Robin S Ngangom Poems

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Primary Schools

I remember only the detritus of schools
which taught fear,
where only nuns seemed to believe
in the power of the written word and punishment.

My Invented Land

My native soil was created from tiny sparks
that clung to grandmother’s earthen pot
which conjured savoury dishes
I’ve been looking for

The Ignominy Of Geometry

The ignominy of geometry,
the inability to evade angles and parallels.
Living, we have to suffer that mortification
which robs the sacrifice of joy

Funerals And Marriages

I’ve forgotten acts of kindness or to wish
people happiness if they can find it anywhere. I
would, if I could, help the bereaved furtively after
the mourners have eaten and left.


A sleepless night, a lovelorn night, and
poetry arrived silent, to console
my wounded being.


Hill, you and I have seen
only upheaval since our birth.
When I was torn from the universal womb
I echoed your silent cry.

After ‘jashn-E-Azadi’

The kite transforming into smoke lacing
The chinars is not a symbol.
The rose has migrated from the garden of paradise.
Freedom will never come

15 August 2008, Northeast India

Having lost my independence
How could I celebrate it
Though I've sewn flags on cockeyed schooldays?
Margins are superfluous in the big centre's book

Houses (After Cavafy)

We believe we own them but
In the evening of a street not a soul will be found.
Only a few stars shuffling in the oily sky and
Orange trees for neighbours.


A writer can survive without a car
but a window with his palm
feeling the breath of a street
or a garden, a few weeping pens

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