Categories
Index

Borderless, April, 2021

Greetings from Borderless Journal for all Asian New Years! Click here to read our message along with the video and a translation of a Tagore song written to greet the new year, with lyrics that not only inspire but ask the fledgling to heal mankind from deadly diseases.

Editorial

New Beginnings

A walk through our content and our plans for the future. Click here to read.

Interviews

In Conversation with Arundhathi Subramaniam: An online interview with this year’s Sahitya Akademi winner, Arundhathi Subramaniam. Click here to read.

Sumana Roy & Trees: An online interview with Sumana Roy, a writer and academic. Click here to read.

Poetry

(Click on the names to read)

Arundhathi Subramaniam, Jared Carter, Matthew James Friday, Michael R Burch, Aparna Ajith, Jenny Middleton, Rhys Hughes, Jay Nicholls, Achingliu Kamei, Vatsala Radhakeesoon, Ihlwha Choi, Smitha Vishwanath, Sekhar Banerjee, Sumana Roy

Photo-poetry by Penny Wilkes

Poets, Poetry & Rhys Hughes

With an introduction to Blood and Water by Rebecca Lowe, Rhys Hughes debuts with his column on poets and poetry. Click here to read.

Translations

The Word by Akbar Barakzai

Fazal Baloch translates the eminent Balochi poet, Akbar Barakzai. Click here to read.

Malayalam poetry in Translation

Aditya Shankar translates a poem by Shylan from Malayalam to English. Click here to read.

Tagore Songs in Translation

To commemorate Tagore’s birth anniversary, we translated five of his songs from Bengali to English. Click here to read, listen and savour.

Tagore Translations: One Small Ancient Tale

Rabindranath Tagore’s Ekti Khudro Puraton Golpo (One Small Ancient Tale) from his collection Golpo Guchcho ( literally, a bunch of stories) has been translated by Nishat Atiya. Click here to read.

Musings/Slice of Life

Pohela Boisakh: A Cultural Fiesta

Sohana Manzoor shares the Bengali New Year celebrations in Bangladesh with colourful photographs and interesting history and traditions that mingle beyond the borders. Click here to read.

Gliding along the Silk Route

Ratnottama Sengupta, a well-known senior journalist and film critic lives through her past to make an interesting discovery at the end of recapping about the silk route. Click here to read and find out more.

The Source

Mike Smith drifts into nostalgia about mid-twentieth century while exploring a box of old postcards. What are the stories they tell? Click here to read.

Lost in the Forest

John Drew, a retired professor, cogitates over a tapestry of the Ras lila. Click here to read.

Tied to Technology

Naomi Nair reflects on life infiltrated by technology, by Siri and Alexa with a tinge of humour. Click here to read.

Adventures of a Backpacking Granny

In Inspiriting SiberiaSybil Pretious takes us with her to Lake Baikal and further. Click here to read.

Musings of a Copywriter

In Tributes & AttributesDevraj Singh Kalsi pays tribute to his late mother. Click here to read.

Essays

Reflecting the Madness and Chaos Within

Over 150 Authors and Artists from five continents have written on mental illness in an anthology called Through the Looking Glass. Candice Louisa Daquin, a psychotherapist and writer and editor, tells us why this is important for healing. Click here to read.

At Home in the World: Tagore, Gandhi and the Quest for Alternative Masculinities

Meenakshi Malhotra explores the role of masculinity in Nationalism prescribed by Tagore, his niece Sarala Debi, Gandhi and Colonials. Click here to read.

A Tale of Devotion and Sacrifice as Opposed to Jealousy and Tyranny

Sohana Manzoor explores the social relevance of a dance drama by Tagore, Natir puja. We carry this to commemorate Tagore’s birth anniversary. Click here to read

Photo Essay: In the Midst of Colours

Nishi Pulugurtha explores the campus of a famed university with her camera and words and shares with us her experiences. Click here to read.

Bhaskar’s Corner

Oh, That lovely Title: Politics

A short piece by Bhaskar Parichha that makes for a witty comment on the forthcoming Indian elections. Click here to read.

Stories

Pothos

Rakhi Pande gives us a story about a woman and her inner journey embroiled in the vines of money plant. Click here to read.

Elusive

A sensitive short story by Sohana Manzoor that makes one wonder if neglect and lack of love can be termed as an abuse? Click here to read

Ghumi Stories: Grandfather & the Rickshaw

Nabanita Sengupta takes us on an adventure on the rickshaw with Raya’s grandfather. Click here to read

Flash Fiction: The Husband on the Roof

Carl Scharwath gives us a story with a strange twist. Click here to read

Flash Fiction: Flight of the Falcon

Livneet Shergill gives us a story in empathy with man and nature. Click here to read

The Literary Fictionist

A playlet by Sunil Sharma set in Badaun, The Dryad and I: A Confession and a Forecast, is a short fiction about trees and humans. Click here to read.

Book reviews

Bhaskar Parichha reviews Reconciling Differences by Rudolf C Heredia, a book that explores hate and violence. Click here to read.

Nivedita Sen reviews Nomad’s Land by Paro Anand, a fiction set among migrant children of a culture borne of displaced Rohingyas, Syrian refugees, Tibetans and more. Click here to read

Candice Louisa Daquin reviews The First Cell and the Human Costs of Pursuing Cancer to the last by Azra Raza. Click here to read.

Book Excerpt

Excerpted from Raising a Humanist: Conscious Parenting in an Increasingly Fragmented World by Manisha Pathak-Shelat and Kiran Vinod Bhatia, the focus is on media and its impact. Click here to read.

Sara’s Selection, April 2021

A selection of young person’s writings from Bookosmia. Click here to read.

Categories
Poetry

Malayalam Poetry in Translation

Aditya Shankar translates a poem by Shylan

Shylan
Silencer

The silencer disengages
From the motorbike on the ascent.

Onward, 
The routes resonate multi-fold.

After stripping off 
The celebrated name 
That stuck by chance, 
May be my resonance too
Would turn glorious. 

Shylan (b.1975) is a poet and film critic. His poetry collections include Vettaikkaran, Nishkasithante Easter, Ottakappakshi, Thamraparni, and Deja Vu.

Aditya Shankar is an Indian poet, flash fiction author, and translator. His work has appeared in international journals and anthologies of repute and translated into Malayalam and Arabic. Books: After Seeing (2006), Party Poopers (2014), and XXL (Dhauli Books, 2018). He lives in Bangalore, India.

.

PLEASE NOTE: ARTICLES CAN ONLY BE REPRODUCED IN OTHER SITES WITH DUE ACKNOWLEDGEMENT TO BORDERLESS JOURNAL

Categories
World Poetry Day, 2021

Celebrating Poetry without Borders

“And as imagination bodies forth
The forms of things unknown, the poet’s pen
Turns them to shapes and gives to airy nothing
A local habitation and a name”

(William Shakespeare, A Midsummer's Night's Dream,1596)

Like clouds float, words waft through currents of ideas and take shapes and forms. We celebrate poetry across the world, across space and time, with the greatest and the new… our homage in words to the past, present and future…

A paean to the skies, the Earth and empathy with nature sets the tone for this poetic treat. I offer you a translation/transcreation of a Tagore song, from the original lyrics penned by the maestro in Bengali…

The Star-Studded Sky  by Rabindranath Tagore

( A translation/transcreation of Akash Bhora, Shurjo Tara, 1924)

The sky replete with sun and stars, the Earth brimming with life,
In the midst of this universe, I have found my abode.
Spellbound by the plenitude, songs awaken in my being. 

The infinite, eternal waves that create planetary tides 
Resonate through the blood coursing in my veins.

As I walk to the woods, I step on the grass. 
Heady perfumes of flowers startle me into a rhapsody.
Benefactions of joy anoint the universe.

I have listened, I have watched, I have poured my life into the Earth.
Through knowing, I have sought the unknown. 
Spellbound by the plenitude, songs awaken in my being. 

(Translated/transcreated by Mitali Chakravarty on behalf of Borderless Journal,2021)

Poetry connects with eternal human emotions over space and time with snippets from old and verses from new.

Poets continue to draw from nature to express and emote. In empathy with the forces that swirl around us are poems written by moderns, like Jared Carter.

 What is that calling on the wind
           that never seems a moment still?
 That moves in darkness like a hand
           of many fingers taken chill?

(Excerpted from Visitant by Jared Carter)

Click here to read Jared Carter’s Visitant and more poems.

Tagore wrote and painted. Here we have a poem about a painting done by the poet-artist herself, Vatsala Radhakeesoon.

An endless expanse swirls
over the tropical island.
At the foot of the Meditative Mountain,
birds, bees and butterflies wonder --
who is this mystic blue?

(Excerpted from Swirling Blues by Vatsala Radhakeesoon)

Click here to read Swirling Blues by Vatsala Radhakeesoon and gaze at the painting.

Separated by oceans and decades, were poets empathetic?

I CELEBRATE myself, and sing myself,
And what I assume you shall assume,
For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you...

The smoke of my own breath,...

My respiration and inspiration, the beating of my heart, the passing of blood and air through my lungs,
The sniff of green leaves and dry leaves, and of the shore and 
dark-color'd sea-rocks, and of hay in the barn,
The sound of the belch'd words of my voice loos'd to the eddies of the wind,
A few light kisses, a few embraces, a reaching around of arms,
The play of shine and shade on the trees as the supple boughs wag,
The delight alone or in the rush of the streets, or along the fields and hill-sides,
The feeling of health, the full-noon trill, the song of me rising from bed and meeting the sun.

(Excerpted from Song of Myself, Walt Whitman, 1881)

And despite exuberance of poets and their love of nature, came wars from across continents. Here are some of the responses of poets from all over the world to war and the pain it brings…

A soldier and a poet, Bijan Najdi (1941-1997) wrote in Persian, he captured the loss and the pain generated by war on children for us. This has been translated by Davood Jalili for Borderless

The world does not become bitter with the sword.

It does not become bitter with shooting, cries and fists.

The bitterness of the world

Is not the deer’s necks

And leopard’s tooth

And the death of a fish...

(Excerpted from Our Children by Bijan Najdi)

Click here to read Our Children by Bijan Najdi

Maybe children have a special place in poets’ hearts. Michael R Burch from across the Pacific writes of their longings too…

I, too, have a dream …

that one day Jews and Christians

will see me as I am:

a small child, lonely and afraid,

staring down the barrels of their big bazookas,

(Excerpted from I, too have a dream by Michael R Burch)

Click here to read Dreams of Children by Michael R Burch and more by him.

From Nepal, Manjul Miteri travelled to Japan to design a giant Buddha. While visiting the Hiroshima museum, he responded to the exhibits of the 1945 nuclear blast, a bombardment that ended not just the war, but many lives, many hopes and dreams… It heralded the passing of an era. Miteri’s poem was translated by Hem Biswakarma for us from Nepali.

Orimen*!
Oh, Orimen!
Mouthful of your Tiffin
Snatched by the ‘Little Boy’*!
The Tiffin box, adorned with flowers,
Scattered and spoilt,
Blown out brutally.

(Excerpted from Oh Orimen! by Manjul Miteri)

Click here to read Majul Miteri’s Oh Orimen!

Continuing on the theme of war, what can war weapons not do? Karunakaran has written a seemingly small poem about warplanes in Malayalam that embraces the nuclear holocaust and more. The words are few but they say much… It has been translated by Aditya Shankar for us.

No warplane 
has ever flown like a bird,
has lost way like a bird,
has halted mid-flight reminiscing a bygone aroma.

(Excerpted from No Warplane Has Ever Flown Like A Bird by Karunakaran)

Click here to read No Warplane Has Ever Flown Like A Bird by Karunakaran.

From wars and acquisition of wealth, grew the greed for immortality.

Aditya Shankar writes rebelling against man’s greed, greed that also leads to war.

Through the tube,

the world poured into that room

with news of war and blood.

(Excerpted from Human Immortality Project  by Aditya Shankar)

Click here to read Human Immortality Project by Aditya Shankar.

Continuing the dialogue on discrepancies is a poem written by a visiting professor from Korea. Ihlwha Choi was in Santiniketan and just like Tagore found poetry in Krishnokoli, he found poetry in Nandini…

There was Nandini’s small shop along with fruits' stalls and the bike shop.

Cows passing by would thrust their heads suddenly

Into the shop thatched with bamboo stems....

...There lived a flower-like little girl selling chai near the old house of Poet R. Tagore.

(Excerpted from Nandini by Ihlwha Choi)

Click here to read Nandini by Ihlwha Choi

Poetry is about moods — happiness and sadness, laughter and tears.

Reflecting on multiple themes that mankind jubilates and weeps about is the poetry of John Grey, camping out in Australian outbacks, revelling in the stars and yet empathising with hunger… A few lines from his poem hunger.

Hunger can sing soft but compelling

in the voice of the one who last

provided you with three meals a day.

That’s years ago now.

Hunger has no memory

but it assumes that you do.

(Excerpted from Hunger by John Grey)

Click here to read Camping out, Hunger and more … by John Grey

And now we introduce some laughter. A story-poem by Rhys Hughes, about an alien who likes to be tickled…

“Oh, tickle me under the chin,
   the chin,
 please tickle me
 under the chin.
 It might seem quite fickle
 or even a sin
 to make this request,
 to ask such a thing,
 but I must confess
 that to ease my distress
 there’s nothing so fine
    as a tickle.
 So please tickle me 
 under the chin,
    the chin.
 Tickle me under the chin.” 

(Excerpted from The Tickle Imp by Rhys Hughes)

Click here to read The Tickle Imp by Rhys Hughes

And here is a poem by Tamoha Siddiqui, jubilating the borderless world of friendship.

Yesterday I heard the sound of colourful feet

to Indonesian beats, in the middle of Michigan:

white, black, brown, all were one

pitter-patter paces in a conference hall.

(Excerpted from Birth of an Ally by Tamoha Siddiqui)

Click here to read Tamoha Siddiqui’s Birth of an Ally

We share with you now from the most unusual poetry we have on our site, from a book called Corybantic Fulgours. If you want to know what it means, click here to check it out!

Concluding our oeuvre to jubilate a world without borders, here are lines from a poet who probably has influenced and united majority of writers across the world…another truly universal voice.

Time present and time past
Are both perhaps present in time future,
And time future contained in time past.
If all time is eternally present
All time is unredeemable.
What might have been is an abstraction
Remaining a perpetual possibility
Only in a world of speculation.
What might have been and what has been
Point to one end, which is always present.
...
The dance along the artery
The circulation of the lymph
Are figured in the drift of stars
Ascend to summer in the tree
We move above the moving tree
In light upon the figured leaf
And hear upon the sodden floor
Below, the boarhound and the boar
Pursue their pattern as before
But reconciled among the stars.

Excerpted from TS Eliot's Four Quartets, Burnt Norton(1936)

The poetry of the historic greats are all woven by eternal threads that transcend man made boundaries. They see themselves almost as an extension of the Earth we live. Tagore, Whitman and Eliot write of the universe coursing through their veins. Shakespeare gives the ultimate statement when he brings in the play between imagination and nature to lift the mundane out of the ordinary. With inspiration from all these, may we move into a sphere, where poetry not only moves but also generates visions for a more wholistic and inclusive future.

.

PLEASE NOTE: ARTICLES CAN ONLY BE REPRODUCED IN OTHER SITES WITH DUE ACKNOWLEDGEMENT TO BORDERLESS JOURNAL

Categories
Poetry

Poetry in Translation

Aditya Shankar translates poetry by Krispin Joseph

Sleep

A hundred men
Unlikely to ever rise
Stands guard at the river bank
Though those buoyant feet
Would never let them float away.
The feet of the guard outlives
The primitive tribes of the river
And retreats, unsure if it is
The breast or the belly
That grazes their fingers.
To those who return from
The river, I need to enquire
About the taste of the girl
Who died yesterday.

(Urakkam, translated from Malayalam by Aditya Shankar)

Bio: Krispin is a poet, media person, editor and organizer. He has two poetry anthologies to his credit: La(R)va and Sharapova. He was the editor of an anthology of love poems for DC Books, Kerala. He has been part of the editorial team (both as team leader and sub editor) for the International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK) and the International Documentary and short Film Festival of Kerala (IDSFFK).

Aditya Shankar is an Indian poet, flash fiction author, and translator. His work has appeared in international journals and anthologies of repute and translated into Malayalam and Arabic. Books: After Seeing (2006), Party Poopers (2014), and XXL (Dhauli Books, 2018). He lives in Bangalore, India.

.

PLEASE NOTE: ARTICLES CAN ONLY BE REPRODUCED IN OTHER SITES WITH DUE ACKNOWLEDGEMENT TO BORDERLESS JOURNAL

Categories
Poetry

Poetry in Translation

Aditya Shankar translates Sandhya NP‘s poetry from Malyalam to English

Sandhya NP
 
 
 

 Photograph
  
 This photograph
 Like the solitary bogie 
 That was arrested to a halt
 Even as the rest of the train 
 Sped past.
  
 (Photo, translated from Malayalam by Aditya Shankar)
  
 Solitary
  
 Would the yolk of the egg 
 Be wondering
 If it is alone in this world?
  
 Even if it assumes so,
 Would it consider 
 Posing that query to anyone?
  
 Once the egg hatches,
 It would know by default—
 Even the 'I' 
 Is absent in this world.
  
 (Otta, translated from Malayalam by Aditya Shankar)
  
 Light at the Bottom of the Pond
  
 The sun gleams on me
 just as it does 
 At the bottom of the pond.
  
 I will wipe it off with a cloth
 And go to bed.
  
 (Kulathinadiyile Velicham, translated from Malayalam by Aditya Shankar)

Sandhya N.P (b.1981) completed her education in Brennen College, Thalassery. Her poetry collection Svasikkunna Shabdam Mathram was published by Current Books, Thrissur.

.

Aditya Shankar is an Indian poet, flash fiction author, and translator. His work has appeared in international journals and anthologies of repute and translated into Malayalam and Arabic. Books: After Seeing (2006), Party Poopers (2014), and XXL (Dhauli Books, 2018). He lives in Bangalore, India.

.

PLEASE NOTE: ARTICLES CAN ONLY BE REPRODUCED IN OTHER SITES WITH DUE ACKNOWLEDGEMENT TO BORDERLESS JOURNAL

Categories
Poetry

Human Immortality Project

By Aditya Shankar

Human Immortality Project (HIP)

Never pictured itself

beneath the dark skin of a Dalit,

sipping tea from a stained glass

that hung outside the restaurant.

As a microcosm of the conventional eye,

he stood there, alone, ignored,

separated from the gala inside.

The stray cat that dashed over the wall

won the loving glance of the lady.

Through the tube,

the world poured into that room

with news of war and blood.

A brand-new car on the street

kept the young man hooked.

A bagatelle heightened the

emptiness of paper light happiness.

Yet the rejoicing world

failed to notice that deserted man

like the far side of the moon.

The rope to which

his mug was tethered

felt like the chains of a slave.

His, a sip of survival, a sip bereft of taste.

The techno futurism of HIP saw

only those in the gala: maybe,

shame wasn’t worth prolonging.

.

Aditya Shankar is an Indian poet, flash fiction author, and translator. His work has appeared in international journals and anthologies of repute and translated into Malayalam and Arabic. Books: After Seeing (2006), Party Poopers (2014), and XXL (Dhauli Books, 2018). He lives in Bangalore, India.

.

PLEASE NOTE: ARTICLES CAN ONLY BE REPRODUCED IN OTHER SITES WITH DUE ACKNOWLEDGEMENT TO BORDERLESS JOURNAL

Categories
Humour Poetry

Anti-Ode to Poems that Begin with O

By Aditya Shankar

If you do not know poetry beyond high school, all poems are odes. They go O…! Haven’t read any contemporary poetry? Haven’t seen poetry recitals except on primetime tv? All poems still go O…! Do not share your new poem in a circle of school friends or relatives. Even if you do, hear their comment ‘Wow! Awesome! Lovely!’ as ‘grow up to an ode that goes O…’. The retired revolutionary poet glances through your poem and says: not even worth the Z-division league of O Germany, Pale Mother. Not even a shadow of O, We are the Outcasts, reminds the senior postmodern poet. Poems titled Orange, Omelette, Oxygen aren’t quite the O poems, declares the lyric poet who reads O Blush Not So! twice daily. A tired and old O Do Not Love Too Long and his pal O Western Wind confess to a friendly new prose poem: we long to idle in our graves. But alas! Here they are, in ill-fitting attire of teleported primitives, holding centre stage in a bandwagon that fades around the corner. As good as a failed interworking attempt between H.323 and SIP or a brand-new showroom of CRT televisions. A retro hackathon in Fortran, an MMO Pacman event or the B side of an old VHS tape. The street is a river, a carnival of clichés and bygones.

Note:

O Germany, Pale Mother by Bertolt Brecht/O, We are the Outcasts by Charles Bukowski/O Blush Not So! by John Keats/O Do Not Love Too Long by W.B. Yeats/O Captain! My Captain! by Walt Whitman

.

Aditya Shankar is a Pushcart and Best of the Net nominated Indian poet, flash fiction author, and translator. His work has appeared in international journals and anthologies of repute and translated into Malayalam and Arabic. Books: After Seeing (2006), Party Poopers (2014), and XXL (Dhauli Books, 2018). He lives in Bangalore, India.

.

PLEASE NOTE: ARTICLES CAN ONLY BE REPRODUCED IN OTHER SITES WITH DUE ACKNOWLEDGEMENT TO BORDERLESS JOURNAL. 

Categories
Poetry

No Warplane Has Ever Flown Like A Bird

(Translation of Karunakaran‘s Pakshi Pole Parannittilla Oru Yuddhavimanavum by Aditya Shankar)

Karunakaran
No Warplane Has Ever Flown Like A Bird

No warplane 
has ever flown like a bird,
has lost way like a bird,
has halted mid-flight reminiscing a bygone aroma.

A warplane
	has flown evoking a rage,
	beside a war-goddess-shaped cloud
	grunting in the memory of a rage, like an animal.

Not that,
a warplane has ever flown like a bird.

Karunakaran is a novelist, poet and story writer hailing from Pattambi, Kerala. Published works: Makarathil Paranjath(Stories, Pathabedham), Kochiyile Nalla Sthree(Stories, Sign Books), Paayakkappal (Stories, DC Books), Ekanthathayekkurich Paranj Kettittalle Ulloo (Stories, DC Books), Athikupithanaaya Kuttanveshakanum Mattu Kadhakalum (Stories, DC Books), Parasyajeevitham (Novella, DC Books), Bicycle Thief (Novel, Mathrubhumi Books), Yuddhakalathe Nunakalum Marakkombile Kaakkayum (Novel, DC Books), Yuvaavayirunna Onpathu Varsham (DC Books), Yakshiyum Cycle Yathrakkaranum (Poems, Green Books), Udal Enna Moham (Essays, Logos Books.

Aditya Shankar is a Pushcart and Best of the Net nominated Indian poet, flash fiction author, and translator. His work has appeared in international journals and anthologies of repute and translated into Malayalam and Arabic. Books: After Seeing (2006), Party Poopers (2014), and XXL (Dhauli Books, 2018). He lives in Bangalore, India.

.

PLEASE NOTE: ARTICLES CAN ONLY BE REPRODUCED IN OTHER SITES WITH DUE ACKNOWLEDGEMENT TO BORDERLESS JOURNAL. 

Categories
Poetry

The Girl Who Went Fishing

By Biju Kanhangad

(Translated by Aditya Shankar)

Beneath the blue waterline,

father’s catch basks in the sunlight: a fish.

The gray-black of crows shroud the pale oar.

Reddish crabs reach the shore, transcending

the festered basket discarded by mom.

In the houseboat, the yellow flowers on

the worn rouka* are still wet.

Unable to submerge the shark, remnants of

the blue spreads into the sky, bawls.

*Bodice in Malayalam, can also be used to see connections

Biju Kanhangad is a poet, painter and post graduation in Malayalam literature. In 2005, he represented Malayalam in the national poetry seminar conducted by Sahitya Akademi. He was awarded the Mahakavi P poetry prize (2013), Moodadi Damodaran prize (2015), Joseph Mundassery Memorial Award (2017), Thamarathoni Kavita prize (2020) and other awards of repute. Thottumumbu ManjayilayoKanhangdu, Azhichukettu, June, Ucha Mazhayil, Vellimoonga, Puliyude Bhagathaanu Njanippozhullathu, Ullanakkangal, Ochayil Ninnulla Akalam, Mazhayude Udyanathil are his anthologies of poems. Essays: Vaakinte Vazhiyum Velichavum, Kavitha Mattoru Bhashayaanu. His poems have been translated into English, Hindi, Kannada, and Tulu.   

Aditya Shankar is a Pushcart and Best of the Net nominated Indian poet, flash fiction author, and translator. His work has appeared in international journals and anthologies of repute and translated into Malayalam and Arabic. Books: After Seeing (2006), Party Poopers (2014), and XXL (Dhauli Books, 2018). He lives in Bangalore, India.

Categories
Poetry

Katsaridaphobia/Gospel According to Cockroaches

By Aditya Shankar

1

And the insect haters, repellent sprayers, broom

wielders will eventually reside beneath soil:

the second life. The hand that swats thy loved

ones will lie defenseless. Time of cockroaches

and oppressed shall arrive.

2

Soil will erode like the layers of sandwich. The

one who seeks will traverse its depth. The one

who licks the world shall know and conquer.

3

Our itchy legs shall crawl and penetrate the fire

in the flesh and the temptation of the wood coffin.

4

He who comes digging for forefathers and lost

cities shall tremble at our conquest and return to

house of darkness, referred hereafter as hell.

5

Punish them with your touch. Tease them

with your shadow. Crawl in their nightmares.

Appear as rarely as God among sinners.

6

And when you take an avatar, infest his cup-

board and attic with the thousand children you

beget. Fear shall have no face.

7

The army of your lineage shall be the

messenger of colour. Fire, soil, and life beneath

shall have your shade.

8

Eat the sleep of men and women from whose

country, the messenger never returns.

9

Bore holes in their books and clothes. Plough their

notions until they turn into roads that lead nowhere.

Aditya Shankar is a Pushcart and Best of the Net nominated Indian poet, flash fiction author, and translator. His work has appeared in international journals and anthologies of repute and translated into Malayalam and Arabic. Books: After Seeing (2006), Party Poopers (2014), and XXL (Dhauli Books, 2018). He lives in Bangalore, India.