Three Poems translated by Ra Sh
By Ammu Deepa
who was keenly waiting for sundown
flapped open its black wings
and scooping up the earth in its claws
soared up towards the sky.
The clouds slide aside in its wing beats.
The stars grow cold,
The moon extinguishes.
The sun is left far behind.
In the clutches of the raven are
the multiplication tables of kids,
yawns of women and
kitchen pots rolling on the slab
fed up with waiting for the father.
As the raven flies along the galaxies
the kids slip into dreams.
The women stagger towards the bedroom
postponing for the next day
the washing of the utensils
heaped up near the cistern.
The silk cotton trees from which
the clouds scatter around
are beyond the Milky Way.
The raven settles on one of
wets its wings and shakes off
Feeling the cold, the women
shut the windows.
The kids look for sheets to
After its bath, the raven
shivering in the bitter cold
flies back towards the sun.
Ever slowly, the day breaks.
Ammu Deepa is from Pattambi, Palakkad. Has been publishing poems in various periodicals in Malayalam for a decade. She has published a collection of poems titled ‘Karimkutti’ which has received much critical acclaim. She is a painter too. She is a teacher by profession.
By Jaqueline Mary Mathew
The windows of nice girls
The windows of nice girls are
open to November.
They dream of the window magic
of the paramour that makes the snow
fall on their soles.
With salt crystals they catalyze
the possibilities of the wound
that can heal quickly.
They swim across rivers of wine and
sail out in ships on oceans of vodka.
Nice girls don’t write poems or
Cry over their beloveds.
They shake off love
from the wrinkles on their skirts.
They fold sorrow in many ways and
make origami flowers.
The four walls around nice girls
are their own construction where
they stick the souls of flowers
banished from the spring.
They loop life through a yellow thread
and their minds pained by the slavery
of their inner wear, get ready
to commit suicide.
They tattoo themselves.
They chant prayers to the god of the nose stud.
Nice girls are never nice girls.
Planting mahogany in their minds frequently,
and installing the scent of the forest there
to be canonized by the poetry of
one and only one person.
Jacquiline Mary Mathew is from Alappuzha, Kerala and currently works in Toronto, Canada. She writes poems exclusively on the social media.
By Stalina S
The sea gaze
As the feet pirouette
around the songs that bore
in the brine
in the scalding gaze
of the sea,
the storms that lay
concealed in the feet
get the urge to
tear asunder the sails
and become the moon
in dreamy whirlpools.
If the red mesh of the liver
of the invisible rivers
in the eddies of the eyes
desire to bloom again,
it has to meditate with shut eyes
inside the coral shells.
the roots that creep upon
the body gone dry
of the sea smell
become scales where the
as the steps develop cramps
slipping on the white roads
of the land,
rubbing off the mould
abandoning the meltings of
the body on the rocks,
spreading like awakening songs
of the sun,
falling on the bosom of the sea
that sleeps not,
to kiss the inner eye
of the sky
fins are sprouting on the feet.
Stalina is from Muvattupuzha, Ernakulam. Her poems have been published in various magazines like The Economic and Political Weekly, Bhashaposhini, Samakalika Malayalam and Madhyamam etc. She is currently working on her first collection of poems. Stalina is a teacher by profession.
Note on Translator: Ra Sh has published three collections of poetry – Architecture of Flesh (Poetrywala), Bullet Train and other loaded poems (Hawakal) and Kintsugi by Hadni (RLFPA). Forthcoming books are The Ichi Tree Monkey and other stories (translation of Tamil Dalit writer Bama’s short stories, Speaking Tiger) and Blind Men Write (a play) (Rubric).Rash’s English translations include Mother Forest (Women Unlimited, from Malayalam), Waking is another dream (Navayana, Srilankan Tamil poems translated with Meena Kandasmy), Don’t want caste (Navayana, collection of Malayalam short stories by Dalit writers) and Kochiites (Greenex, a book on different communities in Kochi.)
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