Monthly Archives: June 2018

Sushilkumar Shinde

Salma

Salma, when you are in front of me
I get choked,
Dissipate the energy and can’t even to write about you
The earth which tear its heart for
Sita is startled over your grief.

When you take nipple out of your baby’s mouth,
To show it to customer
how much tearing happen in your heart?

While surrendering his brothel-some behaviour
how many times image of your baby,
who is slept with the help of afim, passes through your eyes?

‘Saab,smile a little, life is like that ‘ you say and leave in search of new customer.
Dolly,Ruksnaa ,and this Hasina
all of you are ingrained depth in my brain,

and I keep churning out the words like coward,
while you are coping with all those rapes throughout the life,
and this city take a sleepy cover of immunity.

Salma your brevity is really great.

(Translated from Marathi by Mr. Shahsikant Sawant)

The City

This city has rented out
Dreams, hopes and ambitions
Underneath this garbage

The intense desire has an odorous tang
Like ordure
Difficult to tolerate, hide & repress
Buffed and puffed roads
Giant buildings
Leisurely large footpath
Well disciplined traffic
Oh! How beautiful it is to dream…
But thus remains this city deranged and illusioned

Coition on the footpath
Renders open-born broods
And the city takes them in its elastic arms

Pollution has turned this city into an eye with cataract
How peacefully it absorbs ear deafening noises
Buffed and puffed roads ooze
Blood of someone innocent
The bleeding bloody city
Licks its wounds
Like a helpless dog
When Skyscrapers are infected by ringworms
Bulldozers come handy
Slums are set on fire
Sometimes cylinders blow up in a row
Like firecrackers in Diwali
Then the city offers shelter
To the homeless slum-dwellers
Seldom has it covered with shawl
The dirty dusky breastfeeding kids

This city keeps living with uncertain affinity
Tolerating odorous haughtiness
Inhumanly and helplessly
Buffed and puffed roads
Giant buildings
Leisurely large footpath
And well disciplined traffic
Underneath this garbage
This city has rented out
Dreams, hopes and ambitions

English Translation by Maheshleelapandit
From the collection of Marathi Poems Shara aatmahatya karayacha mhantay
By Sushilkumar Shinde

Sushilkumar Shinde ( B 1988) is a promising young voice in the contemporary Marathi Poetry. His first collection of poetry Shahar Atmahatya Karayach Mhantay (The city on the verge suicide), published in 2016, won him the various state prestigious awards and highly appreciated in reader and critics. His poems have been included in various anthologies of Marathi and also published in Indian literature ( Sahitya Akademi.)

Poornima Laxmeshwar

What do I name this?

Two law abiding citizens
Two bodies, two lives; intertwined stories
Where the love of one flows into another
In breaths, in kisses under the soft skies of a late evening
But then
Two faiths also divide them
While the pub “Sherlock Homes” keeps them amused
The emptying draught beers
Speaks in pints, in tongues so twisted
That the windows portray a green marriage registrar’s office
In black and bold, ever-so-inviting on Coles Road
Displaying illusions of a forever happiness

The quilt of darkness overshadows
The warmth demands an assurance
And they hunt down a hotel with faux leather sofas
Wooden flooring, promising privacy, screaming some good times

“What can they tell about my faith from the name?”
Murmurs the atheist of the two
While the hotel owner looks upon them with holy eyes
Beams chastity; seeks identities
Refuses bluntly
Because their religions don’t match when pronounced
Even with a deft diction

Two law abiding consenting citizens
Paying the taxes on-time every year
Fail to claim their meagre share of love
In the name of law and order
By now, the beer is ready to leak.

 

 

A god in every stone

Who says clouds are weightless
Ask my heart awaiting the rains
I feel like a land of drought
Seeking an embrace – year after year
I did pray in the Mahamaya temple at the village
They insisted on it
Remember the two stones at the entrance
Smudged with haldi, kumkum and oil
They said if I could lift both of them together
All my wishes would be fulfilled
But I was either scared to discover to unravel the secret
Or unsure about what the time held in its closed palms
I left the wish burn within me
Like the lamp I lit in your name
And as I took leave of the goddess
Standing in emerald saree with a pink nathani glowing
On her face, with eyes full of rage
I found that my shoes were missing
Just like you went away
Without even a hint.

 

Poornima Laxmeshwar resides in the garden city Bangalore and works as a content writer for a living.

Payal Phukan

I Refuse
You peeled me as an orange, mercilessly
quenched your thirst with
my blood oozing out from
a broken honeycomb.
You ground my bones into sugar
and sprinkled the crumble
on your favourite dessert.
You feasted on morsels of my soul,
rubbing off every fragment
of my morale that spilled
from the corners of your mouth.
You abandoned me like a crater
trapped forever in loops
of existential crisis.

But I refuse to be an exhausted constellation,
its contours dotted
with too many greasy fingers.
I will be a written word, a tale
that will pass down from generations,
forging weapons from fossils buried
in layers of ancestral mud,
quietly distorting the intricate pattern
of your genomes that nestle
in the roots of your hair
and proudly claim to be your identity.

On nights when you drift
to a peaceful sleep, I shall be the venomous snake
that curls around your neck
like summer air, spitting
its poison down the dough of your chest
to the hollow,
vehemently deny forgiveness
as I watch snippets of life
crawl out of you
along with the parts of me
and the creed
that you had digested.

Born and brought up in Guwahati, Payal Phukan is an engineer who escapes from the world of data and numbers by playing with words. She is an emerging poet with a few publications online. She perceives poetry as a way to connect with the thoughts and emotions which shy away from her otherwise. Besides poetry, she loves painting and playing chess.

 

Nilotpal Sarmah

FOG AND MONUMENTS

History’s grimy womb has spit them out.
Now watch them bathe in the chill and moss
And bask in the light of the mind to stem out
A landscape of truths in mystery embossed.

Like the dewy, vernal breasts of mother Spring
Who shares emerald milk with the untamed
Let these dusty, rusted children of time bring
Light upon the truths unsung and unnamed

The fog drapes over like a ghostly curtain
whose cold contours give way to the grainy past
Curiosity through this window ingrains
Ancestry’s spark and its enlightening blast.

Like the ghosts of victors, the fog assails
Through a chilly tint of losses and deaths
The hungry mind whose parched terrain avails
Of truths through hauntings of ever-graying shades

TAXIDERMY
The dead blue sky has finally been
stitched with lightning and
Infused with grey pregnant clouds!
But what of the taxidermy that the flood-mauled land awaits?
How long will she have to wait till her reconfiguration?

Ah! It is a seasonal treat concocted by
the threads of sorrow,
the needle of bereavement,
the embalming nectar of despair!

She shall be bathed in tears,
bejeweled in broken houses and bloated corpses.
She will yet again make a perfect bride to
the diligent taxidermist, that is TIME!

 

NOSTRILS

The caves are ancient and wise.
Aided by the crimson rhythm from deep within,
they whistle out olfactory streams in
a life-affirming musicality.

As for the planetary nostrils that our
jumbled heap of sentience clogs, they are
a moss-jeweled necropolis
for life’s incense-muffled shrine
or for piety’s ubiquitous roadkill.

The mortician hangs from the
mucosal noose and
every sneeze is a slimy elegy.
Rest in peace O utopian vision!

 

TOMBSTONES MADE OF GUITARS

Many a pensive souls have been grated
to poetic shreds by these stringed vermin.
It is only fair that their final resting places be
marked by these melodious culprits.

O how the vermin used to bestow order
upon gloom’s infesting dissonance!
Their presence fossilized sorrow and extracted
sweet elegies out of the stubborn amber.

No flowers shall wreathe these tombstones,
No tears shall stain their harmonious frames,
For they are regularly bathed in the
sporadic downpours that emotions swirl up.
Let the grateful winds of inspiration strum
out some odes from this stringed scenery of decay.

TO THE MOON
Paint me some thoughts, O silver castaway!
As I trace your sordid cosmic journey,
An eternal crawl across the ebony
sea that kisses the golden shore of day.
Upon the blackened canvas of my gloom
That stands upon sturdy thoughts of despair
In stellar streams route and shed your cold tears,
Their murmur – the siren call of my doom!
A doom whose cold source I fail to discern
eclipsed by my blissful memories of yore
where ubiquitous your cold presence burns
an elusive warmth is its quaint downpour
Like your cosmic plight salvaged by daylight.
My scarred hope yearns for the shore’s faintest sight.

 

Nilotpal Sarmah is a content writer by profession hailing from the North-Eastern Indian state of Assa, currently residing in the Indian city of Bangalore. A poet by intellect, he has been putting his thoughts in the written form from an early age and is writing in the hope of seeing his work in book form someday. His work has been published in literary journals like Illyas honey and Ashwamegh journal.

Mousumi Ghosh

Skyscraper
 
When did she hear last the sound of chirping birds ?
 
Was it when the sky was last seen blue ?
 
Or was it when the ocean danced in different palettes of hue?
 
May be when the Spring was unfurling the coat of snow,
 
Or may be in the warmth of the Autumn glow.
 
She heard last the sound of the chirping birds
 
When Juniper was laid to rest ,
 
To light atop the tallest mast.
 
                       
 
 
Illusion
 
 
 
He loved her for being the mother ,
 
She could never have been .
 
He loved her for being the wife
 
She never was …..
 
He loved her for being the lover…
 
Which she had acted so fine.
 
He loved her for being the friend,
 
When a foe was even better .
 
He had never loved her ……
 
For being what she was,
 
He had never loved her for being a human,
 
Made of flesh and blood.
 
                      
 
 
 
Solace
 
She looks intently at the mirror,
 
What do those eyes tell her?
 
Do they whisper the hundreds of thousand desires?
 
Or they speak of the latent passion, which is
 
Nothing but despair.
 
As the blue sky seeks solace from the burnt of the dazzling sun ,
 
By drowning all its colours…
 
In the vast endless ocean.
 
She too tries to escape the burning heat of passion ,
 
By drenching her parched soul ,
 
In his eyes deep with the color of adoration.
 
Meanwhile the gramaphone plays
 
‘kosish karke dekhle…daria sari….nadia sari
Mousumi Ghosh, works as a Senior Administrator in a reputed school located in Kolkata, West Bengal, India.She started writing poetries in English from a very young age and has her own blog .Her love for poetry and her passion for writing has led some of her poetries published in local magazines, e-magazines in India and abroad.

Anit Mukherjee

Wind-Chime

Sitting in the old balcony,
One which has aged like me,
Perhaps its every crack on the floor can find
One resemblance in this face of mine,
wrinkled by time,
As the sun prepares to retire for the day,
I waited for the wind to blow,
In anticipation of the sonata uncomposed.
I rediscovered the old instrument, or perhaps it found me,
Hanging now from a cord at the far end of window,
As I was clearing up to leave the home of mine
To accompany others in this home of many.
An old gift, very old –
beyond the realm of tangible memory,
A token, of the exchange of possessions more profound.
Yes, that is all I have left of that episode of exchange,
Besides some rusted visions that crops up without invite,
Reminds me that Life is nothing but a journey,
Amidst maddening crowd,
From one point of loneliness to another.
Now I wait for that wind to blow,
To gently caress the dangling tubes of the Chime,
To churn out a melody – reminiscent of a love,
Unfulfilled, yet profound.
But, today is different,
All is silent and still,
The movement of the leaves of that grand old tree in front,
Seems frozen, in a frame.
Restless I became.
Perhaps the wind has also deserted,
A pattern not new in this life of mine,
The desires seem to float up
Only to be left dangling,
Like the suspended tubes of the Chime.
Then out of the stillness
Came a sudden rush, a mighty one,
Blowing dust on its way,
It went through the Chime,
And when it passed,
There was the chime, mute,
Two of its strings tangled,
The others looking away, remote.
It seemed like the fate our two lives,
Tangled, yet unable to unite.
I tried in vain,
Some knots are never to be undone,
Only to be cut,
But only the wise realize that in time
Or maybe the brute.
As I was about to turn
After a lost struggle, yet again,
My gaze stuck at a queer angle outside
And suddenly the wind came back,
From a corner, unexpected,
And the two entangled strings struck their tubes,
And there was a note, a minor one,
Merging into the monotony of majors.
Some old notes and one fresh –
A new chord was struck that day.

 

Anit Mukherjee an engineer by profession but a poet by heart.

Ebi Robert

5th vol  No 1 (July 2018)

NAMES OF POEMS

SEVEN MONTHS AND TWO

I am a woman, not a man
Yet I’m a woman that is a man
I am the changing chameleon
That has several colours in a million

I can’t be kept in a barn
And be likely bundled as the yams
I can be many things a man can
I can even handle the arms

I am the builder of the Home
And not the muted-muse of Rome
I have the ripen right to Vote
Like every man of the Home

I can make and mark the vault
I even drive the beach-bye boat
I can serve and save Africa
Like Adedevoh did to Ebola

You must seek my consent first
Before you get under my skirt
Do not treat me as a bitch
That can be mated on a Pitch

Smell the sweetness of my smell
And get the fatness of my meal
I’m that womb that bore you
In seven months and two

Quote:

A woman, like the eye of a needle, the world passes through —- Ebi Robert

Code of Death (Half + Close To Half)

The code we receive in-
The code he receives in
Seems correct, he receives it
Erring we, when we answer
This is what we receive in-
Our personality, persons we be
Inaccurate, incomplete, five plus one
And six and three plus three
It is in and not pasted on the face

The Code we receive in will die-
And seven and seven and six plus one
Will then be in them like the half
Plus close-to-half that operated

The code of death is a wisdom missed

It dies next tomorrow
Next tomorrow is a day before yesterday
Behold the day to follow-
Past, as we quote and quote
Before the judgment seat of senses
That code of death was
Interpreted long before day perishes

There are only few not marked-
There are only a few not enemies

Quote:

Seven and seven and six plus one will then be in them like the half plus close-to-half that operated —- Ebi Robert

ONE BLACK TEAM

Like Leicester leading the league
Africa can, with mettle lead the global-league
We have the brains, grains and rains
And the yellow sun ruling the days

We have the strength, bone and might
Ready to dust the ground; ready to fight
We fought against western colonialism
We can raid red routine rat, rated racism

We can also nail neo-colonialism
And crucify any other foreign ism
All we need is our Mahrez, Kante, and Vardy
And our valiant eight ever ready

Whether you’re a Nigerian, Algerian or Kenyan
You all are blacks and always African
Never say: ‘it’s hard, it’s tight or we can’t’
You can if you are only united as the ant

Yes, one ball and one black team
Africa can always fulfill her dream
With the ardent legs ready on the pitch
Africa can win this waxing witch

Though, different tongues speak we may
We can understand ourselves during the day
And with a united states of Africa
Tell me if we cannot lead thereafter

Quote:

Never say: ‘it’s hard, it’s tight or we can’t’,
You can if you are only united as the ant. —— Ebi Robert

Ebi Robert is from Nembe/Egweama in Bayelsa State of Nigeria; a state in the Southern part of Nigeria. He is a legal practitioner, poet, essayist, freelance writer, novelist and editor. He is the author of the African Drama “An Empty Kingdom” published by ‘Patridge Africa’ and ‘Bulkibon Books’. He has written many poems and contributed to many National and International Books, ezines, journals and magazines. The award winning writer propounded ‘Advisory Oposicion’, and the famous theory of Youthtocracy. Ebi Robert is an International Advisor with International Authors, USA. He is also the Secretary of the Association of Nigerian Authors, Bayelsa State chapter, a Research Assistant at the Federal High Court, Nigeria, Co-Editor of TheNigeriaLawyer, as the well the founder of THE DELTA LITERATURE and Literafrik.com. He is also the Acting Director of Peace December, Bayelsa State Chapter, a Non Governmental Organization based in the US.

Steve Haberlin

“This Way”

Strangers
She walks us
Pushing her bicycle
Wagasa in hand
Blocking the non-existent sun
From her porcelain skin
Back of her jet-black hair
Bounces
And I wonder
Could I be so trusting?

“American Geisha”

Tall, slender gait
Under the cover of oak
She, alone, holds
Her ornate umbrella
Her pasty thighs
Brush against
Her tight black dress
As she disappears,
Carrying her culture like a purse.

 

Steve Haberlin
Doctoral Student, Elementary Education
Department of Teaching and Learning
University of South Florida
Tampa, Florida

Gary Robinson

EMPIRE

Found 10 pence
in a bus shelter this morning.

This coin of the realm
has come far
and now on my desk

Lion in a Crown
dances its silver skin.

Though I prefer
the doubleheaded eagle
of the ruble.

Always a sky man
while lions sitting on thrones
are superfluous

they should be content
with teeth and claws
the obedience of a dead gazelle.

THE DEVIL IN MR. LAWRENCE

On some days even the sun
and its clothes of light
are weighed down by the cold,
while our eyes carve dunes
in the old of winter.

Thinking there are mysteries
in beaches, dramas of sand
we may uncover.
Writing a line or two in these bodies
which become their own narratives.

A chill month freezes plots
which must await another season
to begin a pen of blood
and its delirious chronicles.

When summer breaks upon us
every groin becomes a scribe.

OUR LADY OF THE PLAGUE YEAR

A grout of crows
in her throat
under a plague of sky,
the road smeared like a black stump.

Once she offered a mild wave
a cool gesture or the charity of a coin.
The pedigree of her white gloved hands
performed before awkward bows.

Abandoned outside the city gates
she staggers on feet swollen like thorny branches

and drags her pain to huts
endures stares, the malice of thin hounds.
Panic and cursing now
when her palms open raw and black.

‘Are you going as far as Peterborough?’

Cat on its back
sleeping
and if dreaming at all
you’d figure dreams of
stalking birds or mice.
But getting closer we saw otherwise—
there the strange penis
shape and colour of lipstick
and erect as the thumb
of a hitchhiker.

WITHERPOINT RETURNS FROM THE WARS

Days there is danger
of spontaneous combustion
being put to the test.
So enraged, the most trivial matter
could make a pyre of me—
a toque of ashes
where I’d been only moments ago.

‘summer gardens won’t last
deserts can’t imagine lawn mowers
the stars crumbled well before the sky’s
mad break from Heaven’

Everywhere
forms slide and collapse
chaos finds an angle
slips in
like blackbirds bringing
their shadows their dark suns.

When it happens
you and I will be disordered
like vision come savagely
to the blind.

Maybe I am upset
because there are no ruses to help
the virtue of patience
becomes its vice too.

The lengthy wait leads to nothing.
Except one. Possibly one.
One affirmation.

‘the old man saw a little girl
and died of young age’ 

 

Gary Robinson, a writer and poet from ottawa, ontario, canada.  

bookie5805@gmail.com

E. B. Veerasingam

Oriental Queen

A marble palace adorns the bay.
Ships sail in with Arabian perfumes,
Brazilian Coffee and Spices from Kerala.

Bullock-Carts roll-in through the courtyard,
While the bell and the lantern continue to dance
To the rhythm of the bull’s walk;
Carts loaded with caskets full of diamonds,
And woven cloth from the Silk Route,
For the Royal vision,
Taste buds,
Olfactory hunger
And the tactile thirst
To be satisfied.

She was found among the virgins
Who went to pluck yellow mangoes,
On their way back from the chilling springs,
After spending the summer-noon
Frolicking and bathing,
With laughter that disturbed
The painful silence of nature.

The royal boats floating among the mangroves
And the king’s horses roaming among the creeping bushes
With servants in search of a Queen
For the Majestic lineage,
Came closer, allured by the virgin prances.

The wind from the bamboo bushes,
Identified her voice to be musical and exceptional,
While her soft maiden laughter
Wasn’t new to the fins and feathers
That had witnessed her silent puberty.

The turmeric yellow on her cheeks
And the smell of fresh herbs
From the palm-woven carton
That relaxed on her hip,
Made her gracious presence
Felt by those nearby.

Her fingers, that otherwise pluck tendrils,
Became engaged in setting her forelock
At the sudden site of the servants
Who arrived on time, minutes before
She got into a boat
Loaded with violet orchid garlands,
And a ferryman ready;
Ready to take her
To the other side of the river.

Horses went galloping with urgency
In the path that led to the palace,
And the fading sounds of those trained beasts,
Brought the royal chariots.

Elderly eyes with expertise scanned her.
With nodding of heads,
She was wrapped in a pure white cloth.
Milk and honey was poured on her,
And at the river bank
Her innocence was proved.

Chosen to be the royal bride,
Her ears and nose witnessed the pearl rings,
Her feet, the Princely anklets,
Her fingers, the rubies and sapphires
And she was taken in a palanquin,
That was filled with sandalwood crafts
And enveloped with the finest fabrics of the land.

The neighbouring kingdoms were invited,
And the processions of the regal elephants
Garnished the streets of the empire.

The majestic rings were exchanged,
And the Thaali,
Patterned with detail by the Royal goldsmith,
Adorned her slender neck,
On which emeralds, topazes, amethysts and jonquils
Were carefully placed.

Somewhere lost in the crowd,
Hiding behind a large trunk
Of one of the yellow mango trees
Was a young lover, snarling with loss,
As he watched his beloved girl
Becoming the Royal Bride.

The King’s spies would never know
That this young lad
Had himself dressed as the ferryman
And waited with garlands of orchids
Filled in his boat, by the river,
To take her into his world,
On that fateful day;
The day she was found by the Royal servants.

Drops of tears
That summarise his blood stream,
And the mournful song of his heart,
Are now ready to float in pain,
In the flow of the river of life.

And that is
One of the beauties
Of human nature.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

E. B. Veerasingam is from Batticaloa, Sri Lanka. He is a Lecturer in English Studies at the Department of Languages and Communication Studies of the Eastern University, Sri Lanka (Trincomalee Campus). His schooling was at St. Michael’s College, Batticaloa and he graduated from Bangalore University (T.John College Campus) with a B.A. in English, Psychology and Journalism. He later obtained his M.A. from the prestigious Christ University, India. With a vision of being an inspiration for many others to become writers, he has set off in a journey of poetry, while finding the simplest people and incidents around him, as inspirations behind his poetry.