Pitcher Plant

 

Conquering your territories, I held my trident high

Terrain after terrain I paraded unopposed;

No battle confronted me, nor would sabotage

Take me by ugly surprises—I marched on

And could not stop, going deeper and deeper inland.

One by one the forts and citadels

Flew my flag and yet I did not stop

Exploring all your deeps and tips,

Unbeknownst even to your BIPS,

Till, through caverns measureless to man,

I reached a meadow of radiant glassy grass:

A crystal lake of frozen light

Of the hue and smell and taste of purest honey—

Of lickable, transparent, gold…

And I could not leave that realm of gold.

And I would not, even if I could.

 

 

Barramundi

 

We have a fish in our Bengali rivers

That looks, feels and smells

Exactly like Barramundi.

 

And, when curried, you’ll struggle

To keep the cutlets intact

Like you do with Barramundi.

 

They are so same-same we

Oftentimes call Barramundi Bhetki—

 

But there is one difference

That no Aussie would notice

And every Bengali would:

 

Barramundi responds differently

To our spices.

In fact it doesn’t respond to them at all.

 

No matter how spicy the curry

The fish remains as bland

As any other Australian fish—

 

Any other Australian…

 

Le Cantique des Cantiques

 

My shadow and I sat

On a something that

Floated on her mind.

 

We, cautious, held on tight

Till the moon was bright

And the weather fine.

 

And, oh, she watched us both

In her boiling broth,

Waiting patiently—

 

And brighter grew the moon,

Lighter our pontoon;

Pond-scum and algae

 

Soared higher than ourselves,

In their neolithic shelves

We were fossilized.

 

And Virgin Mary dined

Tentative and blind:—

A Nietzsche and a Christ.

 

 

About the Poet

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Subrata Augustine Gomes was born in Dhaka, Bangladesh in 1965. He attended St Gregory High School, Notre Dame College and finally Dhaka University and completed his Master of Arts in English there. His writings have started appearing in journals and little magazines since the mid-eighties. He has got 16 books published, noted amongh them being: Antauri (translation of the Charyapadas, 1989), Tanumadhya (poems, 1990), Kalketu o Phullara (novel, 2002), Pulipolao (poems, 2003) Matrimurti Cathedral (short-stories, 2004), Kabita Sangraha (poems, 2006), Jhalia (poems, 2009), Morning Glory (poems, 2010), Kabita Down Under (translation of selected Australian poems, with Ankur Saha and Shoumyo Dasgupta, 2010), Swarnadweepita (translation of poems from around the world, 2011), Amake Dharan Karo Agnipuchchha Megh (poems, 2012). Subrata has lived in Sydney since 1995 and he works for an IT distribution company.