September 16, 2015 Poetry , POETRY / FICTION



Anjana Basu







The bull has a slow fire at its heart

a coiled red anger that spreads its heath

catlike in sudden rushes

fake pounces all the time building

to a determined blaze that bursts out

explodes in a bucking frenzy

taking rider and trappings unawares

the rider squirms and grapples

to save his seat and life

from trampling hoofs on that twisting sea

bucking arch of living rage

the bull dimly senses the distress

but is lost in the song of blood and fire

that builds and builds

till it roars in its head

and nothing else matters

but to shake off that heat

and leech the thing which clings

with its irritating tickle of hands and heels










Humidity. Bengal is green lush and sprawling. In the monsoons the grey

clouds press low over the straw roofs of the green land, sealing in

the damp heat. Bengal breeds fungus, fever and fermentation. All over the

country, its women are a byword. Every man wants a Bengali woman for at least five minutes. Golden skinned against all that wet green. Sheikhs have been known to steal Bengali women and hide them in deep in their harems beneath their bales of silk and cinnamon. All over India they talk Bengali women in a hiss behind the palms of their hands.

There is a man who comes and sits and numbers all my bones. His

fingers trace my wrist. Cool, he sighs, your body is so cool. Cool, damp

Bengali skin, golden against the damp green leaves. A golden skinned goddess in the glade? I can’t tell what he sees. The mother goddess in Bengal is golden skinned but no goddess drapes herself in green. Green is too complex for any goddess to wear. Imagine a golden woman walking among the gold green leaves with a grey sky overhead, the dark light deepening both green and gold.

The man I love has grey eyes that turn all green to grey. Everything

he sees is gold or grey. Under grey skies in a grey garden, his eyes

centre on a golden woman.






Anjana Basu

Anjana Basu is a writer based in Calcutta. She has 5 novels, a book of short stories and two anthologies of poetry to her credit.


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