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A Card for Mr. Whitten’ and ‘To Mr. Biswas

Shamik Banerjee


Now that you have been mercilessly bitten

By two unruly mongrels, Mister Whitten,

I hope you’ve got the feel of actual pain

That you’d imposed on Oliver McClain,

The high school chap you browbeat for six years.

But now your sepsis has paid for his tears.

Herewith, I send a bunch of shrivelled flowers —

A likely gift to match your tragic hours.

A theurgist told me, “For a swifter cure,

He must consume a one-eyed bat’s ordure.”

So, here’s a pack. That’s all I had to tell

You, and I hope for your recovery

                               you soon end up in hell.


Well, fine! Your throat’s a factory of melodies

Whose saccharin can give me long-term diabetes;

You earned the sobriquet ‘The Warbling Champion’,

And countless Grammy titles and awards you’ve won.

Now, please come down to earth! Do not forget that

You are my neighbour; plus, I hope you get that

My study room’s a foot away from your latrine

(It’s fetor and your hum: the causes for my spleen),

So, please abstain from thinking you’re a Cardinal

Or any songbird when you’re in the urinal

Lest me and other occupants go harum-scarum

And make this law against you in a seated forum:

If Mr. Biswas dares to quaver any song

Again, he will be hog-tied, gagged, and hurled among

The wild, where he can team up with the Chickadees

And entertain a troop of hooting Chimpanzees.

Shamik Banerjee is a poet from India. When he is not writing, he can be found strolling the hills surrounding his homestead. His poems have appeared in Fevers of the Mind, Lothlorien Poetry Journal and Westward Quarterly, among others.

Instagram: @where_tales_end