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The Unfinished Man

A Poem by:

Shimanta Bhattacharyya

Colourful Bar


Copyright shall at all times remain vested in the Author. No part of the work shall be used, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the Author's express written consent.

He dreams about a blue house

With a red roof

And mangoes that burn

Like hundred watt bulbs

In his backyard


He has been dreaming about them

Ever since he banged his head

Against a cross-beam

In his father’s garage

(He had not reached puberty)


He has had several accidents since:

One very nearly claimed his left eye

His dream has not changed though

It is always the blue house with the red roof

And mangoes that glitter in the backyard


He dreams about a blue house

Where the night disrobes

In a slow strip tease. Where dawn

Slips silently under bolted doors spilling

Her load of gold-edged mail


Where fear does not coil, uncoil

In the belly

Like a thousand vipers

Where shadows do not cast

Dark glances in doorways at dusk


Where clocks do not echo

The heart’s silence

Ticking away into oblivion

Where mangoes are in season

All the mellifluous year round


Ah sometimes his mind goes blank

He fights the dark in the dark

Hoping for something drastic

A blow to the head perhaps

To jump-start his brain


Tonight he is fighting again

Against the din of consciousness

The dogs are stripping the night

To the bone. The flower in his brain

Is withered


The mangoes are slowly becoming stone


This poem is about a man, an incorrigible romantic, who is waging a losing battle against schizophrenia. The title is taken from Yeast’s poem, The Dialogue of Self and Soul in which the following lines occur:

"The unfinished man and his pain
Brought face to face with his own clumsiness;"


Shimanta Bhattacharyya
Copyright © 2004

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