Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Poem of the Week - The Swansong of Abinash C. Halder (10/11/2011)

This week's poem of the week is The Swansong of Abinash C. Halder.   It can be found in the blog Abin's Literary World.  Abin is a poet from Kolkata, West Bengal, India.  His poems have a lot of depth, so after you have checked out the one poem featured here, look at others as well.  You will not be disappointed.

Here is the poem:

The Swansong of Abinash C. Halder

I’ve tried my best, to fit in as I can
In crowds of rust and wrinkled old masks:
I’ve dotted all the ‘i’s and slashed all the ‘t’s
Smiled just so, and wore what I must,
And nodded all day at players on stage
Who rant their lines and paint in the air
And vomit into wind all verbiage of dross
Seeking yet still all statues of gold
With glass-loaded eyes and dimples of grace
That wrench in the entrails with force,
Questions of unacknowledged spleen.

But what would be the point of it all?
What would be the point, if betel-smeared lips
Ruminating hard, with greasy little palms,
Pick out that meat from yellow-coloured teeth
And slaps on my face “Later, we will see”?

Festooned in parti-coloured papers I lie
A papier-mâché puppet of academic dye.

Tight, more tight; the buckle’s still loose –
Mine too the distempered cause
Of Lilliputs in Brobdingnag cloaks.

Could I have known that things would be thus?
Could I, after all the books and medals and praise,
Smiles in the hallways and pats on the back,
Could I have known of backstabbing moves
In petty little cliques of inflated selves
Where we make ledgers of insult and gain
And deck up as straws with leather-lined coats
Tattooed with love on eczema-tic necks?

Down in dreams of unforeseen woods
Mine are the paws that pounce.

Yet still I glance at mirrors and mend
Wrinkles and crease and entangled curls
And rehearse in mute my silly little lines
To flatter that ‘him’ or cajole that ‘her’
And speak as cats might purr.

Boxed in the chambers of uncertain hope,
Mine are the moves of extras on stage
With paydays that flutter and leave.

Listen to the band, checking their set
And wired for blast – hours on end
Of stereophonic drugs!

Don’t get me wrong – I am not a drudge;
When the lights darken and songs are unleashed
I too will join the headbangers’ gang
And trample into puddle with insistent feet
Thoughts that’ll never be discreet.

Think this is why, I’ve dwelt so long
On tigers in wild or eagles in flight
Or poured over Eliot at midnight and more?

Questions now clutter, and pile up in vain
As these do I sweep and broom into bins
And burn into ashes of unholiest grain.

The wind in the west now halts and waits
As evening expands its tentacular steps
And strangles all glimmers of twilight in spring,
And spreads for us all, its bountiful shroud.

Clock’s ticking down to that auspicious time
When more and more puppets, with finery and glaze
March into halls with punctilious pomp
And wine and dine with calculated ‘blah’
Sprinkled with mergers and shares and dates.
Here do I wander and cling to those coats
Which I have hope will show me some threads
To weave into being my pocket full of dreams.

O, do not ask what they are!
Cramped in pockets for years on end
Burdened with gallons of ‘yessir’ and ‘nosir’,
I no longer know what creatures they are
And pickle them blind with fear.

Who knows what ropes have stalled my feet
And choked my dreams in quicksand of files
Which others elsewhere have quickened into life!

Now they’ll leave and stagger into cars
And leave still a trail of mobil and rum
That others might smell or speculate and sell.

I’ve smelt them out. I’ve smelt them out!

Enough of that, enough!
I don’t have the guts to be Lear in the heath
Nor do I dare to be Job reborn.
I am just a cog that turns as is turned
And leaves all the rest to time and place
And hopes for a dose of rather good chance.

Judge me as you will, why should I care?
Rocked in the desert of cactus and bones
Ours are ships without shores.

Abin, thank you for being a member of Poets' United and for taking part in our community.  I always enjoy your participation in Sunday's Poetry Pantry and other areas of PU.  Thank you also for visiting other people's blogs.  You so well demonstrate what Poets United is all about!

I hope many of you will spend a bit of time in Abin's blog, will appreciate the poem shared here as well as other poems Abin has written.  There is so much talent here in the community that deserves to be celebrated.  We all like recognition and deserve it!  So we hope you will give Abin a bit of positive recognition here as well as within his blog.

This poem was chosen for Poets United by Mary Kling who can be found blogging daily at In the Corner of My Eye.


  1. What a brilliant title for a beautiful lament! Thank-you for sharing this poem.

  2. Wow, this is a fantastic write! Mary, you sure can pick them! Abin, this is a weighty poem, packed with brilliance. I am in awe!

  3. Thank you Mary for selecting one of my poems.It means a lot and this one is especially close to my heart.Thank You!
    And thanks to all my fellow members and readers.Your responses act as wonderful motivation.

  4. This is so true of life; so many questions, few answers, but we still want to know. I have a feeling that every one reading this will identify with a lot of this poem.

  5. Wow, reading this I felt I was reading my autobiography. Thank you Abin. Your grasp of the unhearalded mundane that all of us wish to speak to in these times of frustration and disenchanted distraughtness of those that have taken the reigns of social reform is only surpassed by your brilliance in encapsulating it in this venue. Thank you, it was a cathartic read.

  6. whoosh! indeed. "gallons of yessir and nosir," wow.

  7. Thank you, Abin, for your wonderful poem and for pointing out my typo! I have trouble seeing these things.