‘Runaway Peacock’ and other poems by Anindita Sarkar
By: Anindita Sarkar
Like caged birds who shun flight
I was oblivious to the wild,
until the blue hills beaconed.
Through telepathic podcasts
sanctioned by the rain
I confessed to my lover
about my expatriate state.
A mob of misfits
their throats aflame with litany of demands
who obliged to unfurl my rainbow dyed tail
to satiate their voyeuristic lust,
a bunch of foolish literati
they think I brag about my beauty!
I repel the corn and barley
that my landlord effortlessly feeds me
I want to be paranoid
in the pursuit of a prey.
I like how the fireflies slice through the dark-fed woods,
the wild air that coughs out blizzard
and the viper that knives across the soil.
On a damp rutting season
I decided to migrate
reeking of all the things I fantasized
I dissolved away under the dying sun.
On a blizzard-stricken day
the eyebrows of lichens
ache for breath,
pines emulate a hammock
snowflakes swing on leaf-ends,
fawns grit their teeth,
the squirrel recedes in its den
aged cactus prays for leather gloves,
does plough deep
into the cover of orchids
the mountain lion stumbles
in want of a footwear,
the dilatory hills
hoist like white flags,
the river swallows
cannons of ice,
the waxed dark trees
yearn for a wildfire.
Crimson cape, four-walled theatre
a little provocation
and thus the game began.
I stain my horns with butcheries,
get chastised in funerals with fury,
the hollow roars of matadors in braided hairs
drooling on glossy cleavages, stings me with disgust.
Routined veterinary inspections
worthless part of the ranchman’s administration
they never inquire about my friend
whose scrotum and testicles were robbed.
My thirteen year playmate was shot
while feeding me seasoned pasture
just when a stack of marijuana
paid an inopportune visit.
That fake momentum, the queue of calves
readying for the bloodthirsty spectacle,
the galaxy of misfits
that gets thrilled at shooting caged animals,
I feel so harassed
like a dancer in the bar of eccentrics
I an animal, she a human
both are antidote to the eyes
with cliff-sized vulnerabilities
and river of compromise.
My facial features at Eighty
Cumulus clouds, spider webs
or heaped debris after a storm
what will my face look like when I shall be eighty?
I shall remember
my reflection on rippling water,
the petals I kissed,
the chameleon I mistook for lichens,
at Eighty I shall mistake poison for gin!
Ravines, dents on the steel door
or potholes on the street
toothless I will be at Eighty
I will recall
the foaming candy in my mouth
my first date at the dentist’s
the way I was stung by a bee,
I mistook a floss for a string of guitar
at Eighty I shall mistake my corpse for a ply.
Raisins, autumn leaves
or land after a drought
my lips will be sunken at Eighty
I shall frown
the severe jaw fracture
the payers for hastened recovery
the yellow basalt stone I mistook for jaggery,
At Eighty I shall mistake my soul for a wisp of air.
Anindita Sarkar is pursuing M Phil degree in Comparative Literature from Jadavpur University. She is from Kolkata,India. She is also an UGC Junior Research Fellow.