Saturday, December 27, 2014

Kolkata (Mercury)

I asked my grandfather to come up with a word to describe Kolkata and he said, "Paradox." I then asked a Bengali friend and he came up with "Mercury." That, inspires this poem:

Kolkata (Mercury)

A Sunday evening
in The City of Joy,
a man peddles
his many wares.

Boxes and bottles,
jars and pouches,
potions and tablets,
leaves and branches.

A wrinkled hand
with a painted nail
holds out a vial,
"Guess what I have."

I look closely:
A shiny liquid,
a dense liquid
"It's mercury!"

He smiles at me,
clutches the vial.
I follow his gaze,
a faraway gaze.

Buses, trams,
tempers, crowds,
dumps, fumes,
kites and crows.

Sweat and blood,
heat and vapour,
a million dreams,
crushed ambitions.

A city of paradoxes,
judged and measured,
of value and poison
like a vial of mercury.

- Eisha








No comments: