A Poem by Sumana Roy with illustration from Subarnarekha Pal

Looking at Hill Cart Road from Google Earth

Hill cart roadc-01

This is the truth we avoid until our death –

that love causes anxiety, sunburns and squints,

even as we feel rustled by its antique energy.

I do not know why I want to see Hill Cart Road

from the sky – as if air gives things more grace!

As if only lightness was art, a loss of legs –

the reason why statues can’t walk or dance (or squat).

Hill Cart Road, Jorebungalow, Sukiapokhri, Darjeeling –

the names drag, like limbs of a clock on crutches.

On my laptop screen is a forest – green pimples,

trees standing, as if in a choir;

silent, like snow eating soil.

Not a single man, no haughtiness of looking.

I wonder what it is that I miss –

the tenderness of dimension;

background sound, biting consciousness;

the jealousy of light, its desire to conquer?


There’s too much knowledge here,

as there is in photographs –

everything’s too awake,

like time, always sleepless.

I’m scared that I’ll never get lost here.

I miss the unknowable,

its scruffiness that keeps life’s shyness alive.

The arrogance of information,

the deafness of addresses,

the pomposity of the aerial image …

I run, out of breath, without stanzas,

just relieved, to return to doubt.


Sumana Roy


Sumana Roy is the author of How I became a Tree, a work of nonfiction, Missing: A Novel, Out of Syllabus: Poems and My Mother’s Lover and Other Stories, a collection of short stories.





Subarnarekha Pal is an independent thinker and enthusiast and jams poetry with her friend. Amidst everything, she struggles to be an artist.


3 thoughts on “A Poem by Sumana Roy with illustration from Subarnarekha Pal

  1. hi!

    my most significant teen years were spent in dowhill school and i just want to thank you for this gorgeous little piece… it’s both luminous and has that kind of melancholy i felt once i revisited kurseong after years and years. thank you for this beautiful, little piece of nostalgia ❤


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