A Poem by Joneve McCormick

Beginnings and Endings

Thor's fist and forearm on my left
archetypal hammer
tall, diaphanous maidens glide by;
a voice on my right whispers,
'Those aren't born of Reasoning'
Thor and the maidens signal no endings
People sublimate to build a nation;
when their work becomes feeble
they make hammers with alloys
and built-in obsolescence

Choosing to be true
Garcia Lorca was shot dead. Joan of Arc
chose death by fire over life in prison.
Both signaled endings other than themselves

Innocence and power are reclaimed with truth
whether one keeps his mere body or not
and parts return to the whole;
Garcia Lorca is still alive,
his laurel wreath glowing in translucent light
and Joan of Arc ascends to her God

Revealed truth and thinking things through
reside in different camps,
like spontaneous creation and a reporting of the facts.

Poem by  Anindita Deo

Going Forth

Cairns encircle
an almost white shrine
marked with tiny flags of red and yellow
strewn snow shines blindingly
in the late morning sun
sinister looking clumps of human hair
shed as offering, perhaps
form patches of black
and break the glare.
In the thin cold air
perched on the edge of the cliff
the woman breathes in deep
to fight the unreality

that familiar smell

of days old, trodden over flowers,
oil burning in myriad diyas,
camphor and piety
seeping into each other
coming together
and taking things apart

makes the little girl dizzy
as she holds on tight to her father's hand
tiny legs slipping on the dank floor,
drenched in 'paduka' and other nectar of gods,
jostled by the pious in the musty darkness
as they circle around the inner sanctum

the priests drone on the slokas
the towering figures
with grilling eyes
watch with apparent distaste
(or is it indifference?)
in the cavernous cage
that gorges on the faithful

she watches hypnotized
as shadows tremble
wavering in the flickering light
of insidious  diyas
playing out the endless drama
like in Plato's cave

something rises
a spectre of what could have been
(or is it what should be?)
an overpowering presence of absence
a cold calm seeps into her
and all she can hear is screaming silence
and the lingering certainty of
having known sin.

A Poem by Bharati Kapadia

Rhythm Opens Its Eyes

a clock ticks
but no tock follows.

a heart
for the first time beats
and stops.

a teardrop
in mid-air

Aborted rhythm


A clock ticks
and stops
without tocking
next instant
a newborn heart
throbs and stops
in turn
a teardrop
in mid-air.


opens its eyes
and blinks.

Bombay based artist Bharati Kapadia is a well-known personality on the contemporary Indian art platform. Over the years, she has consistently shown work which is strikingly original in formal innovation. Dealing with issues related to inner evolution, memory and identity, she works with techniques in which the intervention of light becomes crucial for a complete experience of the art work.


A Poem by Deepa Kylasam Iyer


The queue wound like a lazy serpent,
Refusing to move ,an inch forward,

Just like my life
The impatient clicks of tongues Of the
compartments behind. Threatened
the train of people To move up
We had all come to deliver
Our half hearted congratulations And
indifferent condolences
via spped post.

We sent big packets
With puny gilts.
Speed post was the cost of time.
I was standing loftily to send

Important letters to important people
In some big
In big cities.

The slow moving fragile man
In front of me
Wrapped in a forlorn dhoti
And the compelling pulls of his worries
Hesit8tecl and gave a wrinkled envelope That
stank wit in the sweat of his palms.

The address slightly blurred
Written ill a school-girl hand-writing
An application for the entrance examination To some
medical school.
The apathetic official weighed The
dream of lhe girl and said 'four
hundred and fifty·
The man opencd his wallet
And felt the two hundred rupee notes
And slowly withclrew his daughter' s application

dreams and his face from the world
And quickly disappeared.

We all stank Of
body odour
And of bloody indifference.


( More Poems by  Deepa Kylasam Iyer)

A Poem by Indu Nair


On most weekends (and some weekdays)
I drive back again, down memory lane
The past remains the nearest picnicking place
Well-frequented, if not favourite
Tastes of sweetened pain, a peep through a misty windowpanes.

Spiced with echoes of laughter, humid with tears
Marinated memories fill the place.
Stuffed and garnished with dry flowers and papers stars
Larders stocked with bottled seeds an
Filled with cast-off time and space

Life being too insipid for words
I cannot help but chew the cud of bygone days
What antacid can cure this malady of a different kind-
Dyspepsia of the mind ...

(More Poems by Indu Nair)

A  Poem  by Moin Qazi


The sunset has brought us together.
We have a night to spend
Under the shadow of thoughts,
But a silence to endure.
Silence between us
Is like a thread to hold
Under the shadow of darkness.
Stray thoughts perch
On softened lips
And crinkles sit
On the tightness of cheeks.
The sunrise will soon Drive us apart,
Each to his world.
So, why not divulge
The secrets of hidden affairs?

( More poems by  Moin Qazi)

A poem by By Atoal


ou are my beloved, you have no time to think of who you are for thinking about
what you need to do
One of the crowd in the midst of the crowd
A star, like a long lost childhood, in the midst of night,
You are my beloved, I am kissing your teeth so white,
Hidden between them a half-line from last night’s unfinished love-making

You are my beloved, my muffled love, my youth bleeding
Towards your childhood I set you flying
Your wings growing weary, you are drenched in sweat
Beside me, you wake in the night screaming
Mornings, I wave to your mingling with a metal life

You are my beloved, we stick a piece of paper in it and postpone our love
Which is lived furtively on busses and trains
Our bodies side by side unable to truly bleed

Translated by W.G.Andrews


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