August 2, 2018 Poetry , POETRY / FICTION

Sufia Khatoon



Lopa Banerjee




The Earth-born


Inspired by an artwork by Sufia Khatoon, artist, poet and co-founder of Rhythm Divine poets, Kolkata, India

Dedicated to all our unborn daughters of the world





Flesh, bones

Raw blood,

Thirst of the womb

Tattooed imprints

A newborn rhythm echoes, rooted.

Fickle, cracked earth,

Tectonic plates twist and turn.

Fragmentations of dark, bullied

Charred, scared fetus.


At home, she slowly wakes

Coils like a casual bun,

Between fierce silence

And nameless dreams

The musk of sex, or name, nowhere near.

Somewhere on the precarious fringes

They whisper: “But a girl, it is!”

The ripples of blood

The fluid water of the womb’s earth

Might no longer flow.

Slowly, then rapidly, surely

The water of the womb

Turns to a poisoned river,

Then, a coagulated curse.

Impenetrable darkness

Just before dawn breaks.





Flesh and shape,



Only a primeval moan of blood.


For a mother’s breasts

For ancestors to cheer

For a roof, a splinter of sun

For a city, village or rather, a place

To sow the seed,

A dark undone.

She will never know her name.

Or, never have any.

Blueprints of her birth, unrecorded.

The poisoned blue can no longer

Hold her. This game of her birth

The shattered earth-born, a cryptic dance

Never staged.






Lopa Banerjee

Lopa Banerjee is an author, poet, editor and translator based in Dallas, Texas, USA. Her memoir ‘Thwarted Escape: An Immigrant’s Wayward Journey‘ and her debut poetry collection ‘Let The Night Sing‘ have received honorary mentions in The Los Angeles Book Festival and New England Book Festival 2017 respectively. Her manuscript of ‘Thwarted Escape’ has also been First Place Category Winner at the Journey Awards 2014 hosted by Chanticleer Reviews and Media, USA. She also received The International Reuel Prize for Poetry in 2017 and The International Reuel Prize for Translation in 2016 (for ‘The Broken Home‘, her English translation of Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore’s novella), both instituted by The Significant League, a literary group in Facebook. ‘The Broken Home and Other Stories,’ her translation of two novellas and six short stories of Tagore is now a book in paperback version, published by Authorspress.

Her literary work has been published in many e-zines and anthologies based in the US and India, also in UK and Australia. She has also co-edited two fiction anthologies, ‘Defiant Dreams: Tales of Everyday Divas‘ and ‘Darkness There But Something More‘ and also co-edited an anthology of women poets ‘Cloudburst: The Womanly Deluge‘. A mother of two daughters, she is very passionate about the causes of gender-based violence and discrimination, and has been a featured poet/artist at Dark Moon Poetry, a Women-of-Color poetry and arts group. She is also a performing poet at Renegade Voices Collective, based in Fort Worth, Texas.

Editor review

1 Comment

  1. Jen Walls August 03, at 01:52

    'The Earth-Born' from poet-author, Lopa Banerjee and divine artwork from Sufia Khatoon gripped for waking soul; invoking intrinsic raw fragility of the world's selfish denial of rights for growing healthy life. Pray Banerjee's words uplift loving plight for the vulnerable unborn female children; helping create the positive seeds of change to light upon world's thoughtless disregard Any life-form not given sufficient respectful grace within nourishing love needs the heightened healing and more honorable place in our heart and mind. The poet achieves consciousness of care; seeding us for a more loving and humane humanity. Thank you, Lopa Banerjee! "a place /To sow the seed,/A dark undone. She will never know her name./Or, never have any./Blueprints of her birth, unrecorded... The shattered earth-born, a cryptic dance/Never staged."


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