Three Covid Poems

Poetry Editor Ananya S Guha’s note: Preetinicha Barman’s poems take us to rural settings and life in the midst of Covid. There is strangeness, there is fear, there is death yet there is life. The monologues slow and rhythmic have a strong elegiac note.

 The Field

Last night it showered heavily,

It has been so for the past few days.

I am washed and soaked,

Ready for the furrow and to conceive the seeds.

But, where have they gone called the farmers?

I didn’t even see them

Rushing for home through the fields

Holding palm leaves atop their heads

They are hardly seen

Gathering at the crossroads,

With baskets, bags and carts,

Laying vegetables in front

And squatting at the place called market.

I am sure, they would return soon

For I am mellow, ripe and ready

 As my fragrance beckons the ploughs

Perhaps, the farmer’s son comes tomorrow

And would smile at my coy grace

The rain would pour even more

Then I, with the farmer’s son,

Would drench together

And would dance and dream together

For I too long to adorn his front yard

With my dishevelled charm

When winter comes.

The Woman

It rained last night,

My bed was wet;

I looked out through the balcony

And saw a hazy dot, seemed to be your shadow.

My pompous legs snapped at me,

My bosom whispered,

“It’s the season of summer fruits

Hanging from the boughs”,

Tonight my drapery hangs loose,

Fresh and fertile.

The wind brings no sound of yours,

But only the tidings of a pandemic,

They say that it is worse

Than the darkest nights.

My limbs coil,

I can only unravel to the Sun;

Let the sunshine pour through

The empty trails to fill my inner meadows. 

History

‘This is the end of time’, once they said.

Yet, this is the beginning of another time.

Let us lie down naked,

My folks, my kind,

Our days coming to a close

As we seek solace while being quarantined.

For how long, how many years?

Won’t our songs cease, rhythms collapse?

If they do, let them

For we have had our time,

Our glories and our prime.

Let history be sung by the animals, birds and plants

Let them write it with the sure indelibility of our ash

Time ushers us to a land we thought we never belonged

For we borrowed the tales from the river as our own

This is time,

Let the river narrate the tales of her own.

(Preetinicha Barman teaches English Literature at Women’s College, Shillong. She writes poems in English, Assamese and Rajbanshi languages. Aior Photok (2018) is her collection of Rajbanshi poems. She also published some of her poems in Muse India, Peregrine Muse, Ethos Literary Journal et al. She did her PhD from NEHU on the novels of Orhan Pamuk.)

Ananya S Guha

Ananya S Guha

Ananya S Guha works in the Indira Gandhi National Open University, Shillong (Meghalaya) as an Academic Administrator. He has over 30 years of teaching and administrative experience. He has six collections of poetry and his forms have been published world wide. Some of his poems are due to appear soon in an Anthology of Indian Poetry in English to be published by Harper Collins.