Submissions open for Wingword Poetry Prize 2020

A Love Letter to All the Cities I’ve Tasted Summer In

Ria Chakraborty



New Delhi, Delhi
Amidst the bustle of the metropolitan heartland,
the incessant clockwork-like routine goes on
underneath the vehement July sunrays as the
Laburnum canopies glisten with aureate leaves.
Swathes of Connaught Place are flocked by
cartloads of tempting popsicles under the sultry sun.
The fragrance of newborn jasmines softly lingers
as a cuckoo croons at the arrival of summertime.

Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh
As a warm afternoon descends, simmering with heat,
the marketplaces abuzz with kaleidoscopic hues retreat;
the by-lanes redolent of glassfuls of foaming buttermilk,
the narrow alley of the kachori gali renowned for its sizzling kachoris,
the pathways flanked by a multitude of shops on both sides,
selling a myriad of wares: jewelry, the intricate figurines of Gods and Goddesses,
slither into an ephemeral slumber for respite from the sporadic heat-waves,
curtains drape around the sari stores and the tea-stalls with clay cups for a while;
in the holy city embellished with temples, and the shores of the tranquil Ganges,
underneath the scorching midday sun, even the deities relish a siesta.

Shimla, Himachal Pradesh
A pallid sun swings indolently over the horizon,
the skyline is dotted with the rooftops of hotels, churches and quaint buildings.
The outstretched branches of Cedar trees whistle with the mountain breeze,
as the clamour of tourists livens up the bridle-path of Kufri.
The pavement is lined with an array of sapid fruits: cherries and peaches
spill from baskets with dewdrop freshness.
The cityscapes in summertime are picturesque, almost a misty mirage,
a fleetingly hazy, hill-town daydream.

Dhiga, West Bengal
Gusts of a placid zephyr
gently kiss the seacoasts as azure waves clash against the shore.
The sweltering sun gleams unabashed
on the clementine-tinted horizon as seagulls head homewards.
The summer is drenched in beachside delectable smoothies
as memories to be reminisced are stashed within seashells, indelibly so.

 

This work has been published in Beetle Magazine's June 2020 Issue. Read the full issue here: https://issuu.com/beetlemag/docs/june2020

Illustration by Dhanashree Pimputkar

 


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