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The earth here is a suppliant

Holds and clings to your feet

Refuses to be shaken

Rain turns it into whore

Soliciting without choice

Or discretion

Wet earth I have breathed before

Found it beckoning

As a letter from a distant shore

But here it smells

Of fornication and such

As shall bear no offspring

And no pain.

(More Poems by MRIDULA GARG)

A Poem by  Kelley Jean White

In Memory of the Body Donors

"The mummies were scarier than this.

Yes, I suppose they were.
Why? The fallen faces. The gray rags? The skin stretched
into leather?

Here, the intestines wave fat like little flags.
Look, it's Rembrandt, 1606-1669, The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Tulp"
Who told me the hand
is on backward?

Or is that on that other Anatomy Lesson, Doctor Dreyman's, the body propped
and tinted orange, the soles of the feet against
our very mouths. . .

no hand here

no flexor digitorum superficialis
no proximal interphalangeal joint

just flesh
human as a rag doll
spilling straw

ah, poor mummies
poor sunken unstuffed dolls

( More poems by Kelley Jean White)

A  Poem  by Heller Levinson


The way you vine

around me,

growing in proportion

to the light I give you,

takes me back



wrap me up

( More poems by Heller Levinson )

A  Poem by Kaushik Barua

To Die Before Birth

I cannot be born

Of my mother Assam

And not pen a tribute (or a rebuke)

To you, foolish sons of yesterday's light.

Through the prism of your passion

You viewed fields of rice

As endless lakes of blood,

Our humble mother

(Forever content

With vales and river and peace)

As the leading lady

Of your violent opera.

Is it your dream that maimed her?

Or the sleep in which the rest of us lay?

In your jungles you searched

Amidst leeches, snakes

And the pondering rhino

For the seeds

Of your tomorrow.

But the hollow

Of your tragedy

Enveloped your wishes

As does the south-west monsoon

Our peaceful skies.

Soon dream turned to bread

Which you sold

For the wine of retreat,

And the barrels of your guns

Twisted to mark out your brother.

From the company of leeches

You moved to crooks

And pimps of your land's pride;

Alas, you never realized the difference.

Awake, dreamer

Of untouchable visions

And realize

That your dreams now lie dead

And you walk, talk and breathe

Only as a living carcass

Of what you could have been:

The hero that never was born.

( More Poems by Kaushik Barua)

A Poem by  Chitra G. Lele

My Lodestar

My Lodestar is My Family - a world of cheer
This is where my each dream is born,
The joy that you bring multiplies year on year
And you add that sparkle to my every morn.

You are My Lodestar; my life's norm
There's special kind of comfort in knowing you are there,
Both through the calm and storm
To shower on me a spell of blessings and care.

Your kind soul puts a rainbow in my inner resort,
I see the world through your eyes,
You are the source of my strength and support
And like angels you solace me by wiping my cries.

You are My Lodestar, a gift from above-
For all the good things that you inspire,
For all the commitment and love
It is this, My Family in you that I admire.

(More poems by Chitra G. Lele.)

A poem by Hemendra Chandalia

Eternal Banaras-1

Where is Banaras?
I ask myself.
Everywhere I see Kashi.
"An ancient town", Says Balaji
"You could excavate
Three thousand years of history
Anywhere you dig on the coast."
The town lives
Even today in its past.
Hence it is Kashi-

The Ganges flows eternally-
So is history.
Glaring pyres burn everyday, although
At Manikarnika
Day and Night.

Nobody seems to detest
The burden of mystery,
Centuries of Holiness
Littered around
In such a hazy promiscuity.

It is not the old
That looks religious.
Sandal pasted heads
Shout hysterically
The name of the lord
In the dawn and the dusk
Intoxicated with the
Exuberance of infinity.

Life is never at rest in Kashi
Though not many changes seen.
Long beards and painted faces
Still inspire awe.
The glossy colorful sarees
Young men with betel-stained mouths
Talking politics.

The litter on the Ghats
And stinking streets
Do not avert anyone
'The Ganges sanctifies everything'
People believe.

(More Poems by Hemendra Chandalia)

A poem by Joneve McCormick

must and should

A book must be an axe for the frozen sea inside us... (Franz Kafka)
How does one come to write with such power?
With force, daggers penetrate at large;
flowers penetrate our timid hearts less than they should.

( More poems by Joneve McCormick)

A Poem by  Alexa Mergen

An Easy Mistake

A hummingbird mistook
my red book for a flower
as I read in the garden
at dawn. A red cloth-bound
book of old formal poems.

The bird dashed
from tree branch to book cover
hands-breadth from my nose.
I saw into its eyes.
The bird saw its mistake
and fled for pink oleander.

We live in the twelfth year of drought,
plants and soil
form endless plains of brown.
Like nurses to patients we carry cups
of water to flowers remaining.

In this dry state then
is it any wonder
we conflate bright books with flowers
confuse words with nectar?

(More poems by Alexa Mergen

A Poem by K Ramesh

Remembering The Mango Tree

The mango tree that stood
with sprawling branches
near the playground on
our campus is no more.

Someone who had knowledge
about trees said it was
more than 150 years old.

We were surprised.
We had taken its
presence for granted.

Everyone went to see the tree
while it lay on the ground
like a wounded elephant;

some stood around it in silence
and noticed how the roots were
still connected to the earth-

while others went and touched
the trunk and the branches
which still had fresh green leaves.

Years from now many will not
know that there was a mango tree
near the games field

And those who sat under the tree
may remember its shade
when they pass by the playground-

like suddenly remembering
the face of a teacher
who taught what it is to learn-

for decades.

( More Poems by K Ramesh)

A Poem by Niels Hav


You can spend an entire life
in the company of words
not ever finding
the right one.

Just like a wretched fish
wrapped in Hungarian newspapers.
For one thing it is dead,
for another it doesn't understand

 Niels Hav - Translation: P.K. Brask & Patrick Friesen

(More poems by Niels Hav)

A Poem by Theodora Ranelli

Stomach Problems

Zulaikha, Zulaikha,

I've tried. There was a man whose

Glance in windowpane melted my stomach.

I got checked at the dr., to see if my oesophagus was o.k.

Moderate stomach infection.

The drs say it's all in my head.

Zulaikha - I wonder how you swooned.

The shirt was torn from the back.
You wanted him, Zulaikha.

Some think you're all about platonic love,

But you and I are both in denial about that.

There was a spiritual component, you thought.

So you followed him.

And you had to give him up until you met with God.

And then he was ready for you.

I just have to move on.

But how can I put God above all else when my Yusuf is still here?

( More poems by Theodora Ranelli)

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