Kamakhya By Manash Firaq Bhattacharjee


To Amruta Patil, for coincidences

Spiral roads take you up
An occulted hill
The glacial river flows by,
Your spiralling eyes
Are full of green water,
You breathe
A vertiginous air,
Trees laden with monkeys
Greet you anciently,
You hear bells
Tolling against bad spirits
Sinisterly pious –
Welcoming scared gods,
Priests, sheep
Vie for attention,
Flowers are food, mantras
You remove your shoes
Walk on old stones
They erase your presence
You are footsteps
With eyes of forgetting,
Divinities on walls
Pose – to stall your path
Tempt you,
Their bodies, counsels
On stone –
Telling you, go break
The stones in your body
Become body
Spread your organs,
Branch out like flowers
Flower, branch,
Go, turn into verbs
Look, beside you
Goats are slaughtered
They wait, then –
Executed by a syllable
Their blood
Is our feast, we feast
On death,
Our mother bleeds –
To birth us,
Blood is birth, death
Dark spring,
Invites us below –
We go with careful steps
Where it bleeds
Blood is water,
On our forehead of water
A mark of blood,
It marks our fate,
Fate, marked by return
To roots
Of vanished, deserted
Where we were born,
Will never die,
We die elsewhere,
Without roots
We are homeless figs
In the pyre,
In a fit you see –
Temple walls
Hoisted by pigeons,
Why do birds
Die clinging to walls,
What attracts
Feathers to stones,
No one knows
Inside the garbhagriha
Dark rumbles,
You go inside your head
Deeper, down,
Walled by fear, desire,
Touch the yoni
Waiting since ages
To remind you
Where you come from,
The orifice of origins,
Performs a ritual
Of blood’s regenerative
Man sacrifices his animal –
For he lacks the blood
Of a woman,
Goats are muted spectators
Of self-annihilation
Or of delirium,
Of what man cannot hold –
In Kamakhya,
Stones bleed myths

By Manash Firaq Bhattacharjee


Manash Firaq Bhattacharjee is a poet, writer, translator and political science scholar. His poems have appeared in The London Magazine, New Welsh Review, The Fortnightly Review, Elohi Gadugi Journal, Mudlark, Metamorphoses, Modern Poetry in Translation, The Postcolonialist, George Szirtes’ Blog, The Missing Slate, The Indian Quarterly, The Little Magazine, and Coldnoon. His first collection of poetry, Ghalib’s Tomb and Other Poems (2013), was published by The London Magazine. He is currently Adjunct Professor in the School of Culture and Creative Expressions at Ambedkar University, New Delhi.

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