Categories
Poetry

Fragrance

By Priyanka Panwar

The stillness of love
No language
No haste
A calm touches the air;
your heart sits in one place
after having slogged for years.
The aroma of chai 
and the sound of rain drops
‘tis the only truth out there.

Love 
that blooms
in the wildest weather
and touches the ground
on a soft, winter morning;
shedding and giving. 

Ready for the morning prayers;
Living in the fragrance that is left behind.


Priyanka Panwar teaches English at University of Delhi. When she isn’t reading or teaching, she likes to travel and observe. A movie buff and a voracious reader; on most days she dreams of coffee and mountains.

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Categories
Poetry

Accounting Acronyms

Poetry by Rhys Hughes

ACRONYMS OF AFFECTION AND OPPOSITION

(i)
Significant
Other
Unique
Lover

     Makes
     A cup of
     Tea
     Every morning.

(ii)
Boundless
Energy for playing
Scrabble and
Travelling to the beach

      For fabulous frolics
      Relentless
      In the
      Endless
      Nocturnal
      Delightful surf

(iii)
Anachronistic 
Ruffian
Chews
His grudges

      Eternally
      Never
      Expecting to
      Make friends again with
      You (but they do)


 
NO ACCOUNTING FOR TASTE

There’s no accounting for taste
and in my haste
to attempt to complete
a sweet and savoury tax return
I made a mistake
and ruined my chances of a rebate.
In future I will employ
a taste accountant
who will check the receipts
of everything I eat
in any gastronomic year.

Rhys Hughes has lived in many countries. He graduated as an engineer but currently works as a tutor of mathematics. Since his first book was published in 1995 he has had fifty other books published and his work has been translated into ten languages.

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Categories
Poetry

Microcosms

By George Freek

Courtesy: Creative Commons
MICROCOSMS 

Silence sits on my sofa
like a guest. 
On the wall a painting
with birds flying headless,
unable to find the sun,
is going to pieces.
In a corner a shadow
as long as a lizard’s tongue
catches flies
and spits them out again.
As I turn off the lamp,
a moth lights on my shoulder,
his wings like hands
folded in prayer.
He escapes into the darkness 
my shadow created,
to kill himself against a window.

George Freek’s poetry has recently appeared in The Ottawa Arts Review, Acumen, The Lake, The Whimsical Poet, Triggerfish and Torrid Literature.

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Categories
Poetry

More poems by Asad Latif

Courtesy: Creative Commons
AN ACRE OF ENGLAND
For Paul Broom, MBE

An acre of England lies in my mind
and travels with me delighted to find
Ashfield near Sydney and Strathfield just behind.
This train carries people and histories on time.
Chinese and Lebanese, Bengalis and Nepalese
and escapees from Italy and Greece
jostle for space with bankers and with refugees
and the occasional natives: Aborigines
whose 60,000 years have overstayed
the expanse of the Australian mind.

At Morriset or Fassifern or Wondabyne
I see the land and its peoples
in British names entwined.
Nations and ages come but to pass
but a train ties all receding sights
to ancestries of the speeding heart.
Brits, this is not your country any more.
Aussies, are you happy? Beware though,
there's a convict poet on every train
missing an acre of England that is
Australia rediscovered, retimed,
re-rhymed, restored.



DISCIPLINE OF FORM


A gaggle of girls from a Sydney train
Elbows its giggling way through the platform
And rushes up the stairs to catch the rain
Or a bus or wait for Pa in this storm.
A broken evening arrives like a hearse
On the highway's sudden bend just ahead
When young unknowns all around me disperse
And leave new poems unwritten and unread. 
But before you go, "Excuse me. I've come
This far but am new here and I don't know
The way to myself from the setting sun
To a land I have never seen before."
They look askance at my age and laugh on.
This sonnet and I recede into form.

 Asad Latif is a Singapore-based journalist. He can be contacted at badiarghat@borderlesssg1

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Categories
Poetry

The Bike Thief

Written by and translated from Korean by Ihlwha Choi

Courtesy: Creative Commons
It disappeared leaving a figure of its own in a picture.

While stealing a glance of me riding a bike, he had an eye on it guessing that it might be a gold-egg laying hen.

He would cut the iron chain of the bike on a piece of cake.

The power of habit pushed away the conscience without any mercy with blind greed.

After kidnapping my child-like bike, he might eat Jajangmyeon like a pig beside the cycle shedding tears.

When I yielded to despair after I had a fit of rage, slowly, I began to pity the thief.

When I said the thief was so pitiful, my seven-year-old daughter looked up to me as if she did not understand me.

 

Eight years have passed.

The bike might have aged and frequently be suffering from various geriatric diseases.

Maybe there are many black spots on its face and its two legs might now frequently collapse.

After hard labor of ten years, it might be covered all over with wounds and be ill in bed under the corner of a fence somewhere.

On the face of the thief, several wrinkles would newly appear here and there.

At midnight, under the starlight, my bike would whisper its heartbroken heart to the neighbour bike.

The neighbour listening to his comrade would also burst out in tears sympathising with his friend's old master.

If I regain the bike, I will forgive him and have supper together.

But I moved to the other village. I revisit very rarely.

When I pass by the old village, one unhappy memory recurs with many other happy ones.

Ihlwha Choi is a South Korean poet. He has published multiple poetry collections, such as Until the Time When Our Love will FlourishThe Colour of TimeHis Song and The Last Rehearsal.

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Categories
Poetry

When Dreams Unite

By Ananya Sarkar

Dear stranger
Did we visit the same dream last night?
The wispy dandelions that floated
Did they make you smile and cry?
And wandering through the trail
Did you find my footprints strange?
But yesterday wasn't the first time...
We've been visiting the same dream
Over and over again
Just never together.
So tonight, let's make a pact
When the darkness blanks you out
And the clouds begin to drift
Wait for me
And together we
Will visit the same dream.

Ananya Sarkar is a creative writer from Kolkata. Her work has been published in various e-zines. She loves to go on long walks, cloud gaze and ponder upon miracles

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Categories
Poetry

No OTP required

By Saranayan BV

Neeladri Road — Bengaluru. Courtesy: Creative Commons
NO OTP REQUIRED

	
The streets are full of Zomato guys,
Amazon, Swiggy courier boys,
These angels of delivery form the axis of weekend bonanza.
Today the pavements lean on kerb railings 
Laden with young men and women
Punching into their mobiles,
The women's skirts this evening shorter than what they normally wear.
The roads are difficult to cross at Neeladri Road,
Even God needs to be careful with the revellers.

How does it matter my pockets are empty and throat dry?
Someone's trying his voice in the rooftop bar,
Using an old mike with cutting-edge karaoke,
Why, I have music to keep me on buddy!

Life is only all it can give, no OTP required.
The range between Glenlivet and palm-toddy isn’t all that big --
I have no hassles with God or OTP.

Saranyan BV is poet and short-story writer, now based out of Bangalore. He came into the realm of literature by mistake, but he loves being there. His works have been published in many Indian and Asian journals. He loves the works of Raymond Carver.

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Categories
Poetry

Colours by Ron Picket

Courtesy: Creative Commons
I LOVE COLOUR

The dawn sun reflects from windows across the valley.
It makes me warm with excitement.
I love colour; I always have.
I love the yellow-green of newly erupted leaves in the sun.
I love the red straws of the bottle brush
I love neutral greys, taupes, and tans -- 
Not so much for themselves,
But for the setting they give to oranges and deep chocolate browns. 
I love the blue-grey of shadows -- for their colour,
And for the shape they give.
I love the ruby red of a laser; the brilliant green of an LED – 
They’re new colours and most of humanity will not recognise them.
I love fluorescent lights for the different way they offer to see things.
I marvel at a field of ranunculus, or lavenders, or tulips.
I love a field of rows of corns or beans or lettuces.
I am delighted by the blues of roofs in Santorini and doors in Egypt.
Of the cerulean blue of the sky.
And the unworldly iridescence of a moth’s wing.
Colour, don’t know what I’d do without it!

Ron Pickett is a retired naval aviator with over 250 combat missions and 500 carrier landings. His 90-plus articles have appeared in numerous publications. He enjoys writing fiction and has published five books: Perfect Crimes – I Got Away with It, Discovering Roots, Getting Published, EMPATHS, and Sixty Odd Short Stories.

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Categories
Poetry

Two Poems by Ranu Uniyal

GRIEF DOES NOT DIE  

it melts 
it runs 
it smells
and then 
it dissolves

grief
I am sorry to say 
is beyond shelf life 
it outlives us all.   

Please don’t be surprised 
if you see it smirking  
through your years  
pitching in moments of 
relentless tapping 
of bristling laughter 
unguarded affection 
and invincible ties.   

Grief asks you not to surrender.  
“I am here to stay,” it taps on your chest 
and keeps you agog at night.  

Grief walks in at odd times 
when you are just settling in 
it steps inside and howls 
like a cyclone Tauktae
bound by seasons of melancholy
it rips you open and as you 
chug along with crushed smiles 
for all to see and you to bear 
eyes, ears, lips, breasts 
the falling of tears 
and the stepping aside 
of strangers in a bus or 
the train compartment, at the 
shopping mall, roadside paan thela*, 
inside the classroom, in the middle of 
everywhere it stalks you, 
unattended, forlorn.   


*A cart selling betel leaves

HARD TO FIND   


I am good
Amma holds her heart 
inside her fist.   

It is a cold Sankranti* for her 
and my only son 
struggling with dysgraphia rattles 
the mobile number of his father.   

A lullaby whines and I see her  
riding in the submissive dark 
with eyes flipping at unknown bridges.   

There is water everywhere 
The sky is full of treasure  
and the earth has returned all her dues.  
To wind she had her smiles to offer,  

wings, furs, tapioca, coconut shells 
syllables, ragas, laughter, and stray wounds 
there is enough to last a lifetime, 

Till date nobody knows where she has stored that gift of fire.  

*Sankranti is a harvest festival

Ranu Uniyal is Professor of English at University of Lucknow.  She is a bi-lingual poet and Chief editor of Rhetorica, a literary journal of Arts. She has published four poetry collections:  Across the Divide (2006), December Poems (2012), The Day We Went Strawberry Picking in Scarborough(2018) and Hindi Poems Saeeda Ke Ghar (2021) and has read her poems at international literature festivals and conferences. She was on a Writer’s Residency in 2019 at Uzbekistan.  She can be reached at ranuuniyalpant@gmail.com.  Website: ranuuniyal.com

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Categories
Poetry

Poetry by Scott Thomas Outlar

WHIRLING PRANA

Instinctual movement
is what holds this orbit together

Wind-blown aura
spontaneous action

Wherever the moment is centered
I will find
and feel you there
like a crazed disciple

and, Lord, we shall dance
as if the truth’s been told



A LOT OF GOOD, OUR THUMBS

The fog of war
has never been thicker
and every angle of attack
casts its own shadow
of propaganda upon the scene

but I give a wide berth
to all they’re selling – 
be it bombs, sanctions,
or nuclear annihilation

I found a forecast in the woods
about the end of days
where seven squirrels told me
why they buried all their nuts 
just for this age

and the sparrow sang
a song that hurt my heart

and the patient worms were licking their chops

but I stared straight toward the sun
praying for violet

promised my palms
and the flesh thereof

because God only knows
how we’ll build this bridge anew


SERENADE OF SIRENS

An ambulance screams
and twenty cars pull over

The emergency vehicle
maneuvers through a congested intersection

speeds onward

Traffic resumes its natural motion
as each car is guided
by a human being
going somewhere
to do human things
in an inhumane world

but everyone bears the brunt of it well
as one crew races to save the day

and all the rest of us
do our best to stay in rhythm

so please just show some mercy
with your next siren serenade


Scott Thomas Outlar is originally from Atlanta, Georgia. He now lives and writes in Frederick, Maryland. He is the author of seven books, and his work has been nominated multiple times for both the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. More about Outlar’s work can be found at 17Numa.com

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