Wanderlust Ghazal by Dipika Mukherjee


My language is a Bedouin thief, delighting in foreign sands;
it understands the erasure of monks, the ritual of palimpsests.

English has no word for Hemanta. no, not Autumn, nor Winter.
No Harvest Goddess, in a veil of mists, opaquely drawn.

The evening lamp in her hand gleams lambent through the fog;
Her voice merges into the howling wind. With abundance, desolation.

Every year, Mount Kinabalu is still wreathed in monsoon clouds.
Cloud messengers may be different, but some still speak of love.

Malay lascars sang of narrow boats, with pineapples stacked too high;
A grievous vastness to this world, beyond human experience.

Wanderlust is a disease. Incurable. Deep from within, it chortles,
The light of the moon cannot be rooted, Dipika, do not even try!



Dipika Mukherjee’s poetry publications include “The Third Glass of Wine” (Kolkata: Writer’s Workshop, 2015) and “The Palimpsest of Exile” (Edmonton: Rubicon Press, 2009). Her work appears in publications around the world including Asia Literary Review, World Literature Today, Rhino, Chicago Quarterly Review, Postcolonial Text and South Asian Review. She has won multiple awards for her fiction, including the Virginia Prize for Fiction for her second novel “Shambala Junction” (UK, 2016), The Gayatri GaMarsh Award for Literary Excellence (USA, 2015), and the Platform Flash Fiction Prize (India, 2009).  She is Contributing Editor for Chicago Quarterly Review and Jaggery and curates an Asian/American Reading Series in Chicago.