International Poetry الشعر শ্লোক ကဗျာ ליבע ਪਿਆਰ өлүм கவிதை บทกวี ποίηση költészet 詩歌

with editor Vera Ignatowitsch

Green Thumb

 

My mother’s green thumb shows a gash

and the blood blooms into a complex rose

that always, as a posy, vexes me.

 

That last flower — we call it. The garden

grows nothing under her caring —

not even summer, rain or spring.

 

Come autumn I and Tim gather others' leaves

to spread them in pattern zen across the garden —

surreptitiously — to see the startled look on my mother,

 

but she only stares at her thumb

as if there a black hole clusters into a raceme,

and it inhales our beings.

 

 

Kushal Poddar is from Kolkata, India. He has authored The Circus Came To My Island, Understanding The Neighborhood, Place For Your Ghost Animals, Scratches Within, Eternity Restoration Project—Selected and New Poems, and Herding My Thoughts To The Slaughterhouse—A Prequel.

Notes on Rainy Days

 

I

A raindrop hangs precariously at

The tip of a leaf,

Savouring its final moments

In a crystal sphere.

 

II

Inhale petrichor

Exhale caffeinated breath

 

III

Rain like silk strands falling

Through the lips of the earth,

Weaving life’s intricate tapestries

In her subterranean chambers.

 

IV

The oriental magpie robin perches

On a black taut necklace

Strung with faux pearls and

Begins a jaunty medley.

 

V

The afternoon rain’s

a wrathful outpouring,

The roof suffers lashings

and wails buckets.

Post-trauma therapy

Doesn’t come cheap.

 

First published in whimperbang.

 

Ellen Chia lives in Thailand and enjoys going on solitary walks in woodlands and along beaches where nature's treasure trove impels her to document her findings and impressions using the language of poetry.

The Dance of the Dragon

 

My shivering body begs for extra clothing

As the cold morning breeze freezes my already numb fingers

Curtailing my feeble senses in every possible way;

It is the month of January, the middle of the winter.

But suddenly the environment begins to heat up

With drums being played and cheers expressed

As, walking down the street, a fearsome mythical beast

Sends the children into hiding behind their caring parents,

The enthusiastic spectators standing with glee and respect,

With a thousand legs striding, moving in sync

As if they belong to a single humungous being,

Swirling around vigorously in circles and ellipses

Like the rising, rolling waves of the turbulent sea,

Spitting fire all around not out of its ghastly mouth

But through its fiery eyes — bulging, burning with rage

Possessing a stare retained for over a thousand years

And expressed every time when awakened, without fail.

An auspicious, protective creature, a dreaded beast

Provides the gathered onlookers with a visual feast.

When the mighty dragon, after a long eventful day

Goes back majestically to its usual resting place
The constant beats of the drums follow, refusing to cease.

 

Author’s note: Various cultures around the world celebrate humanity in all their brilliant colors and magnificence. This poem describes the Dragon Dance of the Chinese performed during their New Year celebration.

 

Balakrishnan VS writes from Tamil Nadu, India. He is 28 years old and currently employed in a bank as a clerk. He was fond of writing poems right from his school days and writes in both English and his mother tongue Tamil.

A Picnic! Bloodstained!

 

The mellow artisan goes without naming.

When someone tells me to bow down my head

I desire to commit suicide

And yet I am incapable of doing it

Since every day I pick up two or more fires.

(Of course, for the rest of the day I sleep.)

Yet when someone mentions the bloodstained picnic

I remember the urinal

And I urinate.

No doubt I do it

Where the mellow words meet.

 

 

Partha Sarker writes poems to protest against social injustice and crimes against nature and does not know what to do but dreams of revolution, of course in vain.

Number of ending

 

1995 . . . massacre of more than . . .

numbers, numbers, numbers — 8,373?

was that the final count?

more and more deaths, 200, 300, 400 . . . 8,373

but one, oh one is more important

 

the son I lost in the Srebrenica massacre

his skin dark and shiny

my baby, my son! destroyed in the massacre

of 8,373! yes, they said that was how many

 

I stared down from the hill of my town — Srebrenica —

at his killer, yes my baby son’s killer

in his uniform, black rat in black-green jacket

at men and boys surrounded by soldiers

 

then closed my eyes . . . It’s a dream?

A dream of a game with soldiers?

The smoke of guns was everywhere

and my boy, my baby boy fell in the mud

with a piece of bread in his hand

 

his eyes gazing blankly at the sky . . .

his body — fresh bread too — inert

a candle after its last flicker

my precious boy still smelled of milk

 

200 deaths, 300 deaths, 400 . . . 8,373 . . .

yes that was the number at the end

I remember so well his first steps

so uncertain, like a newborn lamb’s

 

how I followed him, caught up

then stopped near the grass

when he started to cry and turned his face to me

and held out his plump arms

 

I held out my arms too

so well I remember, yes, I remember so well

his voice, clear like a chime’s

 

Now he is dead . . . he is just a number

one among 8,373, but oh not to me

 

the sky was so dark . . . the air so full of groans

full of moans

of those dying all around him, boys and men.

 

8,373 deaths — their killers, black rats.

the crime they committed?

 

we are different, we have dark hair,

we raise a prayer at sunrise,

we are different, different, different

we are Muslim, with Muslim hands

Muslim minds, Muslim hearts —

 

because of these we have to die!

My baby, my boy — a Muslim boy

with dark curls, and dark skin

but warm and white soul —

snuffed like a candle because he was Muslim

 

My heart, oh poor — poor woman!

My breast, I remember the milk in my breast

and my boy, my baby, sucking his first drops of life

Oh no no no

 

My eyes are full of pain

tears blind me to everything

Oh my sweet baby boy —

 

I’m trying to eat a piece of bread

the taste is dry as death

I am only recalling a number

number 8,373 — and bread,

bread turned hard as stone by rats.

 

Lucia Daramus is a British–Romanian writer who lives in the UK, a classicist, and a cultural journalist. She has been published in some magazines in Romania, France, Germany, England, Canada, etc. She has published poetry, essays, short stories, plays, reviews, novels, and more.

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