Three Poems by Kaushik Barua



A part time chef
Selling weed in the hotel
parking-lot at dusk.
Though he tugs both,
The ends refuse to meet.

He wants to cook us
An Indian meal, or Lebanese
Or African, he says,
Stretching his arms to embrace
Each continent.




I visited his country?
No one does.

I had driven past his village
With a bulletproof vest
In a bombproof car
On a foolproof mission
To save the world.
He had fled
With his father on his back.

I buy a trinket.
Christmas is near.
His father? Dead.

Why did the bombs fall?
I ask.
Because the gods fled
Leaving holes in the sky.



In Gokul, Krishna swallows marbles,
mud, twigs, door-knobs, and furniture
before reaching for the universe.

In Goshen, Moses tames soup bowls,
drains, bath-tubs, cisterns, ponds, but
the sea is still a distant foe.

In Gedilo, Hani waits with last year’s seeds
in radio silence while the drought persists,
soil and water deaf to her pleas.


About the Author:

Kaushik Barua has written two novels and was awarded the Sahitya Akademi Yuva Puraskar (the Young Writer Award from India’s National Academy of Letters). His novel No Direction Rome, a dark comedy on the millennial generation, will be published by Permanent Press in the USA in November 2017.