Prof. Dr. Laksmisree Banerjee is an established Poet, Writer, Editor, Literary Critic, Educationist, Humanist, International Scholar, Rotarian (a Multiple Paul Harris Fellow) & practicing Vocalist, with many National and International Awards, Assignments, Books & Publications to her credit. She is a Senior Fulbright Scholar, Commonwealth Scholar and a National Scholar in English from the Calcutta University, India. A University Professor of English, Poetry & Cultural Studies, an Ex-Vice Chancellor of Kolhan University, she has taught, lectured & recited in Universities and Literary Festivals across the globe. She has been widely anthologized with Eight Books of Poetry (the Ninth and Tenth forthcoming) One Hundred Twenty Research Publications and Several Academic Books. Of the many Awards she has received, a special few need to be mentioned viz. Sahitya Akademi’s “Avishkar” Honour for her multiple expertise, cited as “A Scholar-Artiste and Poet-Musician”, her UGC Postdoctoral Research Award for her path-breaking Literary Work on the Comparative Studies of World Women Poets, the Honour of The Connossiuer of Creative & Literary Arts by the Tunisian-Asian Poetic Society, the Kala-Ratnam Award and the Reuel International Lifetime Achievement Award 2021,among others. Dr. Banerjee happens to be the Indian Rashtrapati’s Nominee on Boards of Central Universities & believes in using her Pen and Voice for Social Justice, Transformation, Peace & International Understanding.
Am I lonely?
a single saal or peepul
a birch or pine
in cackling, crowded forests of darkness?
am I the darkling thrush
solely singing with a soul
shredded to herald the end of light
crying for redemption or audience?
or that home sparrow
flitting and twittering
with fleeting time in
abandoned household corners of dustiness?
or am I a motherless kitten
picked up by a dog
for his rapacious hours?
May be or may be not
What am I? ….
Am I solitary?
an eagle of the azure
flapping high
across the horizon
daring in magnificence?
or am I the single red rose
a blazing, fragrant beauty
among spikes and nettles
of green evil?
or that solitary reaper
in bardic consonance
with her plenteous corn?
or am I a peacock
happy to dance
in myriad hues
with silvery drizzles
and none to watch?
or am I that icy peak
scintillating white
daring the climber
to reach its summit?
or am I the happy traveller
collecting my shining
shells and shingles
on a beach of discovery?
or am I that lighthouse
of resplendence
showing the way to
those in oceanic turbulence?
Lonely or solitary
I yearn to be the Bright Star
of the bard’s romance
or perhaps
the Star of the Magi
finding my way into
that cradle of Love—
Is it a cradle
swinging in the void
humming a
lull-a-by to
the ever joyful
the ever crying
baby of life
now awake
now asleep?
Is it a pendulum
between two eternities
ceaselessly ticking
on the listless
glassy face of
old grandfather
on the wall
moving yet
for centuries?
Or is it a chugging
sometimes whistling
sometimes speedily
but always beating
the perennial rhythm
of a journey?
Or is it perhaps
the hollow
ghostly skull of
a ravaged home
burnt down
with riotous hate
yet static like
an open mouth
after being throttled
to death on
a blood-stained
page of history?
Or is it the chiming
of wavering in
distressed separation,
searching for
the lost lover
in a deep dark forest
across the
never ending
prickly path of
seething scents in
simmering flames
hoping to be
quenched with love?
Or is it a green
olive tree
or perhaps a saal
peepul, banyan
or mahua
or trees standing still
with full-grown hibiscus
palash or red oleanders
moving yet not so
as I move on
sitting tight
on my seat
in a running bus?
What is time?
Where is time?
does it flow
in my veins
or down the river?
or is it my
thumping heart-beat
waiting to go
to the other side
to meet my maker?
Through the webbed weavings of life
My stories roll inexorably through ages
Fireballs of thunderous clouds
Falling stars, splitting galaxies
Comets and planets wayward in disarray
The flaky fallen leaves on ground
Grey, putrid, yellow and desiccant
Lusterless corpses of haplessness
Lying in my labyrinthine jungles
Under sun-less dizzy skies —
But I cannot and will not let go
As my dear Poet-Friend questions
With deep quivering resonance
Is God an Artist or an Anarchist
While I remain swaddled in
This furious trance of my crisis
I know the aureoles will soon fly
The branches will flutter again
With blooms of riotous colours
Mother Nature’s soft balm of healing —
The cuckoo weeping in my deepest soul
Will lend her voice again in hymnal rapture
The nascent green leaves will play once more
On the love-laden breasts of trees
The groaning clouds will melt once more
In showers of renascent kindness
The blue azure will touch the fluffy clouds
On those summits of ethereal victory
For I know and sure I know — I know
My cuckoo will rend the veil to tend my earth —
Copyright@ Laksmisree Banerjee

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