2 poems by Amlanjyoti Goswami


Gardener


We had to tell him a story about snow

In Japan, how the flowers spread

Their wings so white and how


If he missed a single step,

The stars might come down

To take him.


They poured oxygen down

His lungs a Himalayan river in torrent

Two tattered bags, his sieves,


Bearing mud flower saplings

Where it snowed

White summer cotton that year.


The next morning he was up with the birds.

Chiseling his ride

Back to life, almost like a surgeon


Returning to his garden

Of mud and wildflower.

While sons squabbled over money


His flowers didn’t ask for anything

When he left, in the winter,

The garden also went with him.



Missing the Train


I kept my bags on the empty blue seat

And stepped out to take the great

Warm breath of

The great Indian railway station


I walked along, casually, and reached

The other end.

When I heard, astonished:

The name of my flight.


My train was the other one, still standing.

Though it had an airline name now.

It was the wrong train that moved.

I ran back, frantic, to retrieve my bags,


Catch the galloping train, find myself seated,

But the train flew away

Leaving my feet moving behind me, stranded.

I was too late, I knew.


You crossed over,

To the train you knew you always had to board.

I did not know if you changed your stripes too

Along the way.


______________________


Amlanjyoti Goswami's recent collection of poems 'River Wedding' (Poetrywala) has been widely reviewed. His poetry has been published in journals and anthologies around the world. His poems have also appeared on street walls in Christchurch, exhibitions in Johannesburg, an e-gallery in Brighton and buses in Philadelphia. He has read in various places, including New York, Delhi and Boston. He grew up in Guwahati, Assam and lives in Delhi.