Colours of an Island & more…

By Jose Varghese

Colours of an Island

Islanders learn to shut their eyes

to the colours others vie to capture

behind self-indulgent faces.

Born to it, seen enough of the kind

that invites the scorn of even

the dreamless, they learn to live

in grey shades on white space.


All that drifts ashore are

the ugly remnants of what once

lured life. Longings stuffed

in fantasy aren’t enough to reclaim

the colours lost in aquamarine heaves.


The mainland dumps its visions

on them, the blissfully ostracized.

It envies the burly waves

that mock senseless captures.


The sea paints the shore in colours

that reek of dead light rays,

bodies in decay still trapped

to a mind that moves, the way

a dead hermit-crab floats, encased

in mad hopes that refuse to break.


Scary Silence

A sound implodes

the silence you keep

enclosed in high walls.
You raise an eyebrow.

Ears fail to catch even

the noise of your

eyelashes cutting air

in thin brush strokes.
I freeze. Your unmoving

lips stretch to a grin.

Your silence creeps on me

as you embrace death.


Jose Varghese is a bilingual writer/editor/translator. His first poetry collection was Silver Painted Gandhi and Other Poems (2008). He was a finalist in Beverley Prize 2018 and his works have appeared or are forthcoming in The Best Asian Short Story Anthology, Dreich, Meridian: The Drunken Boat APWT Anthology of New Writing, Unveiled, Unthology 5, Chandrabhaga, Postcolonial Text, Reflex Fiction, Flash Fiction Magazine and so on. He was a runner up in the Salt Flash Fiction Prize 2013 and two Faber QuickFic contests, two Eyewear Fortnight Poetry Prize competitions, and was commended in the Gregory O’Donoghue International Poetry Prize 2014.



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