TRANSCENDENCE

 

Bells peal atop Forever Mountain:

Sonorous hymns of dawn.

Birds scatter from the trees

As the echoes ripple away.

 

A priest sweeps away dust and shadows

From the temple’s mosaiced quadrangle.

Latticed windows pattern,

Shloka by shloka,

A hieratic weave of calligraphy

On the sanctum’s marble floor.

 

In the opaline pool of water,

Pink lotuses bloom

Under the metallic caress

Of freshly minted sunshine.

 

Dewdrops glisten—lustrous gems—

On the glaucous leaves

Of floating water-lilies.

 

Each shining diamond

Refracts into the universe

Of its own soul

The azure radiance

Of the infinite sky.

 

RUNGLEE RUNGLIOT

 

Half a moon’s hammer

on an anvil of thunderheads.

Fireflies spark

in the purple twilight.

 

Under the rhododendron trees,

cicadas count the beads

of night’s last rosary.

The hours stridulate

with their slow monotone.

 

Enamelled leaves

turn their backs

to the caressing breeze.

The smell of rain

lingers in the air,

staining the shadows

with a moist redolence.

 

The dawn rises, a monk

garbed in saffron robes.

The very colour of the sky

is distilled into a cup

of the fragrant brew.

 

Runglee Rungliot: A lush tea estate in the Himalayas. It was so named by a wandering Tibetan Buddhist monk, the moniker meaning ‘Thus far and no further’.

 

 

About the Poet

Srinjay Chakravarti is a writer, editor and translator based in Salt Lake City, Kolkata, India. A former journalist with The Financial Times Group, his creative writing, including poetry, short fiction and translations, has appeared in over 100 publications in 30-odd countries. He was educated at St Xavier’s College, Calcutta, and at universities based in Calcutta and New Delhi. University degrees: BSc (Economics honours), MA (English). His first book of poems Occam’s Razor received the Salt Literary Award from John Kinsella in 1995. He has won first prize ($7,500) in the Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Memorial Poetry Competition 2007–08.