Aleppo by Amit Shankar Saha

I do not love you birch

and I have learnt to lie.

Your yellowed leaves I keep

in pages of poetry.

Between my pretensions

I ecocriticize.

 

And if I cry I say

I cry for Syria.

Aleppo’s children are

all dearer to me.

Their blasted past mirrors

denial of history.

 

On the blackboard of life

so much chalk dust we wipe.

But in the palimpsest

everything is inside.

(Hidden) In the layers

live all those who have died.

 

So, the fall in autumn

and the death in December,

all, all I will deny.

I will seal the ceilings,

the floorboards too and hope

there remains a crack or two.

 

Remember Bamian,

we were the Buddhas there,

now there the desert dwells.

Look birch, how the dust flies

in Aleppo and dies

all intertextual.

Bio: Dr. Amit Shankar Saha is a faculty member in the Department of English at Seacom Skills University. He is also a researcher, a short story writer and a poet. His research articles have appeared in journals and anthologies nationally and internationally such as Research and Criticism (BHU, India), Families (Kolkata, India), Pegasus (Kolkata, India), Decoding the Silence (Delhi, India), Comparative Literature and Culture (Purdue University, USA), Cerebration (Drew University, USA), DESI: La Revue (Bordeaux University, France), Diasporic Consciousness (Germany), Humanicus (Czech Republic), and others. His essays and reviews have appeared in Desijournal, Desilit Magazine, Muse India, Boloji, Rupkatha, Langlit, Diplomatist, Asian Signature, Vanya’s Notebook, Bonobology, etc. His short stories and poems have been published in periodicals and books both in India and abroad such as Estrade Magazine, Muse India, Journal of Bengali Studies, The Four Quarters Magazine, Kritya, Indiaree, Writing Raw, Palki, Learning and Creativity, Hall of Poets, Asia Writes, The Dawn beyond Waste, The Red Balloons, Telling a Yarn, Blessings, and others. He has won prizes at a number of creative writing competitions which include Poiesis Award for Excellence in Literature (Short story-2015), Wordweavers Prize (Poetry-2011, Short story-2014), The Leaky Pot – Stranger than Fiction Prize (2014), Asian Cha – Void Poetry Prize (2014), International Reuel Prize for Poetry (Shortlisted-2016). He has also written for the Chicken Soup for the Indian Soul series books. Dr. Amit Shankar Saha is the co-founder and coordinator of Rhythm Divine Poets, a Kolkata-based poets group dedicated to the promotion of poetry. His website is http://sites.google.com/site/amitshankarsaha and he blogs at http://amitss6.blogspot.com

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