Village Mela

In one of those colourful stalls
A gentle man with golden fingers
Carves a wheelbarrow from broken wood

With fine wheels and spokes,
A toy you hold with string
And pull along the village green.

You are the owner of the universe
All things bright and beautiful
As others look on and clap.

When the feathered bird wrapped in cloth
Slowly chirps, once & then twice
All heads turn to see

The magician who lives next door
Who has a way with hands, with truth
Whose one leg is a stump of wood.

Others live in bright stalls
Some you remember, some you don’t
Who come from far and near, every year

And there are food stalls, filled with delicacies
Joy in ordinary places,
The village ground becomes a fairy tale.

You don’t find these things now
Inside a book or while searching your phone
Perhaps, an easier rhythm to things.

The wheelbarrow moves across time
Your hands hold something else –
The pen your father gave you, a cricket ball

Just like the ones on TV
Held by tight grip, red cherry, lined with golden thread
Waiting to bounce like a revelation.



Amlanjyoti Goswami has written two widely reviewed books of poetry, River Wedding and Vital Signs, published by Poetrywala. River Wedding was shortlisted for the Sahitya Akademi award. Published in journals and anthologies across the world, including Poetry, The Poetry Review, Penguin Vintage, Rattle and Sahitya Akademi, he is also a Best of the Net and Pushcart nominee.  He grew up in Guwahati and lives in Delhi.