A bright red boat
Blue fishing nets
Ochre fort walls
Sahar’s silk blouse
gold and sheer
Her dark black
A street child’s
holding the rainbow
in his small grasp
My lost memory
white and frozen
now melts colour
ready to refract
forthcoming in New Writing 15 (London: Granta, 2007)
One Moonlit December Night
One moonlit December night
you came knocking at my door,
I took my time to open.
When I did,
there was just a silk scarf,
frayed, half-stuck in the latch.
from The Lunar Visitations (New York, 1990) & Postmarked India: New & Selected Poems (HarperCollins) / also appears in Confronting Love: Poems (Penguin, 2005)
I meticulously stitch time through the embroidered sky,
through its unpredictable lumps and hollows. I
am going home once again from another
home, escaping the weave of reality into another
one, one that gently reminds and stalls
to confirm: my body is the step-son of my soul.
But what talk of soul and skin
in this day and age, such ephemeral things
that cross-weaves blood and breath
into clotted zones of true escape.
What talk of flight time and flying
when real flights of fancy are crying
to stay buoyant unpredictably in mid-air
amid pain, peace, and belief: just like thin air
sketches, where another home is built
in free space vacuum, as another patchwork quilt
is quietly wrapped around, gently, in memoriam.
from Postmarked India: New & Selected Poems (HarperCollins) / also forthcoming in Norton Poetry Anthology of Contemporary Voices from the East (New York: W.W.Norton, 2007)
Under the soft translucent linen,
the ridges around your nipples
harden at the thought of my tongue.
You — lying inverted like the letter ‘c’ —
arch yourself deliberately
wanting the warm press of my lips,
it’s wet to coat the skin
that is bristling, burning,
breaking into sweats of desire —
sweet juices of imagination.
But in fact, I haven’t even touched
you. At least, not as yet.
from Lines of Desire (USA) / also appears in Indian Love Poems (New York: Knopf / London: Everyman’s Library, 2005)
Sudeep Sen [http://www.sudeepsen.net/] has written and edited over a dozen books, including: Distracted Geographies and Rain. His poetry from Postmarked India: New & Selected Poems (HarperCollins) was awarded the Hawthornden Fellowship (UK) and nominated for a Pushcart Prize (USA). He was international writer-in-residence at the Scottish Poetry Library (Edinburgh) and visiting scholar at Harvard University. His work has appeared in the TLS, Guardian, Observer, Independent, FT, London Magazine, Hindu, Outlook, India Today. He is the editorial director of Aark Arts and editor of Atlas. Sen’s new work is forthcoming in New Writing 15 (Granta).