International Poetry

From the Condo’s Rooftop, 7:00 pm

Afar, the city skyline

lies as the crooked lower teeth

of the wide-open and swallowing maw

that is the night sky.

My Urban Certainties

In the underbelly of this city

lies the ancient

and still-active archive

of unanswered prayers,

and the displaced fireflies,

the flitting cigarette glows

of the homeless

at the street corner,

portend conflagration

of the entire metropolis.

Karlo Sevilla of Quezon City, Philippines, is the author of the full-length poetry collection Metro Manila Mammal (Some Publishing, 2018). His poems have been twice nominated for the Best of the Net and appear in Philippines Graphic, Small Orange, Eclectica, Matter, and others.

Voice of a Fetus

I’m the ripening fruit

of desire in you.

 

I know I’m not the sun

that will rise above the mountains

 

of your hope tomorrow but you know

there are hands in the world that wait for me.

 

Life isn’t in the garbage heaps

nor in a pack of stray dogs.

 

My unknown fathers disown me.

So, let me cry a cry of hope

before it recedes into silence.

Sreekanth Kopuri, PhD, is an Indian poet and Professor of English from Machilipatnam, and the Poetry Editor of Kitchen Sink Magazine. His work has been published in Honest Ulsterman, Christian Century, Memoryhouse, and The Rational Creature, to mention a few.

Early morning meetings

My grandmother stands at the door,

wearing a smile that resembles

the pink floral prints of her everyday

saree. ‘Ready?’ she asks,

as the golden sun slants

through the off-white curtain.

I dress in a blue frock with pink frills,

comb my hair, stick a clip

and caper, across the cement courtyard,

in my red polka dotted slip-on shoes.

When we reach the barn,

she nudges the brown door open.

A row of newly hatched chicks

with their marble eyes,

chirp and squeak.

I feel the brush of yellow down

covering their soft bodies

three decades later, when I hear

my grandmother’s voice

over the phone,

first thing in the morning.

Preeth Ganapathy’s writing has appeared in a number of online magazines, including Buddhist Poetry Review, Mothers Always Write and Young Ravens Literary Review. She is also the winner of Wilda Morris’s July 2020 Poetry Challenge.

Motia

When the garden’s most beloved flower

Filtered through sorrow, becomes a blinding

Eye disease, like love rotting to cloying,

Crippling obsession, the vaunted power

Of language to shape and heal life’s lost folds

Cracks like eggshells under bare feet,

Like chopped heads hurled at a tower,

 

Then the dying ones, looking at the wall

Outside the window, at bleak-bricked glory

And stout rectangles, do offer up all

The gratitude left in them, that the sea

With which they wished to mingle their bones holds

No sway here. When moonlit waves meet

Wasting flesh, they know no mercy.

Hibah Shabkhez is a writer, an erratic language-learning enthusiast, and a happily eccentric blogger from Lahore, Pakistan. Her work has previously appeared in Shot Glass Journal, Across the Margin, Panoplyzine, Feral, Literati Magazine, and a number of other literary magazines.

Ovid’s Memory

Featured

At eight in the evening on a Friday, you are trying to find

Rue Saint Louis — a street with yellow colonial buildings

and smell of moth, as if,

history has a moth-smell all over

its body of work

and, it seems, somewhere down the road, a rendezvous

is written like a lone mothball

in a locked wooden chest

where you finally meet an old beginning

or a new end

 

Around the block, you sit at a corner table

in a restaurant

where the wall is glass

and the menu card is only in Tamil. Here you fervently wish

to donate Ovid’s memory of sex and death

to anyone who is interested

in this elegiac foreplay of ailing autumn before

a callous winter

and easily pluck and release frangipani flowers (as if,

they are white and yellow

butterflies with six wings floating on air!)

from a row of trees near the promenade’s edge

 

You know that this place was waiting

for you ever since

your birth and will wait for you even after

your death. You sit and wait endlessly

with a pint of Tiger beer,

a plate of Chettinad chicken and two restless ants

on the table for someone to come

back

Sekhar Banerjee is an author. His works have been published in Indian Literature, The Bitter Oleander, Ink Sweat and Tears, The Tiger Moth Review, and elsewhere. He lives in Kolkata, India.

The Highway Lullaby

Gently, gently spreads the road

Deadly net to draw me in.

Murky clouds idly float,

Trace my way with gloomy grin.

 

Slowly, slowly thoughts die out.

Sounds vanish one by one.

Only engine hums about

Every instant of its run.

 

Bit by bit the senses wane,

Fading into dreamy haze.

Quickly, quickly drowsy brain

Loses way in foggy maze.

 

Swiftly, swiftly death is springing.

From the road’s endless traps.

Startled, I perk up from dreaming.

Death retreats — for now, perhaps.

 

Gently, gently weaves the road

Deadly net to draw me in.

Murky clouds idly gloat

From above with gloomy grin.

Irena Pasvinter divides her time between software engineering, family and writing. Her stories and poems have appeared in many literary magazines. Her poem "Psalm 3.14159..." was nominated for the Pushcart Prize. https://sites.google.com/site/ipscribblings/. She lives in Israel.

Angry river

Angry river climbs the rows of steps, breaks

Bounds while the wild wind blows,

slaps water, makes sounds: lapping, fluid,

disturbing, disturbed sounds.

 

Then it breaks all silence. Whirling waves,

no more tame, eddy around bends, concave.

Sights, no more serene, as the brown new river

reminds of the river old, blue and green, swollen now,

broad and muddy; in no way the same.

 

Ganga it surely is, yet known only by that name.

The course and colour and its summer flow,

All change — it will go on for a month or two.

Rajnish Mishra is a poet, writer, translator ,and blogger born and brought up in Varanasi, India, and now in exile from his city. His work originates at the points of intersection between his psyche and his city. He edits PPP Ezine and writes at https://rajnishmishravns.wordpress.com/.

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