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Tuesday, June 02, 2020

Lockdown Verse: Amlanjyoti Goswami and Akhil Katyal reflect on the current times

Lockdown verse, as the name suggests, is a series consisting of poems introspecting, examining and reflecting on the times we are living in.

Written by Amlanjyoti Goswami, Akhil Katyal | New Delhi | Updated: May 5, 2020 5:36:25 pm
lockdown verse, lockdown verse, ahil katyal, akhil katyal poems, lockdown verse, indian express, indian express news Lockdown verse, as the name suggests, is a series consisting of poems introspecting, examining and reflecting on the times we are living in. (Credit for Amlanjyoti Goswami’s photo/ Aparna Sanyal | Designed by Gargi Singh)

To a scientist who doesn’t like metaphor

Ask the crankshaft
The weary molecule.

Ask disease if he has heard of Shakespeare.

Ask those familiar ribbons, blue and red
If they look back

Those eyes, now much overcome

With depiction of the virus, with arm and leg.

It is not a living thing, he pleads
It is not dead,
As if it is time he is talking about
Or a zombie.

Into this brew, he brings particles in a jingle box.
Scans with waves and waves of white.

The moon is just lunar crater.
No hare or old grey face there, even in stormy weather.
Mars steams no red tea, Jupiter is no wiser
Saturn has no rings of fire.

Even us, more brown than blue,
Named earth not aqua for unknown reason
Has no more elbow room.

Ask him
Who holds his handrail firm against the wind
What a monster looks like.

He knows
How the crown gives it a name.
How there were eighteen more who came before it.

Amlanjyoti Goswami

 

Coping Mechanisms in the Times of Corona

Exercise with simple home equipment
before it assumes equipment
assumes a home

Work from home
assumes both

Sneaking out for a walk
takes for granted a place to sneak back in

Simple recipes to try on your own
need a stove and cooking oil,
and veggies someone has grown,
and grain

Learning a new skill
Keep stimulating your brain
Taking a new course
all need leisure

Finding pleasure in solitude
somehow still, despite all promises, and luck,
needs a full stomach

— Akhil Katyal

Lockdown verse, as the name suggests, is a series consisting of poems introspecting, examining and reflecting on the times we are living in. The poets have very generously agreed to share their hitherto unpublished works. For this week, we have one poem from Amlanjyoti Goswami and the other from Akhil Katyal, a poet and queer activist. 

 

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