A Tribute Poem-by Jay Basu


[ Retitled from “BLUES FROM KASHMIR”]

A Tribute Poem

by Jay Basu

After a long, long stretch of sultry and sweaty days

It’s at last a rain-shower from the blues of Kashmir

All the moons, sickle and crescent and full, are now

Cool, washing the Bengal sky off their copper crust

The pale and yellow terrains of this god- forsaken

Land of Bengal takes on the pink sunset afterglow

Winds that used to howl and growl for moonbaked

Fragrances of the flowery valleys of Kashmir stops

Moaning, seeing you descend from green steppes

And build a nest here that look like the eyes of one

Banalata Sen of Natore; you come here to sing out

A symphony of melodies that are redolent with

The rhythm of rivulets that once lulled you to sleep

Pillowed on the downy breasts of a singing mother

Here on the sultry plains of Bengal you are

The pink pollens wafted from the hills by

The freakish fleets of the mountain winds

That traverse the clouds piled upon clouds

Stealing the sun’s blushful tint from them.

Gone are those days when, dear!

I had to totter up to you to beg of

Pills and potions that would heal me

And you came down like a deity from the blue

And poured them with compassion and care

Into my quivering mouth outspread like

A cup as if to hold the nectar of life

From a deity; I took them right away

Oh! Those pills and potions tasted

Like pollens sweetened with the taste of shy love!

Listen, Dear! An old heart that knows

Of dying in loving knows too of living

Up with love brewing as long as it’s breathing

Who under the shroud breathe and embrace.

Copyright @ Jay Basu 8 June 2024

Pic credit: Sunita Grover Raina