Elegy [Poem]

This is a poem by Ritwik Ghosh.


freedom on the open road,

full of rain,

washes away all sorrow.


The calm, peaceful, farewell of our parting,

is lined with many trees filling the forest paths,

this road is longing touched with fallen leaves,

the silent bells of farewell are warmed by shadow filled longing,

by the generous water filled rivers banks the canoe’s flowing,

gliding in tranquil touched farewell, oarsmen disappear, far away,

shadows wordless, silent, sway in the forest edge,

emptiness flowing in the endless green fields,

mango trees grow over an abandoned, forgotten temple,

pale blue endlessness, rain laden darkening clouds,

tortoises strolls through an empty path disappearing in the forest,

perhaps the songs of hidden birds will awaken us after a deeper slumber,

we will awaken to write the tales of our lives,

the humble vase figures, the carved reliefs of our words,

we’ve been maddened by loss,

past happiness mingles with the coolness of letting go,

we will not be memory wounded, this sunset, this day, this night.



Slow gliding, soundless,

River tended trees,

Silent shadows,

mantra life seeped shadow,

Lost life, indistinct, unclear,

Forgiven, unforgiven sorrow,

Rainstorm darkness,

Drizzle time,

Joy garland of the 

Shadows of farewell,

Everyday dweller of calm,

Homage of forgotten oblivion,

Leave taker of silence,

Tranquillity offering of letting go,

Sharer of the orchard,

Wordless smelling orange grove,

Invisible windows welcome the fearless blue,

Under the tree, under the leaves,

calm, utter contentment, final farewell.


The hands of fate destroy us one by one,

We arrive as pots,

Until we are destroyed,

The vision of the window is never seen.

The pain of life is its incongruity,

It is only partly possible to resolve.

Amidst cloudy mists you will be found.


In her wardrobe,

There is the clothing of her life,

Clothing worn in life’s daily walk,

In moments forgotten and unfinished,

Each cloth could of been a different life,

and a different meeting with the  days,

Her life became translucent,

Men always betray each other,

The days have passed away,

These cloths, imaginative ruin,

Amidst chests and empty rooms,

Lone walls and unknown windows remain.


We cross the bridge,

Underneath the river of mists,

Cloud dream river flows,

We look at the sharks beneath,

We think of this world as home.


We are lost images, 

halos that have never been,  

shadows that disappear,

O listen daughter of the mountains,

The cones have fallen on the ground,

The pines and fir know you in spring.


I recall those days where I lost every chess game,

It seemed all was lost,

Yet, when I woke up from sleep,

I gathered strength enough to play on yet again.


Playing chess,

I recall games remembered and forgotten,

A garland of flowers,

To welcome the dawn.


Betraying each other,

The bad hurting the good,

Is not that what we as humans do,

The watchmaker will repair the silent watch,

Its chime will be gentle sounds of the rudravina.


The birds were aloft,

Space, light, clouds, winds,



Broken bits of time lay strewn,

Bits of life that broke and were never healed,

Things that were never known,

Out of broken bits we will make a home,

A future that may be or may not be.

A desolation that may be a dwelling.


When things are beginning to be very serious,

We realized how much longer was our journey,

Life is an interior thing,

A privacy of time,

Dark memory,

Helen was amongst the Spartans,

Cloud shipwreck,

Wayfarer in the unknown,

Through a dark ravine

I came to a new place.


We were playing snakes and ladders,

We knew it was the last day,

How do things die,

Finally things lose all significance,

The oaken jar is unopened.


We were walking through the mountain paths,

Streams cascading cold waters,

Gorges, ravines, lakes,

We dream the sweep of the universe cannot hurt us long,

Among the trees,

We sat down,

The clouds slowly through us,

Their cold swept through our selves,

They dyed us red, 

we saw ourselves sky stained with emptiness.


Wild bees playing in the woodland,

Are we not butterflies lost for a while, an afternoon,

Falling blossoms forgotten,

Water ghosts, drifting dragons, owls,

Bring isolation here,

Here you may live a hundred hollow dark years.

We will walk the dark distance of the clarity sorrow streams, 

Where there is nothing, terraces of forgetting,

 towers of empty farewellness unfurling, flowing, unwandering.


In the dark,

our hands meet.

The moon overfills farewell dreams.

Ritwik Ghosh is a currently pursuing a a PhD at St. Xaviers University in Kolkata, India.


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