I Found in the Narrow Wooden Chest (‘fore Carpenter Taken It Away)

(In the bottom drawer,)

The saucepan, burnt and without a handle, medium in size.

The age old muffler, brown, belonging to my father,

I never came to know.

The winter clothes, sweaters and woolen shirts and t-shirts,

those I’ll never wear again.

The kantha or baby-wrapping clothes made from an old sharee of Ma;

belonging to me.

(In the middle drawer,)

A stack of CDs with songs and movies name written on them; some by my sister,

most by me.

An old X-Ray photograph of my sister’s broken leg–I couldn’t recollect when had

that happened.

Results from my childhood; not all were there; few were eaten by termites

of the house we had lived last.

A yellow newspaper dated 6th December, 1992 with underlined with blue and red

pencil marks;

my grandfather used to do that in the evening everyday,

Another paper, not so yellow, dated 24th February, 2010, with Sachin Tendulkar

basking in glory; he was the first man to score a double ton in world cricket history

that day.

An old worn out Bengali Atlas; pages some missing, some torn, some have been–

fodder to the rats from the last house we had lived in.

One more old newspaper with underlined sentences and advertisements that

today’s one could find; for example a clinic for abortion or an adult Hindi film.

A pack of tobacco gums in cardamon flavor; planned to quit smoking few years back.

(In the top drawer,)

Bills and receipts, three to six months old, for the medicines and groceries.

The receipts book for the cable guy.

Couple of small packets full of broken and disused pieces of toys

from my nephew’s childhood days, and the splinters of pastel and pencil

of varied colors.

Batteries, new and unpacked and unused–at times of need one can’t find them.

Three cell phones; one from pre-smartphone-era while others are from


Their chargers and few more cheap chargers entangled together in a packet.

The brochure of the hotels that Ma had toured for last three years;

Kashmir, Kulu-Manali, and Andaman Islands.

A bunch of ear buds; a bunch of birthday candles.

A receipt of a tailor’s store

(at last it was found; Ma had upturned every possible places in search of it).

Few scratch and win cards from detergent and biscuits.

Five disused pens–some missin’ caps, some missin’ refills,

some are jammed at the knock.

Boxes of cell phones of Ma and me bought in last two years.

Payslips from my last company, bank receipts of paying interest on EMI, and

hazed and vanished-letters ATM slips.

Inspired by Lucy English’s “Things I Found in the Hedge” and Christopher Smart’s “Jubilate Agno”

Written for Day 16 of National/Global Poem Writing Month 2019.


And now for our daily prompt (optional, as always). Today’s prompt takes its inspirations from Christopher Smart’s “Jubilate Agno.” Fundamentally, this is a poem about a cat. It’s also a structurally very straightforward poem – every line begins the same way, and is about some aspect of the cat at issue. But from these seemingly simple ingredients, Smart constructs a poem that is luminously, joyously weird. Just as English’s poem listing things found in a hedge renders the familiar strange by making us focus on each, individual item in the hedge, Smart makes a humble housecat seem like the most wondrous thing in the world. Today, I challenge you to write a poem that uses the form of a list to defamiliarize the mundane. 

6 responses to “I Found in the Narrow Wooden Chest (‘fore Carpenter Taken It Away)”

  1. Oh I liked this one a lot…could relate to many of these…old newspapers…pics…medical bills…pens etc…well done!


    1. Yeah most of us will I think…but I forget to leave a note on 6th December

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you… I tried to write one

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You managed 🙂 One of the effects it had on me was that I wanted to go through my drawer and see what I could find in there and look at it with new, appreciative eyes.

        One of the other effects was that I felt I got to know you a bit better, in a lovely way.


        1. Actually it was my experience I had few days back…and the mentioned poem Found in the Hedge played the inspiration for the poem…so yeah these two effects I had mostly focused on…thanks for the read and sharing your thoughts…

          Liked by 1 person

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