Three Poems of Shanker Dutt

1. One morning in a camp potter’s Hill

Half hidden from common sight
Nestling quietly
Among lank pines
And festive deodars is Chadwick cottage.
I sit in the porch
On a woven bamboo chair
My pen scripting
Cheeps, chirps, chirrups
Of winged shyness not visible
And percussioned chinwag of chicadas.
A gentle hill breeze rustles
Through the many hues of green;
The scalloped canopy
Of the cottage flaps.
This morning I had Awakened
To a hundred dancing footsteps
The patter of gentle rain
Greening the many shades of green
Now smelling of verdant rainwash.
The sun’s emergence
Dries the sight
I pen half a line which may become a poem
Or a paper-ball aimed
As the Waste -paper basket.
An image is suddenly worded.
At the moment -hospitality announces breakfast.

2. Chronicle of a reported Death

The gutter is a mind
That carries sewage
Swirling memories of a city
Spent Glitzy neons doodle
Mindless temptations
For sidewalk stragglers
Musuem-walking aimlessly
Little after midday
A mother’s child
Bleeding lies on a black tarmac
Circus of curious heads
Surround an inertia
Print barbs at city’s heart
Who cares
Five more were born the moment
Blood and metal met.

3. Monsoon wedding

The roads are concrete, two feet above
The plinths of neighbourhood houses
It rains because people prayed hard and true
Even sanctified with weeding of frogs
For the earth thirsts for water
And affording mouths for Laphroig
After the parched months of summer
But now the rainwater enters dwellings
Because the municipality is lying and telling
Your mohalla’s froggy wedding
Involved two male frogs.

[ Dr. Shanker A. Dutt is currently the Head of the Department of English in Patna University. He can be contacted at ]

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