Poetry at Sangam



PAPER T[R]AILS by Sudeep Sen


Paper dreams within the cover of a book,
book binds itself with the glue of a spine,

spine weaves together — dovetailed
by the grace of words — words of passion,

words of grief; words of love, hate, wisdom.
Paper crafts its papyrus origins

journeying from tree to table
through clefts, wefts, contours, textures —

transforming from wood to sheet —
white sheets born of unbleached

natural shade — a tabula rasa waiting
for ink, graphite, or sable-hair touch.


Old-fashioned switches — dormant —
now spark static electricity. Paper imagines —

crisp, letter-strewn, bookish, word-wedged.
Phrases elegantly poised, ready to trip off

a palette, exposing photographic plates —
bromide undulations of an untold story —

a narrative to be matted and mounted —
a frame freeing open its borders to dream.


Ilhan’s weathered hands, its bulbous veins
hold time and text beautifully phrased —

he is a poet and painter, lover of the sea,
light, silverfish, a sculptor of history.

Like a musician recording his lyrics —
magnetic forces marrying science

and arts — he swims on crest-troughs
of sine-graph modulations, through

physics’ precision of arithmetic and tact.
Paper dreams in stacks, between covers,

among notes left surreptiously
between pages for someone else to read.

A stray reader may find the letters —
unframed, borderless — electric spark

seasoned words — a democracy of text —
age preserved below secret seawater.