International Poetry الشعر শ্লোক ကဗျာ ליבע ਪਿਆਰ өлүм கவிதை บทกวี ποίηση költészet 詩歌
with editor Vera Ignatowitsch
So say the sons
Broken between spines, people-birds drop like grapes to water worlds,
breathless, blistered and imploding from age.
Fish banter to sound alive.
Horizon is a line of squinting eyes, they think.
What if the dead were not dead enough?
Our fossilized genealogies eye purple flowers from under dirt-tombs,
dewy eyed dreamers in a wide-mouthed mute hole.
What if the dead were not dead enough?
Sons knew no people-birds. In their island of cold winds, dives were
“dreamy at that speed.” And dreams never rowed upstream.
What if the dreams were not dreamy enough?
People-birds carry myths wider than their beaks.
Horizon is a line of fish eyes.
So say the sons.
Kalyani Bindu is an Indian writer and researcher, and author of Two Moviegoers. Her poems and essays have appeared in Better Than Starbucks, Ethos Literary Journal, New Asian Writing, Variant Literature Journal, Madras Courier, Muse India, Modern Literature, the Indian Express, and others.
when a seal quakes water.
Burning a map daily
to bring alive love
confused from absences,
from damp lanterns
urging magic to work
like a script
fireflies on a dense night
stripping pheromones —
First published in Sentinel Literary Quarterly.
Sheikha A. is from Pakistan and United Arab Emirates. Her work appears in a variety of literary venues, both print and online, including several anthologies by different presses. Her poetry has been translated to Spanish, Greek, Arabic and Persian. Visit sheikha82.wordpress.com.
The Fisherman in the Luit
From the nebulous light of a new day
Surfaced a silhouette
Of a sinewy man with a stoop.
His moth-eaten wooden canoe was
Moored on the edge of the white floodplain.
The pale pink cherry blossoms
Ravaged by the cold gale of the gloaming
Lay bruised and broken on the ground.
I had worried
About the repercussions of the dark squall
As I sipped a toddy
Within the warmth of our home.
At the break of dawn
I opened wide the front door
To let our feisty golden retriever out—
I saw the fisherman huddled by his boat
Tarry a tad longer in hope.
In the violent darkness
His catch could have been naught.
But the River was wide, vast, limitless,
With a gamut of riches
To tantalize a thousand palates.
Who knew what magical gift it could spring on him
In the last moment before the auction began
In the ancient fish market in Uzan bazar?
I sighed as his head drooped and
His hunched shoulders slouched further.
A scintilla of a tug on his net
A blessing from the river gods
Made him turn back to the River
Poised like a brown-winged kingfisher
His ebony frame arched
To heave out the trophy.
Nilakshi Borgohain’s poems are mostly on nature as she is an ardent nature lover. Nilakshi writes essays, travelogues, short stories, poetry, and novels. Her website is at www.nilakshiborgohain.org.
Bat swirled around the
attic, and the high walls
of the red prison.
Batman was climbing
Passions always differ.
Tough wall meets the blue sky
& they only changed positions
Now the small attic is comfortable
for the resting bat.
Aneek Chatterjee is from India. He has been published in literary magazines across the globe. He has authored two poetry collections titled Seaside Myopia and Unborn Poems and Yellow Prison. He is alive when poetry happens.
nanu taught me Dutch
and called my nani ‘huis,’
for ‘huis’ means
home in Dutch.
and he told me
home wasn’t a place or person,
but home was a feeling
he felt when she was around.
nani told me,
it has always been so close to her,
since the only gift nanu ever gave her
was a nubuck leather handbag
from N’lands, which today
is in all ruins.
yet every day,
without fail I see her,
caressing those cracks with her fingers
as she clenches that bag to her chest.
her wrinkled hands that once held
nanu’s cold body, that winter noon.
she told me
this blue grained bag
reminds her of that one rainfall
that poured as if
the clouds were burning.
she told me
every rainbow reminds her
of how nanu arched,
trying to hold on
as fluids pooled his lungs.
and nani held him tight
telling him to breathe,
screaming at first,
and then in whispers.
that old empty bus stop
that smelled of tears and lost love,
there they stood,
a helpless old couple,
only nanu lay on the concrete
and nani looked up
a shaking, scared voice begged
to not take her very home away.
nanu pulled her close
for one last time
as his cyanotic lips rasped,
nani told me
empty places and vacant seats
made her want to hide in her closet,
and rainfalls and dark skies
tremble her into a cocoon.
for it was a strange winter noon
that like a grenade,
she saw her man explode
before she could tell him
he was her home too.
Shifali Gulati is a literature student, poet, writer, and editor from India. Her fiction and poetry have been published in magazines such as Delhi Poetry Slam and Everything Literari. She aspires to launch her own literary magazine by the end of 2020.
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