Sunday, January 04, 2009

A poet from India, Gwalior

As the person who takes care of the Maltese Poets Association e-mail account I regularly receive greetings and messages from different poets coming from all over the globe. One of the latest was Indian poet Dr. Amitabh Mitra. I sent him a short e-mail asking him if I could download some of his poetry for my blog and he immediately answered positively.
Photo by Volkmar Dobat of Indophot.

Biographical note:

Amitabh Mitra is a Medical Doctor in a busy hospital in East London, South Africa. A widely published poet in the web and print, Amitabh has been hailed as one of the most popular South African poet writing in English today by the Skyline Literary Review, New York.
Amitabh, now settled in South Africa, uses his experience of social interaction and cultural impact from countries like India, Bhutan and Zimbabwe where he worked under varying conditions, in his art and poetry.
A powerful voice dispersing a reverie of time and heritage, his love poems with a backdrop of feudal Gwalior and Delhi take you on a sentimental journey to old family homes, forts, palaces and places where he grew up.
His unique style of fusing words into almost lyrical dream like images, exploring muted corners of life taken over a suddenrushhourtime, Amitabh brings forth poetry that seems to peep from behind veils and shadows, waylaid in a mind state in Johannesburg and New York, all merging in an unforgettable ecstatic experience.
His first book of poems was published in 1980 under the title of ‘Ritual Silences’.
‘A Slow Train to Gwalior’ is a CD of his ten most popular poems recited against a background of African and Indian traditional music. Brought out by Harp Records, South Africa, this poetry CD weaves a desire into a steady pattering of rain, a voice that would almost allure you to yet another stealth of a strangertime.
His first show of poems, drawings, visuals and prints, juxtaposition of words, lines and colors was on show at The Ann Bryant Art Gallery, St. Marks Road, East London from 12 July to 28 July 2005.
Dr. Mitra edits ‘The Hudson View’ an international print poetry journal published from New York, USA
He is the Chairperson of the East London Fine Arts Society.



Suddenly a baby cries



And ravaged

Men woman and children

Hang by their

Skin to


the desert burns the skull

of all reasons

Storms that sweep

Into their eyes

Locks up

Within corneas

Daring death to open them

Darfur has no word

Darfur has no meaning

Darfur has deaths

The baby squeaks

Because only

He has the pride to


When the Janjaweed

Are coming

Its time then

The mirages are slashed open

By flashing swords and

Faceless marauders

Screams will be a welcome whirlwind

Chasing the sun again.

One Day

I wait for you each day

with the changing of seasons, the smell

in our mango orchard and

the turbulence of your hair where I once

basked the stealth in the eye of a desire.

As a boy I raced
the train everyday with my

friends looking at the receding


and the parting of the last carriage

till a horizon lifted it once again in the sky.

and then you came one day, Aavantika


with the camel trains at sunset behind

the lumbering fort

treading the colors of your

garara and the jingle of ghungroos

on a bare feet river

flowing on parched pebbles

and eyes that had held together so


the distance


Old Delhi Days

Another wintry day

petals over petals

of quiet wind

hiding a warmth from these streets of

old delhi

where fables had once been


in the lunacy of a crowded


and you today

going alone


on a rickshaw

in the midst of a mist


of streets that have long


to the frost on

your lips

the old man


holding a respite

of hurts in a sky of

sewn blue


I see you turn around


catching the freeze

in your grip

as the rickshaw catches another lane

another day

in wintry

old delhi.

1 comment:

Graham Vivian Lancaster said...

Hello Patric,
An interesting site of interesting people introduced to me today.Although I am a small publisher,Amitabh published my eighteenth book last year, 'Fledgeling,'my fifth anthology of poetry.Dr. Shaleen Kumar Singh and I are producing a world anthology of poetry, 'Journeys,'for which we are looking for international poets. Hoping to hear from you soon, Graham