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Garden of Enchanted Stones: Amarendra Khatua

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khatuaAmarendra Khatua’s anthology “Garden of Enchanted Stones & other poems” encircle around love, longing, exile, despair and the ephemerality of existence. Half-made songs of love and living, as the poet says in one of his poems. These poems “mix memories with haunting words and etch superb pictures of love and despair, waiting and melancholia,” says Argentinian poet Graciela Aroaoz.

Dr Khatua is currently Director-General, Indian Council for Cultural Relations. A veteran diplomat, he is a prolific poet who writes with the same finesse in Oriya and English.

Here are three poems from “Garden of Enchanted Stones.”

 

khatua-poems

Remembering

I must be remembered

As the one who had

Never been celebrated

 

Inside your cryptic signs

Palpitating

As dreams

 

And always kept aside

As angst to be

Sorted out intimately as personal.

 

I must be forgiven

By the time bodies would be lying

Scattered

Consummated

Yet never revived

By the unforgiving

Moments

Of your nubile hunger

Constructed

Out of immortal artefacts

Sans your permission.

 

In the seasons of my fall

love-sketch

Silence was coiling

Like the aroma of unknown

Flowers inside your eyes.

Painted silvery clouds

Hug under a chalk white

Erotic moon. you spoke in

The silkiest voice of the

Dark inviting night. your words

Gargled in the throbs of

Asking for love and

Flanked my waiting moments

In a cloying stupor, of some

Halfmade dreams and rest in

Pure parched skin hunger

 

And I retreated.

Emotions had no limbs, no pretext,

Yet my bones receded in sighs.

The seeking palm remained unopened

For promises that our flesh

Could have woven. My eyes

Turned away on their own

Betrayal of physical essences, while

You waited.

 

Now neither can I retrieve my

Wanton footsteps into the

Garden of your unadorned invitation,

Nor can you wait with preserved

Eternity for recognition of my

 

Love simply untrespassed

In the seasons of my fall.

 

Half made songs

 

Words I stitch

As precious wounds

Words I sketch as

The dark pictures of losses

 

Mostly are not

The serenading verses

That I perfect

To wing out

And touch your soul

 

That is why the best poetry

Of mine stays outside my

Own reach

And I struggle

 

your acceptance

Of my falsetto tune

Accommodated inside your own

Half made songs of love and living.


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