amazon or Amazon UK or wherever books are sold

Order at Amazon, Amazon UK, or wherever books are sold. 

Order at Amazon US, Amazon UK or wherever books are sold.

Available at Amazon US, Amazon UK or wherever books are sold.

For the literature lover in your life on Amazon US, Amazon UK or wherever books are sold. 

For children of all ages. Order at AmazonAmazon UK or wherever books are sold.

Send this to a friend