Rose Explosions 

Strong wind sweeps through Bend,

and a string of rainy days

Feels more like Portland than the high desert today

I feel the pull of autumn,

run out of reasons to stay inside

So I hide myself in a hood,

and I take limping strides.

My mind wanders from counting all of the leaves that have died

To the loves I have fought for, lost, or threw into the outgoing tide

I think of the times my tongue was so tied,

and the many more times I let regretful words fly

The times my heart was so brave, but my body was not

All of the blows I took to avoid certain thoughts

I remember the taste of blood in my mouth, hot breath, the painful sting,

Leaving my body for hours, I remember EVERYTHING.

But I also recall the hands that lifted me up, the listening ears, the words, “i believe you,” being held through my tears.

I’m looking back on it all

It’s what I do in the Fall…

I search for glimmers of hope, as the layers of grief begin to erode,

I put it all in the petals of a purple rose,

throw it up in the air,

and watch it explode.

Leah R. Chatterjee


Mars Directing 

Happy Sun in Cancer!

Act One (it’s not very fun)

Scorpion stinger straight to my third eye

Eight weeks of exploring all of my ugliest sides

Hope, magic, faith: exit slowly stage right

Act two (insomnia, you fool!)

Hyperactive Brain & Sleepless nights: enter stage right

Feeling frazzled, spent, generally bereft

Mars Direct: enter swiftly stage left!

Act 3 (it somehow aligns magically)

Leah wakes up, as if out of a murky dream

Quiet for days, she sets free every stitch from the tattered seam

Planets, Sun, Moon, Family, Friends (near and far), Soulmates, Stars, and meteorites that appear to fall:

Enter both sides of the stage for a cosmic curtain call!

–Leah Ruthe Chatterjee 

Thank you

I can’t sleep, so I made this thank you card for those two Swedish cyclists who stopped a rapist from getting away with a heinous crime. With all of the ugliness surrounding this case, it truly moved me that the victim said she kept a drawing she made of two bicycles over her bed to remind her that there is some good in the world, that in the face of such ugliness, two men did not stand idly by. They did the right thing. I decided to make my own thank you to them, to keep near my bed. Because my rapist still walks free. Because I wish every woman in danger had humans like these to do the right thing by them. Because I need to remember that good exists in this world amid the horror. Find the helpers.

That is how you do feminism as a man. That is how you are a good ally. Thank you.


Leah R Chatterjee 

Three Hearts


drawing , watercolor i made inspired by my friend, Renée
When I finally let go of every part of you, every care

I felt the winds of possibility run wild through my hair

My heart pushed over a decade of loving you through my tear ducts and into the dirt 

My pen hit the paper so easily, my paint mixed with the water and diluted the hurt

So, when your words flew at me like knives through the screen, I was unprepared

The truth shone through, beady like your eyes, you are just mean and scared

Your words knocked the breath out of me, I fell to the ground, and just stayed there

Some sweet Spring smells drifted in, sparked in my heart a bright warning flare

Which was met by my sisters, who gathered their magic, and sent it across the seas 

Their loving reminders carried me out of your darkness, lifted me up off of my knees

I learned nothing from you, but they taught me something that set me free

When my heart is broken, I always have all the backup hearts that I’ll ever need.


Leah R Chatterjee 

Eclipses and Strong Winds

The first time that I saw you
Sitting on your father’s lawn

A heavy breeze swept us into 

A love that lasted till dawn

I remember whispering lifetimes to you by the river under the willows

When I glance back to that day the light escapes my chest and just billows

Maybe it was mostly just magic on the wind for a little while

But it’s my only romantic memory that turns frowning lips to a smile

Other ones I recall, no matter what I feed them they bite my hand

They scratch and dig, threaten the soil on which I stand

But this March wind blows; here come the eclipses rolling in

And all I can see is a flash of what healthy love could feel like again.

Leah R Chatterjee 

No Mind

I find myself wandering through,Going over the same scar tissue

I let my fingers roam through my now purple hair

And ask my innermost self why I keep going there

Why do I keep walking barefoot, over the same scraping stories, down the same sharp road

When I don’t really want to go through that door; Why am I still trying to crack that code?

The answer I found was soft and kind

I heard my brother’s voice echoing, “No Mind.”

And suddenly my heart center opens and I feel a pull from above

And in this moment you are easy to let go of

I can feel the support from the lava under the ground, moving all the way up to my pineal gland

And somehow I remember how ancient I am, and my breath returns, I remember how to stand 

The fighting and heartache seems trivial now

My connection to you is weakened somehow

The deeper I meditate, the further I stray 

And my thoughts of you just fade away

I am never alone, and that fills me with warmth

Think I’ll spend tonight basking in the glow of my heart.

Leah R Chatterjee