Poems by Gagan Pattanayak


a poem by Gagan Pattanayak

I took all the pigments of the green
and painted what is left
painted a void of green-red
and all for, need yellow.

That’s when the giggles sparkle
its lightning, cloud is her hair
yellow is red and green
and not no green and red.

The leaf has a place between 231 and 232
the pages that I last read when
she was leaving.
She stole my red and
I took all the pigments
carefully- of green
who else can??
I must have taken and
locked them at that corner
to pinch me when it rains
when diamonds shine on blades of grass that was
just like her,
wet and these leaves
as it changed hands.

How many petals a rose have
one curled up inside other
and together guarding moments
memories and all the wounds of all the loves
dried and wet.

So many books go into termites
roses turn stick on trees
this one still red
she had stolen the colors!!!!

I have the leaves white
iron rusts
fires burn and you misplace
and this is still wet, red
between pages
that I last read
when she was.


a poem by Gagan Pattanayak


neither caterpillar nor butterfly
I stole this phrase
and sat in the night
when wind stops blowing
and the birds were there, no rest for them
and sky.

These apartments, that is the bath room
where light comes from and tried to see.
why every one sleeps
and no one smokes when I feel like sharing
from MOBY DICK and the tree, whose branch they
feel so safe on, stayed there.

Do I know?
What I want to write,
when it will come now that I search for light.
A flight, took off
stars whispered and
love is
all the darkness that follows
all the words that
are here
and eat into my sleep
why every one sleeps
neither caterpillar nor butterfly.

MINU – Anniversary

a poem by Gagan Pattanayak

Last year’s wedding card I took so much pain to collect
is here.
Is there under the light
And the symbols and the slokas
still gleaming,
still there my pain reflects-
All my scrubbing all my rubbing-
the card still new.

What is there?
Nobody invited me
as if,
if they had, I would have.
This card is not mine,
I picked it up, a year back, when the guest
was with the host,
when her tears,
my tears of yesterdays
have left a mark,
a mark of loss-
as water when it turns steam.

Like a thief, stealing his dream
when you do not care being caught,
I laid my hand on it,
where the guest had thrown
looked at it,
as if this is my last
and then put it there
where they say your heart is,
where I feel mine had been.

someone is haunting me,
her absence, her presence!
Existence is independent,
self sufficient in a peculiar way.
It seems if a leaf were to exist
there must be a twig,
and that is not.

She is here, there everywhere,
as shadow,
as an existence without existing
as an enigma,
a part of thou,
now needed-now unwanted-utterly.
In its own way a root of your survival.

If today I cannot cry,
if tears will not come
I won’t die,
After a year,
after a marriage
for you – if I say
it will be lying
for me this scribbling.


a poem by Gagan Pattanayak

When she left
thousand and ninth dream
was about to end
and smell of tea was nowhere

Nobody woke me up,
for some days… She could not do that-
yet got up
and complained.

In return of her innumerable vigils
I am on leave.

Days have not met Minu
13 nights I stayed with her,
Today she passed away
while I was sleeping
and got up to complain
that tea is not there.

Last month Ma was here,
when at mid-night I had sneezed.

I am not blind

a poem by Gagan Pattanayak

If only I were not blind
Now to stay awake
roof top
the garden of my sister
an unusually violet rose
in that corner
where rays kissed
and cigarettes
bare chested
and December night
all for poems.

Three stars I counted,
then stared a recount.

If you could believe this,
you would.
They say- poets should hide
that when they say this
they must mean that.

This is a poem,
well supposed to be one.
The title- as can you read- is
“I am not blind”
and the first line…

Minu – 4

a poem by Gagan Pattanayak

A flower in bloom
who cares -if thousands died.
You walked over it many a time
so what! Still it stands
head intact, smile broadened.
For every birth hundreds vanished
do I care?
I see all
a petal unfolds
a butterfly kisses
the colors float
and scents reign
somewhere someone plucks it
a petal falls
you are hurt?
But why look there!
Look here-
how its greenness- stares from grave,
how it gets on coolly.
This is the power of youth
blind to all miseries
all the sorrows and pains
may be with time
I can look them,
can cry with the mother
whose son have not returned.
May be with time,
I understand
I can feel.
True I will age,
yeah my skin will rot
bones will be soft,
eyes won’t see
and ears will fail me.
I know, if you come before me-
to recognise hard it will be,
but still! How can I be old?
Still loving you
I will be.

Minu – 3

a poem by Gagan Pattanayak

Illusion you say
so what?
Let me go there,
even if a mirage it is.
Thirst won’t be quenched,
but why see far into future,
think now
and believe there is water
that reflects a tree.

Minu – 2

a poem by Gagan Pattanayak

This lock of hair
this page where it lay buried
this page where a drop of tear rested
where a patch of emotions
had dried up-
where a rose
once young and lovely that was
stares me now
and all those hairs
once that had scent and sense-
the days vain
I have tried to forget
the nights I had not slept
and could not figure out why?
I still can breath-

Minu – 1

a poem by Gagan Pattanayak

This tree reminds me of that
sea and river
and mountains
and temple
and forest
and birds
and beasts-
I imagined
that tree-
everything around it
how come they not be fair
here, you have
with thy hands
then had scribed
a plus between names-
in a heart
your name and my name
this tree reminds me of that
someone had cut it
and a broken heart
and a name with half of its letters gone.

You smile

a poem by Gagan Pattanayak

And the timber
in your door has cracks,
your fabric does not hide you
as better as you think
neither your skin guard your bones,
a leaf shows its network
and even complete darkness
what you think is opaque
shows the secrets
somewhere, sometime, a spark surprises
I am not mad
but then
you smile
and in vain
a tear
tries to be