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RUDRA KINSHUK

(22 MAY,1971 / BOLPUR WEST BENGAL INDIA)

FOOTPRINTS ON THE SANDS: A BOOK OF POEMS


RUDRA KINSHUK: FOOTPRINTS ON THE SANDS

© Rudra Kinshuk
First Edition: 1996
Second Edition: 2005


A first book of verse

FOOTPRINTS
ON THE SANDS

Rudra Kinshuk


The Author

Rudra Kinshuk (born 1971) has contributed poems and transalations to numerous publications. A recipient of Junior Fellowship in Literature of Ministry of Human Resource Development, New Delhi, he has three collections of poems Footprints on the Sands(WW,1996,2005) , Portrait of a Dog as Buddha (WW,1998) and Marginal Tales of the Galloping Horses (WW,2002) to his credit. He has also two collections of translations of Santal folk songs - Songs of The Wild Birds (WW,1997) and Santal Marriage Songs (WW,1999) as well as a book of translations from Bengali Postmodern Bengali Poetry of Prabhat Choudhuri (Kavita Pakshik,2005) .




Dedication
To my parents




Acknowledgements
I thank the editors of The Amirta Bazar Patrika, The Asian Age and The Studio for publishing some of the poems included in the present collection. My thanks are also due to Swati Ganguly, my teacher who gave me much inspiration in the very early part of my writing career.

Note

This collection of poems got published first in 1996. Some of my friends and well wishers appreciated it extensively. It is perhaps undeserved appreciation and encouragement which helped me to continue my writing. When, after a gap of almost ten years I look at the first book of my poems, I feel very embarrassed to discover them all to be too callow to take them again to the readers. Still I do have a fascination for them because they mirror the early days of my youth.









C ontents Page


In Your Embrace, Nostalgia, A Burning Bird 09
Hibernation, A Sleepwalk 10
An Intimate Story, A Nightly Rendezvous 11
Green Oars, A Wandering Horse 12
Bridge, If I Drop out on the Way 13
Grasses, The Dream of the Distant Blue 14
To Kumu, Stretch Your Snowy Hands 15
A Whisper, Brimming Lakes 16
Solitary Darkness, Mosquitos 17
Footprints on the Sands, Shadow in the Depth of Water 18
Dreams My River, My Lullaby 19-20
Notes on a Neemtree, Globlization 21
This Tale for You, 22
Call Me Uddalak 23
Clouds 24
Judas, Water 25
Over the Culvert, Mirrors 26
I Remember, A Fairy Tale 27 Cobweb, Silence 28
Evening Light 29
A Fairy Tale of a King and a Bird 29-32
Fragrance of Sun Light 32








IN YOUR EMBRACE, NOSTALGIA

I’m out in search of a kubo-bird
that I left behind in the room of my childhood.
In your embrace, Nostalgia I’m burning.
My limbs are burning, shaping the way
of my second childhood.
Winged fantasy, when will your visit my garden,
opening like casements to the sky?
Waiting burgeons into feathers of clouds
and rain-soaked roots of pomegranates.


A BURNING BIRD

.... walked far
in search of chrysanthemums for you,
an aspirant journey over
rusty anchors and broken swords.

Keep your hands on my head,
I’m living, burning like a bird,
with a green boat and a cage in itself,
moving and moving towards
the horizon, our ever widening destination.
Chrysenthemums bloom silently
like the eggs of hiramon birds...




HIBERNATION

... and your hands spattered with blood
and yellow leaves
and dry grass get collected
in your living days.

A knocking still on the door of your chamber
obsessed by alien chloroform, eggs broken,
no young birds come out, such your hibernation
remains unbroken ever,
stairs descending to water

I stand outside and see all these
inside....



A CASTLE FOR CHRYSANTHEMUMS

When the avenues in our city
are terrified, I wish to become
a castle for the chrysanthemums.


IN A BLIND ALLEY

This is a blind alley.
Darkness crawls like crabs.
Who knows the route
leading to the lakes?


GARDENING

Weeds overgrow chrysanthemums
in your garden.
For you’re yet to explore
the art of gardening.


A SLEEPWALK

In the dead of night I killed roses in the garden
and streams, my shadow fell accross the hall....

Wondering where I shall hide my child
on which mountain under which ocean?

All through the night
I sleepwalk with a fervent prayer
for a dawn, for a leafy dawn.
Apparitional faces in the mirror.
I look lean, my sticky hands cannot
move away....


THE BARBED HANDS

Flowers are in my barbed hands.
And my eyes look like
cherries, mellowed in the silence.






THE SPECKLED BIRD

Miles I’ve walked
through the heart of jungles.
A few more are to be journeyed still.
The speckled bird we’ve been
looking for
must be here.



AN INTIMATE STORY

If you go, I’ll bleed
like the meadow near Prantik Station
for the departing sun in the evening.
Yet I could not stop the going.
Now the inevitable I host in my inner chamber.

The old tree knows this intimate story,
the grass another,
water in the flowing canal
another, a new story
in the pocket of wind...

I slowly try
to move me
away from the centre of the story,





METAMORPHOSIS

My palms are magic lands.
You burn coals on them
and they become flowers.



A NIGHTLY RENDEZVOUS

Every night I stealthily step into the garden
where the rabbit-like moon dozes
behind the wild berries.
fall thick on our everyday’s living.

I stretch out my palms open and stand still
under this mysterious rain.
Rabbits come out of the holes,
my body...

I wake up alone in a wilderness.
A flute blows in profound blindness...

This is an incomplete story of an august day,
my birth day, your birthday.






GREEN OARS

Are you a creature of flesh
or a liquid shadow?
Roses are burning
now on my palms.
Take them away
to your water box,
ever expanding and open.
The unploughed land waits
for moonlight, green oars
listen to the bemused
music of water...


A WANDERERING HORSE

I had a casket of fire
hidden under my ribs.
I was happy like
my fellow citizens.
One day I by chance
came to a palash tree,
breaking into flowers.
And the concealed fire
broke out into my body.
A tale I picked up
from the brink of flowing dreams

A horse, wandering
homeless
prances out
of the movelesss wall....
TO A STATUE OF STONE

A statue of stone.
An orchard of bougainvillaea, for you
languishing...



BRIDGE
A new morning dawns softly
on the grasses of my consciousness.
Barren time and dry river,
our darted souls still wait
Our love may make a bridge
for our children.
And for them at least we should
nurture these chrysanthemums
which open like windows
between the meadows and the sky.


IF I DROP OUT ON THE WAY

I stepped out of door-steps
into the yard and then
to the wistful road
leading to the lake where
lilies grow in abundance.

If I dropp
ask my child to finish the journey.



GRASSES

Grassess grow everywhere
on the land, in the water
in the homeyard,
and in the meadow
near the railway station.
Seated near the window
I see them sun-burnt
and dew-soaked.
One morning I woke up
on my bed
and discovered
grass growing under my ribds.



THE DREAM OF THE DISTANT BLUE

What do I do
with grasshopper’s gilded decoration?
Incense is burning in my inner chamber.
I can knell down
before the milky feet.
Am I a bird?
A bird, a caged bird
in dream of the distant blue.






RENAMING OF FIRE

The web is lobyrinthine
but I’m no insect.
Mine will rename the fire.


WIPE OUT THE SHADOW

This isn’t the face I adore.
Wipe out the shadow,
or where shall I plant my kiss?


A PUZZLING BLESSING

“May you be a towering sagoon
beside
a river” blessed me my Grandpa
at the time of his death.

With dews and rains on my head
I’m still standing in the yard
as waiting is a necessity
for this becoming.


A TREE IN THE MEADOW

Once burnt in the sun.
Now rainsoaked
I’m a tree in the meadow.



TO KUMU

When you stand before me
I remember
the deaths I’ve suffered in life.
You’re a lily of the dawn.

When you take flowers f rom my hands
I vision another birth
burning inside me.
You’re consolations
for waiting meadows, Kumu.



UNPREPARED FOR LIGHT

Darkness,
I couldn’t see the lines of trees.
A lighting flashed,
and I got blinded.
I was unprepared for light.



A MADCAP

On the moonlit bed of grasses
a madcap sang with dew.
Only the wind could perceive his sorrows.







IN SEARCH OF A BLUENECKED MAGPIE

Fire, you have burnt
my childhood and adolescence.
My sleep and fear
also are burnt.

Now burn my courage and awakening.

I’ll be out of the castle
in search of a bluenecked magpie.


THE TIGER

The tiger was tearing at my navel.
It tore my heart brutally.
It is now in my head
and my nerves are burning.

Will I remain still
or light up the pyre?


STRETCH YOUR SNOWY HANDS

When the gipsy leopard is after my shadow,
stand before me and take me away
into your world of light and wait.
Spring in the orchard,
buds blooming,
starlings hatching eggs.
Stretch your snowy hands
and take me to the world of rest and silence.


THE VOYAGE

The vessel waits unloaded
on the reminiscent shore.
The birds fly over the seas
towards the blurred horizon,

I must make an orchard in my yard.
Provisions needed
for the voyage’ll be long.


TWO FRAGMENTS

1
For whom should I grow
Hyacinths in the garden?
No hand is free of blood.

2
He ran his danger deep
Near the cage of my ribs.
I saw his face in the pool of blood.



TWO DEATHS

Once I killed
Then I was killed.
Thus I suffered two deaths.





A WHISPER

I should decorate my cottage;
every day I remind myself.
But after the fruitless day’s end
I hurry to my dishevelled bed
and my sleep is disturbed.

The wind passing through
branches of pomegranate trees
in the yard wishpers:
Awakening is only
a preparation for better sleep.




BRIMMING LAKES

Don’t remove your white hands,
keep them ever on my forehead.
My soul a navigator,
looks for lost anchors....

Wondering if I’m in a dream
that sinks into mirrors.
Your eyes
two brimming lakes, the water birds nest there.
Deprived of water, I walk along
the margin of light and shade.


SOLITARY DARKNESS

When the roses, plucked
writhe in vases
in our well-furnished chambers.
Shadows laugh in the shadow
of a moon-bit tree
and you bleed silently
in solitary darkness.

Only a man, lost in silence
learned to light candles
from a camfire of some fairy tales.

SHADOW IN THE DEPTH OF WATER

The garden of bougainvillea
I have made in my yard,
my navigating soul
looks as if dewdrops, sparkling

and fragrant, the moving lullabies.
Not I, not I,
A fragrant dream walks over the pillows
the moving tortoises among blue waves.

A shadow in the depth of water....

Monuments of blue memories fly in the sleepy sky.
The wind becoms a chourasia among bushes,
Two tireless hands look for the door bell.


FOOTPRINTS ON THE SANDS

The call of the blue vastness
grows irresitible in me, ships sailing
I will wade to the mossy floor of waters
to find out the box of bees.

I may return no more to this village by the sea
to bathe in the dews dripping,
from the pink buds of promegranates.
I may not return the same man
but a few seagulls will come out
from my ribs, a cage of colours,
and their footfrints will remain on the sands.


MOSQUITOES

A mosquito sat on my cheek
and sucked blood from my body.
I sprang my hand and killed it
forgetting completely that
thousands of mosquitoes swarm
in my brain where my hands don’t reach.

AN APPARITION

Standing before a mirror
I’m frightened;
A face of an apparition...
DREAMS

I dream of returning
to a sunset canoe.
I nod and nod
to my own shadow.
An apparitional mirror
walks along a wire.
I read and deciphere
the conversations
of a struck donkey
and the melting moon.
I try to run away
again and again
from my shadow, my own.
How can I extricate
my self from the dance
of the magic mirror
in my head?


SILENCE

Silence burgeons
into a blue,
a void in the soul,
a void that makes colours
move like ants.
To live, to discover to be into being.

A melting candle
burns on the horizon...




NOTES ON A NEEM-TREE

Tree, you’re standing
with yellow abundance,
hovering on the wistful roof,
weather-beaten and winding
stonecheaps make alphabet
of morning light, a river’s
secret nick name.

Tree, you have learned
news of missing persons,
about throwing foetus miscarriage
of dreams and faiths,
how they all ascend
the flight of stairs.

Tree, you stand in me
like an enigma
that makes clouds of cotton
in my personal ether...




CALL ME UDDALAK

Conches blow in the green music hall,
ever widening, crops open secret doors
to these rituals of prayers and songs.

Let me lie on the fertile soil
of tales and ballads of anchored
and winged.
rich crops.

When my body in crop visinity
will turn to be full
of leaves,
call me Uddalak.


I REMEMBER

Last night I dreamt
leaves of my jack fruit trees
turned to soft gold.
A few birds
came to visit the garden.
They hummed a lullaby.
Suddenly I discovered
water flowing under
my own feet silently.
A memory scented lullaby....

I remember that I had a dream.


CLOUDS

Clouds seem to be wishing cows,
endlessly milking over the roots,
river-canoes and our aspiration....

Broken bricks come out
after such a long wash,
our adolescent secrets
threatening and pleasent.

Memories get drenched
as ducks. to skin, longing
for tales of skylarks, birds that never
take water except rains.

Birds that fly from our fists
come to deliver their dreams,

The sun rises, the sun sets
on the small window,
wistful...

A FAIRY TALE

By awakening
a star perceives
to be burning
in one’s own fire.
A man believes
an awakening
to pour a river
at fragrant roots.

The star has
become a river,
the man a towering tree.


COBWEB

Nothing to be answered.
The day like a chinese rose
blooms to be a reply
to any query. Any query
ends in silence,
a journey from zero
to another zero.
Arrival reaches
at the point of departure.
I silently pick up
pebbles of tales,
tales of home sick birds.
I see how lost birds
sit quiet on the mast
of a moving ship...



WATER

Water sings in me
and a man opens
the eternal pages
of silence.

I wake up to discover
some footprints in my soul.



EVENING LIGHT

Evening settles down,
birds winging home
from prayers to meditation.
I seek home on the flowing river.
Dews dropp on petals,
ants climbing my spine, taking
it for some tree.
Green caju-fruit lying beside
water, flowing irrespective
of the great clock.

Home, sweet home envelope me
with your white palms
make me dissolve
into the elixir of life.
Hands can make a roof
that can put off an avalanche.
Faces can make a lake
that can bring the memories
back to the scented roots....

OVER THE CULVERT

An autumn fog
crawls over the yellow culvert
A wind mews
in a bush, half burned.

Memories are dying
on the still water
under the culvert.

I stand still
among the fogs
and look at my lean faces.



FRAGRANCE OF SUNLIGHT

Birds can return home safely.
My waiting on the evening canal,
taken away by water birds
intends to smell fragrance of sunlight.

Why should I try to grab everything,
to be left back?
Standing before serenity of water
with two folded palms
I now try to catch myself in vain.

Water flows calmly,
darkness envelopes eyes...

JUDAS

Your sharp hands
offer me red flowers
flowers that look like
stars in the sky,
flowers that prove
to be bridges
to the drawning ants

Sinking into darkness
I remember your face,
besmeared with mud
water and salt.
You drag yourself
wearily into retiring room.

My wounded faces
knock on your door,
you cann’t sleep
because tortoises
swim on your bed.

Judas, I eves drop
always beside you...




A SEASON OF HOMECOMING

The season of rains has set out for
distant Ilands.
The canopy of the sky looks like
the face of my mother.

I see a woman of seventy
seated on the porch of her cottage.
a child crying on her lap...

The guava tree in the yard has
borken into delicate blossoms.

This is the season of homecoming.

Years back I was born. And
I will celebrate that birthday
now...

Submitted: Saturday, December 04, 2010
Edited: Sunday, December 05, 2010

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