Two Love Poems by Nirmalendu Goon

~ 1 ~

When I tell you, ‘I love you’

It doesn’t mean that I don’t
Love anything other than you.

When I tell you, ‘I love you,’
Do I not also see the clouds?
Or the flower behind the leaves,
The birds on the flowers? Pretending
To look at you I look sideways at the world

The morning dew is still on your clothes
Around your reddened ankle the green grass
Plays at being twilight in its head

It strikes me that I love you because
The green grass in forests grows beneath your feet

~ 2 ~

The lord knows how many times I have
Drawn back my hand when about to touch you
My lord knows the number of times
I haven’t told you about love
Even when I was ready to.

I had welded my ears like magnets to the door
So that I could wake up at the sound of your
Soft knocking. You would arrive to tell me
‘Wake up now.
It’s me. Me.’

And what was this I heard
I would hurl myself at you with such joy
My lord knows how many times I have
Imagined just this scene.

My hair has turned grey for you
I have run up a fever for you
My lord knows my death will be for you
And then, much later, you too will know
I was born for you. Just for you

Suchitra Sen: Nirmalendu Goon

In your hair and eyes, lips and breasts
Hips and neck
Beauty was evenly distributed

There was nectar in your voice
A lilt in your laughter
And the lament of death in your tears

In my youth
You were the symbol of my lover
In love’s growth, lust’s flames
You were mine in my dreams
Caught in my embrace, over and over

You roused my passion, Bengal’s Urvashi
Eternally young, forever beyond reach
This mourning poet’s
Homeless flowers of love
Are for you

[ Written in 2005, nine years before Bengali actress Suchitra Sen’s death ]

Four Haikus: via Nirmalendu Goon

Not a thing happened
And yet the season of spring
Began at daybreak
* * *
This is my village
Wherever I look, I see
The smile of mountains
* * *
By the light of dawn
The dinghy floats away there
A lotus has bloomed
* * *
I was so happy
That I failed to recognise
My wife on the road

[ Translated from the Bengali translations by Nirmalendu Goon ]

Self-contradiction: Nirmalendu Goon

I was born one melancholy monsoon
But my favourite season is spring
I was born one July morning
But I love April afternoons
I was born at break of day
But I prefer silent desolate night
I was born in a village nestling in shadows
What I love is tree-less sunburnt Dhaka
I cried copiously when I was born
Now I laugh at everything I see
I shrank so that I could be born
Now I’m growing so that I can die