A Poem by Roger Bonner


The Cows of India

They stride most serenely through city streets,
gaunt as old leather valises,
oblivious of the din, incessant honks
of tuk-tuks droning by like angry hornets;
they roam along gutters munching trash:
the stale headlines of politics,
the rancid flesh of coconuts,
the rusty grass straggling from pavement curbs

O coy-eyed, humped cows of India,
sacred daughters of Kamadhenu,
givers of milk, curd, ghee, urine and dung,
the fivefold way of Puja,
where is Lord Krishna, the flute player,
to herd you home to buttercup meadows?

(More Poems by Roger Bonner )


Poem by Archa Dutta


At My Cousin's Wedding

In halting Hindi

I ask him how he's been.

He momentarily

abandons the bone he is gnawing on,

swallows the string of meat clinging to it,

and says fine. Thank you.



He asks me the same

question. I am fine too.

The two of us exclaim

at the same time how lovely the bride is,

How rich the food, clothes, and the parents are!

Then we’re out of words.



Uncle points vaguely

at a group of people

who look like him. He leaves.

The air smells of roasted flesh. He raised me

until I was four and a half years old;

now he doesn't raise



his gaze. His love can

be scraped clean in one bite.

The bone he suckles on

must taste of links we make where there are none.

He speaks to his real family and

I don't belong there.


(More poems by Archa Dutta)


A Poem by Urvashi Bahuguna


Ariel

By midnight,
Even you've turned into a blurry regret.

I listen carefully for that crash,
And hear my dulling echo instead.

I hear my life magnified,
Blown out of proportion,
Waking me out of my mind.

I hear it fade.
And as the acoustic distance dwindles over the electric blue and falls off
the sky,
I can't stop love from following,
And I can't wrench myself away.


( More poems by Urvashi Bahuguna)



A  Poem  by   K.Balachandran


THE ROCK


From afar when you look at it,
The lone rock looms like a bridge
Between blue heavens and earth.
Seemingly sprouting amidst
Scattered boulders and woods,
Rising up to touch the clouds.
Huge, it slops unevenly,
Climbing to the top one would see
On the other side of the rock
A steep and frightening drop.

A mysterious aura,the rock ever wore,
Alive by the legends of the princes of yore
The five brothers and their consort,distraught
Fugitives evading the wreath of their cousins,
Found temporary home here, the legend says
On those woebegone days of jungle wanderings.

With patience, will and ample skills,
One could climb this daunting rock
If careful not to be blown away
By the howling winds from the other end.
To this rock, we came over and over again,
As pilgrims to fulfil the wow, prompted by our mind,
After every terminal examination in school
When we were,still young and starry eyed.
May be we wanted to reinforce in our minds
The presence of this big chunk of nature's might.

We stand few moments, in solemn silence,
Imbibing the prescience the rock holds,
And in a frenzy the climb then begins,
The girls from our school stood soulfully praying,
For us till we reach up to the top,
Like womenfolk,in the ancient days of war,
Stood praying for the good to overcome evil.

On the top we stood gripped by the sight
Our ancestors, the five weary princes
Once had witnessed, and got electrified.
A bird's eye view of pristine vastness
Of a magnificent land in efflorescence
Cheer was in the air, alive with
Bird songs and the buzz of honey bees.
We invoked the spirit of eternal presence,
Of this enigmatic rock beyond time
In to our collective unconscious.
It's a memory,ever lucid,I keep in my mind,
When I sit with it,for a few moments
Everything, it brings to my mind,
The pain and sufferings, wanderings
The flame of hope that kept alive
During the ascend fighting the fierce winds.
Memories from a collective distant past,
To the present, which make me aware of all,
Then,I am in my element, I am full.
 

A poem by shelly bhoil sood

Sulking Skull

The wax is melting
dripping down
from burning coals: my bones
Reducing me to skull
Oh! I sulk!

From the graveyards of yesteryears
the ghosts popped up
Dancing on my green pastures
dancing dirty
the dirty dance of daddy darlings

The coffins were left open
Deliberately.

If you wonder the last nail was ever nailed!

From where else you think
the ghosts leak out
and flow into
the men
we are showcased to one after another:
 

Shelly Bhoil Sood lives between India and Brazil. She was formerly a
lecturer in English at colleges in Delhi University and at institutes in
Amity University. At present she is given to full time creative-writing and
her reserach project on Tibetan English Literature.


A  Poem by Anupam Hazarika

Kakoli

She wanders around
in her innocent girlish glee
with her tiny world pressed tenderly to the bosom
steps in to every crowded alley
to mingle with the little angels
perhaps an innate desire
nurtured within
to become one of them

Kakoli
as she was christened by the people
to aptly suit her joyful demeanour
a woman in her 30s probably
an insane , as everyone says
but to me , a retard
left in the wilderness

She trails along in her limping gait
dragging her short stature
her squint eyes sparkle with the mischief
of a spoilt child
the close cropped hair
glistening with someone's tender touch
her heavy bosoms heaving under
a tattered gown she draped in
she giggles in nervous delight
to infect the whole ambience
and twits with the lisping syllables
every passerby
tickled with the gentle softness
like that of the Southern breeze

But destiny had some other story to tell....

A gust of whirlwind
jumbled the realm of the little angel
clipping the beautiful wings
with devilish fascination
an invisible demon possessed her
spreading its lusty claws
and like a cripple
she endured....
.....nurtured
the curse in her womb....!
 


A Poem by Maurice Oliver

A Sombrero, Resembling Her Babushka

Gloves in one word. Almonds in a bowl.
One boiled tongue on the dinner plate.
Music notes for shoelaces. Carnival rides.
Cotton candy. That leaky burlap sack of
eels. Polka-dot ships on the wind. Road
maps tattooed on eyelids. Leaves after
leaves after leaves, falling like nighttime.
Jet streams. Glass beads. Zeppelin hangers.
Twine the only true ally. And of course,
that subliminal heavy breasted babushka
with a No Trespassing sign nailed into all
four perimeter fences, flagging a taxi, while
sporting a Mexican sombrero of Mariachi
chain mail smokers, dipped in guacamole.
 


(More Poems by Maurice Oliver)


A Poem by A.J. Huffman

Shifting from Sound to Silence

"The voice comes through the darkness and has no face.
The voice becomes her mirror."
-- Margaret Atwood

Music fights
the dreams of night.
Too deep.
My echo is unafraid
of this sight's companion.
As I brazenly walk
the hallways of doubt.
Opening doors
wavering
before my touch.
They are merely tricks.
Twisted.
To trap my lips
with their peace.
But it was not my song
that swallowed their light.
I was just a lonely instrument.
Another stage.
Set.
To shine
with the fire
of your eternal screams.


(More Poems by A.J. Huffman )


A Poem by Dilruba Z.Ara

SMS


I stand by the stove, my face bent over
boiling rice. Bubbling over. There's a muffled drone
from the dishwasher.
In the background my husband plays the sitar.
Beatles' Yesterdays. My mother- in- law smokes her hookah
scented with rose essence.

I hear nothing, but wait for my mobile
to come to life. To hear its heart beat, for me. Once.
And my heart leaps as though I were given mouth to mouth.

I'm exhilarated for a split second before reading your
text - succinct. Impersonal. Calculated.
Quickly I erase the words, shuddering like a broken animal
in the hand of a severe circus-master who enjoys
teasing his captives to obedience.

You've been doing this regularly. Because you know
that an SMS, even though heartless, sent by you
reminds me of your existence.
And I continue dreaming, of freedom, of you.
Walking - like a wild beast - back and forth in my cage.
Burning rice.
And you can go on playing the circus-master's role.
Satisfied. Narcissism.


Dilruba Z. Ara is the author of A List of Offences, which has been translated into Greek and Spanish and has been on top ten list in Uruguay. Her stories have appeared in the USA (Chattahoochee Review) and (Drunken Boat), Sweden (Shipwrights Review), Pakistan (Vista), and in anthologies from Bangladesh. One story is forthcoming in ASIA WRITES. The stories are being used as course materials at universities in the USA, Sharjah, and Sweden. She is also an acknowledged poet, painter, and translator. She lives in Sweden where she teaches Swedish and English. website: dilrubazara.com
 


A Poem  by Paulami Sengupta

Peace

Nights and days

bury my nose

in prickly whispers.

Bed

spreads along my bones

like tame prints

of red wheels.

( More Poem by Paulami Sengupta)


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