Shining through the cracks of life
the warmth of wisdom and resolve
dances like a flaming fire, and then
moves like magma to settle
and solidify blanketing
a life exposed to harshness
and a hill is born — with its rugged allure
hosting the molten inside its womb.
If I were a travelling air
without any bony cage,
moral circuits and routes
blowing to the will of paddy fields
smelling the sexual union
of grass roots with wet soil
I would swoop and lift the infant souls
of dead harvested crops
fetching them to their seeds
and allow them to breathe me again.
The mango tree which I reared
is lost today somewhere
in the jungle of my wishes.
I used to throw whole mangoes
in our backyard
to see them grow up into trees.
Not a single leaf sprouted
except from a half-eaten one.
After watering it in its infancy
I became engaged
wining and dining with my life.
After years — today
a mangrove in our backyard
shaded my memories
from the hard sun of forgetfulness.
I wish I had left myself
to the charity of wilderness.
Sonnet Mondal is an Indian poet, editor, and author of An Afternoon in my Mind (Copper Coin, 2022), Karmic Chanting (Copper Coin, 2018), and Ink & Line (Dhauli Books, 2018). Founder director of Chair Poetry Evenings – Kolkata’s International Poetry Festival, Mondal serves as the managing editor of Verseville. His recent works have appeared in the Harper’s Bazaar, Virginia Quarterly Review, Words Without Borders, Singing in the Dark (Penguin Random House), Luvina magazine (University of Guadalajara, Mexico), La Otra (University of Mexico), Indian Literature (Sahitya Akademi), Short Edition-Michigan State University Libraries, Kyoto Journal, Potomac Review, Poetry Salzburg Review (University of Salzburg), Mascara Literary Review, and Honest Ulsterman among others. Editor of the Indian section of Lyrikline, Haus Fur Poesie, Berlin, he has been a guest editor of Words Without Borders, Poetry at Sangam and Radar Magazine. His works have been translated into Hindi, Bengali, Italian, Chinese, Turkish, Slovak, Macedonian, French, Russian, Slovenian, Hungarian, and Arabic.