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Contents

Borderless December 2021

Editorial

Towards a Brave New World… Click here to read.

Interviews

In Bridge over Troubled Waters, academic Sanjay Kumar tells us about Pandies, an activist theatre group founded by him that educates, bridging gaps between the divides of University educated and the less fortunate who people slums or terror zones. Click here to read.

In Lessons Old and New from a Stray Japanese Cat, Keith Lyons talks with the author of The Cat with Three Passports, CJ Fentiman who likes the anonymity loaned by resettling in new places & enjoys creating a space for herself away from her birthplace. Click here to read.

Translations

Poetry by Jibananda

Translated from Bengali by Fakrul Alam, two poem by the late Jibananda Das. Click here to read.

Shorter Poems of Akbar Barakzai

Translated from Balochi by Fazal Baloch, five shorter poems by Akbar Barakzai. Click here to read.

Long Continuous Battle

Written and translated from Korean by Ihlwha Choi. Click here to read.

Colour the World

Rangiye Diye Jao, a song by Tagore, transcreated by Ratnottama Sengupta. Click here to read.

Rakhamaninov’s Sonata

A short story by Sherzod Artikov, translated from Uzbeki by Nigora Mukhammad. Click here to read.

Robert Burns & Tagore in Harmony

A transcreation of Tagore’s song, Purano Sei Diner Kotha, based on Robert Burn’s poem associated with new year’s revelries by Mitali Chakravarty. Click here to read.

Poetry

Click on the names to read

Michael R Burch, Dibyajyoti Sarma, Anasuya Bhar, Ryan Quinn Flanagan, Sambhu Nath Banerjee, Michael Brockley, Malachi Edwin Vethamani, George Freek, Mitra Samal, William Miller, Harsimran Kaur, Jay Nicholls, Sangeeta Sharma, Rhys Hughes

Nature’s Musings

In Lewie, the Leaf, Penny Wilkes explores the last vestiges of autumn with her camera and a touching story. Click here to read.

Poets, Poetry & Rhys Hughes

In Trouser Hermits, Rhys Hughes muses over men’s attire and the lack of them. Click here to read.

Musings/ Slices from Life

Kungfu Panda & Matrimony

Alpana gives a glimpse into her own marital experiences through the lockdown. Click here to read.

How I Transitioned from a Desk Worker to a Rugged Trail Hiker at Age Sixty

Meredith Stephens shares the impact of the pandemic on her life choices. Click here to read.

A Tale of Two Houses

P Ravi Shankar travels back to the Kerala of his childhood. Click here to read.

The Voice that Sings Hope through Suffering…

Rakibul Hasan Khan pays a tribute with a twist to a recently deceased Bangladeshi writer, Hasan Azizul Huq. Click here to read.

Canada: A Live Canvas

Sunil Sharma reflects on the colours of the fall in Canada. Click here to read.

To Infinity & Beyond!

Candice Louisa Daquin explores the magic of space travel. Click here to read.

Joy Bangla: Memories of 1971

Ratnottama Sengupta recaptures a time when as a teenager she witnessed a war that was fought to retain a language and culture. Click here to read.

Musings of a Copywriter

In Statue Without Stature, Devraj Singh Kalsi muses on erecting a bust with a dollop of humour. Click here to read.

Stories

Flash Fiction: In Search of a New Home

Marzia Rahman shares a short narrative about refugees. Click here to read.

Floating Free

Lakshmi Kannan travels with a humming bird to her past. Click here to read.

Driving with Murad

Sohana Manzoor unfolds her experiences while learning to drive with a dash of humour. Click here to read.

Dinner with Bo Stamford in Hong Kong

Steve Davidson has a ghostly encounter in Hong Kong. Click here to read.

The Literary Fictionist

In Walls, Sunil Sharma peers into fallacies and divides. Click here to read.

Essays

What’s Novel in a Genre?

Indrasish Banerjee explores why we need a genre in this novel-based essay. Click here to read.

Of Palaces and Restorations

Rupali Gupta Mukherjee visits a restored palace in the heartland of Bengal. Click here to read.

The Incongruity of “Perfect” Poems

Rakibul Hasan Khan discusses Bangladeshi poet Sofiul Azam’s poetry from a post colonial perspective. Click here to read.

The Birth of Bangladesh & the University of Dhaka

Professor Fakrul Alam takes us through the three Partitions of Bengal which ultimately led to the creation of Bangladesh, with focus on the role of Dhaka University. Click here to read.

The Observant Migrant

In When is a mental illness not a mental illness?, Candice Lousia Daquin provides us with a re-look into what is often judged as a psychiatric issue. Click here to read.

Book Excerpts

Somdatta Mandal’s translation of A Bengali Lady in England by Krishnabhabini Das (1885). Click here to read.

Suzanne Kamata’s The Baseball Widow. Click here to read.

Book Reviews

Aruna Chakravarti reviews Devika Khanna Narula’s Beyond the Veil. Click here to read.

Rakhi Dalal reviews Anirudh Kala’s Two and a Half Rivers. Click here to read.

Keith Lyons reviews CJ Fentiman’s The Cat with Three Passports: What a Japanese cat taught me about an old culture and new beginnings. Click here to read.

Bhaskar Parichha reviews BP Pande’s In the Service of Free India –Memoirs of a Civil Servant. Click here to read.

Categories
Poetry

Three poems by Michael Brockley

By Michael Brockley

An Incomplete History of the Colours That Never Became Red

								                                                                      (from Western Motel, Edward Hopper)

Mrs. Hopper waits for me in the Burgundy Room of the Western Motel. She will greet me while sitting on the corner at the foot of the bed, her satchel filled with Rorschach test manuals unpacked beside the front door. Her sleeveless maroon dress remains the same as the one she has worn for our past encounters in America’s automats and hotel lobbies. We have found fleeting havens in a bar beneath a Phillies cigar sign, in a tall house by a railroad track and, once, in a room by the sea. Tears of sweat bead her shoulders and upper arms. She eschews makeup but has dyed her hair from the choices found on the fool’s gold spectrum. As is our custom, we will pull two chairs to the picture window to witness the sunset. I will speculate on the message hidden among the dusty hieroglyphics that zigzag across the passenger door of the green sedan parked outside our room. An Oldsmobile, its presence as constant as a chaperone. As darkness settles in the desert, she will challenge me to reclaim my spirit creature from the ink blots she spreads across her mattress until I am forced to choose between a coyote and a bear. Mrs. Hopper knows the history of the colours that never became red. Magenta. Plum. Purple. Once she kept an atlas of cities named for the shades that are not quite red in her traveling bags. Cherryville and Pink. Before the Oldsmobile’s time. Before the ink blot beasts. She prefers that I call her Jo, but in my unguarded moments, I revert to Mrs. Hopper. Or Josephine. She no longer has any interest in knowing what I am called. 

Lois and Rose (Years after You Fled)

Years after you fled from my Zittenstein monster into the dead-end alley behind Schlichte’s grocery store, I dream of Rose’s rag doll. I’m a hermit in the depths of a pandemic. A disheveled man with a henchman’s beard who hoards kokopeli face masks. As a kid, I played the horrible brother and the bed-wetter son who murdered his mother. What frightened you into that mad dash into a cul de sac? My sour reputation? My horny breath? I skipped out long before our hometown deputy shot his toe off during a mandatory gun-safety convocation at the middle school where your children went after you set aside dolls. But I bought two packs of baseball cards that afternoon. And unwrapped Jimmy Wynn and Leon Wagner. The Toy Cannon and someone’s guardian angel. I lost my baseball cards when my family moved to 7th Street from the country. I had a crush on one of you. That burr-cut freak in a madras shirt who mumbled Rolling Stones lyrics while boys named Stanley and Jerome crooned “Yeah yeah yeah,” to you. Face boys in white chinos and fruit-loop button-downs. Last night at the end of the American plague, one of you drove a pink Mustang past my house. One of you idled at the stop sign while both of you harmonised on Nowhere Man. I was fired from the shambling ogre gig the same day the BMV issued my license. I have until midnight to make up a dream for the wild horses we’ll ride. These days I’m more of a werewolf than a beast of burden.


February Dog Walk with Snow Light

You walk your shih tzu/poodle through the core of the night. All day snow and sleet have dappled the lawn with hibernal shades of white, and, in the darkness, the snow light with its pale mantle guides your dog and you along the paths of the day’s earlier treks. She leaves small scallops in the ghost trails of your past dog walks, stopping by the scents of a pinecone and a windblown wrapper from Taco Bell. Urinates along the fencerow where your neighbours planted tomatoes in June. Around you the snow muffles the short month’s night, much as your deaf dog and your dulled ears cannot hear the leaves and sticks that must crunch beneath your weight. You hear a large dog bark in excitement or alarm across the street but not a dog’s nails clicking on the frozen ground. As the two of you wander past the red maple, you notice for the first time that its roots girdle the maturing tree while your shih tzu/poodle noses the rabbit scat on the south side of the yard. From the rabbit with the lame leg you startle from its shelter behind the compost heap at the end of your morning strolls. Crossing cat and possum tracks, you recognise your passage through the new snow by the way your heels drag through every fourth step. Your dog defecates among the mounds you raised in preparation for a butterfly garden this spring. The shih tzu/poodle takes no notice of the songs you hum, and you cannot hear cars brake at the four-way stop at the corner of your block. You will not hear the songbird’s mating calls of April. It has been another silent winter. The bare silver maple holds a hornet’s nest in its upper branches, but there are no remnants of the swooping presence of robins or finches. Your dog swallows a scattering of rabbit pellets then turns toward the backdoor, eager for her arthritis cookie treat. You have grown familiar with the harbingers of silent springs.

 Michael Brockley is a retired school psychologist who lives in Muncie, Indiana where he is looking for a dog to adopt. His poems have appeared in Pine Cone Review, Parliament Literary Journal, and Visiting Bob: Poems Inspired by the Life and Work of Bob Dylan. Poems are forthcoming in Last Stanza Poetry Journal and Lion and Lilac

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