© Divya Adusumilli
Steady, one leaves early morning
leaning on the mute skin of stiff toes,
appearing calmer than blue-morning skies,
pouring spent sighs into wicker baskets,
collecting softer versions of cold skin (picking
dorsal layers of loveless hands)
to get away from—
that on freckled face of yester-night’s darkening outline
one could smell feathers of the day amputated,
one could trade impatience for delirium
with no worrisome faces gathering dust, one
could face pregnant gusts
of spring air (carrying seeds of
monsoonal atrocities) in unbuttoned shirts—
say, of possibly claiming men are made of
images growing like moss on dampened walls;
say, of tracking thoughts back
to the origin of their abandoned pulpits;
say, of trading words for the fleece of moonlit faces.
The maple shadow of his absence blossoms
over the courtyard—how I vainly
wished waters to taste of salt and gravel—branching,
with leaves spread over possessed hands—their
green loathsome with a horror feeding on
bloodshot eyes, corroding sunlight
with the autumn of their fearless reckoning,
dirtying air with little that their breathing exhales!
The maple shadow of his absence blossoms.
One shall, then return to the ghostly cities
of ruin riding on hunchback
horses of fading memory to ascertain what, in the
rubble growth of uncounted years
if there were a street as such, where,
far back as eyes could see
entombed feet would describe the sojourn,
the depths of each turn one would stumble
upon measuring scales and learn
all this distance was, in-fact
a threadbare path leading to our return, from
that morning to the evening before that.
Ashfaq Saraf is based in Delhi, writing from Kashmir. His collection of poems The Harkening was published in 2012. He slaves during most part of the day in Semiconductor Industry as Design Engineer to earn dinner and bills, before proceeding to gnaw at unfinished pages for the rest of the night.
© Divya Adusumilli
The polite fragrance of elaichi
is the dining room visitor perfume
the tangy amchur remembers
the green mango before its demise
the heeng invades all your senses
but the laung reveals its sharpness
only to the tongue
the ajwain is strong and yet prim
like a school mistress.
the dried methi seeds tell you the story
of how the sun dried the green fields
the abrupt saunf bids goodbye to the guests
the boring old jeera screams everydayness
and the tej patta is what everyone uses
but secretly hates
In a North Indian kitchen, I drown myself in Malabar
Shruti Sareen studied in Rajghat Besant School KFI, Varanasi and went on to do English literature from Indraprastha College for Women, University of Delhi. With a keen interest in Indian Poetry in English, her MPhil looks at the depiction of urban spaces whereas she is currently pursuing a PhD on twenty first century feminist poetry and is also teaching in one of the colleges in the university. She has earlier had poetry accepted by The Little Magazine, Muse India, Reading Hour, The Seven Sisters Post, North East Review, The Chay Magazine, Ultra Violet, Kritya, Brown Critique, Earthen Lamp Journal, E-Fiction India, Thumb PrintMagazine, Our Private Literature and Vayavya. She blogs at www.shrutanne-heartstrings.blogspot.com.
Photo : Joydeep Hazarika
Autumn is a season of sown miracles.
A weather-vane, bleeding red.
Starched auburn perfection.
Old spirits of heaven and earth
torching soil and sky, like love.
It is turrets of a blushing earth piercing air;
Plum tinted, glinting like a rooster’s feathery back
celebrating something no one knows anything about
bringing alive the worn-out tyre of the earth.
Nothing prudent about autumn;
it snatches our eyes through open lips.
Nothing passive –
it forces us to listen to something other than ourselves.
Our heartfelt moans sink in it,
mottle the sienna maple leaves with treacherous tales.
The cold battles of our minds steal some warmth
from its melting ochre pyres and flow past time.
Vinita is Mumbai based, award winning writer and poet. Her poems have appeared in Asiancha, Constellations, The Fox Chase Review, Pea River Journal, Open Road Review, Mandala among others. She was nominated for the Best of the Net Awards 2011, awarded a prize in the Wordweavers Contest 2013 and is the author of Words Not Spoken. She has a Masters in Political Science with a gold medal. She is a full time writer.
(For Didibhai, who shares my delusion)
© Divya Adusumilli 2013
In your letters you had written of forests and nymphs;
And the mighty Barak creeping against the muddy
flesh of her lover’s back. You had written of metaphors
blooming like krishnachuras and how you held a simile
in the cusp of your hands. And when for the first time you bled
this earth turned sweaty and limp; we garlanded you with
the fragrant blossoms of poems.Eighty summers ago, my great grandmother crossed the river in a tori;
it had been raining for eight days. At night, when she turned
fish eyed from fever, they had nothing but the boatman’s
toki to wipe her with.
Now this is home; and for a melody, I have the cries of these alien
birds stuck in my head like an uncomfortable piece of shrapnel.
Back home, the betel-nuts are still ripe; her love still festive
as the songs of gypsies. But now, this is home. Like a gangrenous
scar, you have weeded me out like a telltale foetus from your womb.Strangely, my ancestors no longer visit me.
No longer do I dream of that old house in Karimganj,
its coconut trees and snakes.
No longer do I hear grandma wail when my unborn
sibling haunts me in my dreams.
Only when I do think of Maa
does the earth tremble a little.
And it rains
Anurag Rudra is a writer from Assam. His writings and poetry have been published in Muse Inida, Kinaara, Gloom Cupboard, The Glasgow Review and Tehelka Magazine among others. He currently lives in Guwahati and can be reached at email@example.com.