20 Years Older

20 Years Older

When ancestors plant apple trees:
Future generations expected to sit underneath;
apple pies and marmalade
to be baked and eaten under its shade.
Süssmost/apple juice fermented,
fermented through weeks...
Cause when ancestors plant more apple trees:
Cider, cakes, jams and happiness
are expected out of it.

what's inside


chackit! chackit! chackit!
It staples away. One tiny metal pin after another.
Holds so much strength, as it puts together separate pieces,
composing a comprehensible whole.
Inseparable. Unless hacked out mercilessly, without hesitation.
Strange how similar it is to life, with many-a-staple through us,
holding us together, bound tight.
Housework, ambition, children, marriage, norms,
After releasing one, there comes another.
We are overwhelmed, yet like hungry street-urchins
we cannot let go. Even when it tells us to,
chuckit! chuckit! chuckit!


While getting jolted in the station crowd,
I wonder if I can spot your-like?
Someone who’s watching out
to protect any little girl-child.
Looking up to see nothing but a mass –
a crowd of thoughts block my sight.
I get mercilessly tossed and tussled
through judgemental thoughts.
Old faces, new faces, aristocrats,
bourgeoisie and the poor –
fiery thoughts, cold feelings of pain and despair:
Chaos. Crowd. Chaos. More.
A crowd in my head, crowding my life,
where there isn’t enough space;
yet everyone fits in so perfect!

I walk on, through crowded streets
oblivious to acrid feelings.
Crowd of faces, with crowded feelings,
on a crowded street, jostling around
a clouded person! I walk on –
miserably lost in the crowd.


Electric blue darkens itself and vanishes
a red aura rises –
Alarming! Vehement-hue.
Touch of ominous, invisible, invincible whirling aura –
It's dancing flames burning lividly into my eyes;
as if to dare me to join itself in the play
Close your eyes.
Dark night.
See its brilliant reflection against the mirror,
held by her bridal-hands. Against her burning red veil —
carving itself an image, on the back of our head.
Norms. She is a prisoner.
Life. Not for a girl-child.
Death. She doesn’t get respect.
Fire. That’s how she finally parts.
Fire to mouth, bones to ashes, ashes to clay, clay to water.
Ganga. Ganga. Ganga.


Accidentally surfaces
a new brand of narcotic.
Not distant from freedom…
foolproof timely understanding,
of symbolic cruelty.
Overstimulation, jubilation,
indulgence: Euphoric feeling
of the first high!
Lenience is addictive.
Getting dazed, yet no escape:
it will still be there, when awake,
running havoc in the bloodstream.

Spreading to flow into eternal circulation, –
escape from the lap of a polluted world
awaiting damnation…
A successful administration of
“Knowledge”:A new brand of narcotic!

reader reviews

“Fiery verses - strong emotions - evocative words.

My favorites? Alt-reality; Differences; The other half

What was particularly fascinating was how the poet evolved over the 20 years into someone who said more with less. Even more intriguing than that was how gifted she is as a person - this I gleaned from her 'About the Author' section.

Do read if you enjoy free verse that stands up for passionate causes!”

Reet Singh, Goodreads

“(...) 20 Years Older is a book of poetry by De.B.Dubois. It focuses on her feminist views the life of a woman, particularly hers over 20 years of her life. It is written in three stages of her life (1998-2007, 2008-2017 and 2018-present). The poems show how she has evolved in the last 2 decades of her life with poems like ‘Definition’ that speaks about how women are no longer seen as weak people and even though some of the things women do are not as per society’s norms, it’s our life (hence 'rebel girl morphed into havoc woman').
Some of her other notable poems are Analog, The Other Half and She.
As a woman I relate a lot to the poetry in this book. Every poem emphasizes on what trials a woman goes through in her day to day life. it makes a person wonder that in the 21st century why are women still struggling so much?”

@melisbookreviews, Instagram

“Powerful. That's how her words hit me. The poems in this book are beautiful, fierce, and tell so many stories..”

Sudeshna Ghosh, Goodreads

“A brilliant, intense, brutally honest one that sets you thinking. Loved it.”

Sohini Roychowdhury Dasgupta, Facebook

Loved the Journey of the girl to a woman!

“The Rebel girl has not only morphed into a woman but has chosen to weave her words beautifully around subjects that are close to everyone's heart. I loved 'the immortal freedom' 'gobindbhog' 'matrimonial' 'rails to calcutta' 'stapler' 'desire lost' are some of my favs.
Her words are deep seated and profound and can make any reader ponder over the intensity of the matter.”

Ruch, Amazon