Amarendra Khatua’s New Poems: Injury Time, For The Lost Country, Rehearsal

INJURY TIME

khatuathese steps holding your
attraction
will falter in a rare
shadowy evening. The broken
stars will still be shimmering
away in a moonless sky.
some movement inside
the awakened leaves
will denote meaninglessness
for the lonely tree.
And you left me.

never telling me
that love has its deepest wound
etched inside our hungry togetherness
there in our halting kisses
distance growing dry petals
in our tame desire,
fully blown into flowered betrayal
all our making, in our love.

you never polished the
faded enamel of our lilting
bodily greed. nor I opened
up the hidden blood stream
of my being,
to allow your naked surrender
swim into an eternal bonding
for our wordless songs,
our songless us.

now I go
when the night curls
into darkness, alone.
now I sleep
in the bunker of uneven
music, all the
ripe lyrics stolen by
your departure.

you never taught me
the beauty of hunger
that grows so fiercely
in love, now
depleted in a stark
existence inside
a moonless sky of broken
stars, inside a windless
tree of noisy leaves and
in a night of
indeterminable loss.
nor I asked!

FOR THE LOST COUNTRY

we could not reinstate
the lost, the dead and the unforgiving
ones on the pedestal
of lost time, in our remaining prayers.
nor could we reassign
the places, the promises and the hungry
songs to the virgin map
of our knowing, ever.

was it not the same country that
whispered in the mad wind
of our curious beginnings, a mantra
of touching the souls in
the filter of history and goodness?
was it not the same
silhouetted pictures that crusted
the throats in patriotic chokes
when the sight of a fluttering colour
of a flag wiped
the eyes clean
from civilizational myopia?

how much we can beg now
in the guise of immortality!
tell me the name of the country
you are looking for and I will point
out in the lost map, an area of weeping
darkness, amid our
parade of selfmade innocence
and betrayed promises

REHEARSAL

I
you waved your magic palm
and positioned
a spiral of lotus hints
on your telegraphing fingers.
and I opened up
with grateful understanding
that your hands are tied.

now you can dance with
my unwritten composition of love as fate
and I wait with music
that never gains in scale
like a crescendo, pulsating.

II

I watch your dancing steps
and you transform
into an image of lightening hunger
and an electric message of
my loving on fire.

I am in a trance.
this life is of no use anymore,
this waiting has lost
its religion of patience.
the sighs have decorated
the path of wanting you
in a murmur of your
inviting silence, so far.

III

meaninglessness has its own lore,
love its own melancholia.

I have all the words to
invite you without words, and
you have all the steps to
annoint a promise of
eternity by staying away.

and we survive and prosper
in our studios of promises,
love being our performing arts.

(Amarendra Khatua is India’s ambassador to Argentina. Known in diplomatic circles for his negotiating skills, Dr Khatua is a prolific poet who writes with the same finesse in Oriya and English).