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

with editor Vera Ignatowitsch

Noir Jokes

 

Late night subpoenas the tumults into inaudibility;

all the vehicles run on hush;

silence walks the invisibles on a tight leash;

the district belongs to the cicadas

and to the zephyr that puffs our beings

as if every time we speak the tips of our heads

burn bright, rhythmic, corrosive, carcinogenic.

No late night conversation between us can

lead to any peace. Where does the mist hide the pub?

Where do you keep your scimitar?

Two words leave for a joke, only one returns.

Knock. Knock. Which one are you?

 

 

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.

Body of Love Postmortem

 

Our body of love, postmortem,

is roadkill in putrefying penance,

eyes alive in a flashy dream,

limbs in a phantom sway,

memories meandering like veins to fingertips

like trees sailing to purple flowers

in a feverish lunge, dying all the same

in a disemboweling mouth, spic and span

like a morning, square and whole,

sparing the intangible,

shards of broken tenderness,

skeletal in its charm, this body of love.

 

 

Kalyani Bindu is an Indian writer, researcher, and author of the poetry collection, Two Moviegoers. Her poems and essays have appeared in Variant Literature Journal, Active Muse, Madras Courier, Muse India, Ethos Literary Journal, Modern Literature, Indian Express, and others.

we are Aisha, Katherine, Elizabeth, and Rachel

 

we are all washing the dishes

cleaning the floor

but we still have big wishes

then our whisper turns into a roar!

we are all that girl who put her dream

as a dear flower into her book

we all the seekers who want to have meaning

we are the breakers of the same rock!

we are all washing the dishes

stitching the clothes

but we have big wishes

trying to find our “because”

We are Aisha, Katherine, Elizabeth, Rachel, and Lili!

We are those described by you as dangerous creatures, as silly!

pick your weapon as a fighter

sign her up on all the walls

say: I am a woman /I have to enter the massive identity wars!

We are all showering under the tears of our grandmothers.

We are told by authorities:

sisters — not equal brothers!

you have to wait at the back yard

until the men have ended their game

you have to celebrate your loss

without protest/with no need to blame.

We all cutting carrots with a smiley-dreamy face

We all heard scary rumors about the future of our race

but, we still hope for the grace

yes, we still hope for the grace

 

 

Amirah Al Wassif is a freelance writer. She has written articles, novels, short stories, poems, and songs. Five of her books were written in Arabic, and many of her English works have been published in various cultural magazines.

The world is sneezing

 

The world is sneezing in front of a virus

that has bound the earth and shakes it like a light toy.

 

People are panting like dogs after a long and aimless journey.

Everyone panting, and behind walls they compose a symphony of fear.

 

Ahead of us, more scary walls and glum news.

The planet — like a trembling heart — is shuttered

and is listening to lightning.

 

Tonight, the moon was beautiful but in the light of her face

I saw the troubled eyes of a weary world.

 

The day was sunny too.

I was sitting in the back seat of a car

snaking through silence and fear

and I saw nature breathing without humans.

 

The clockwise are slow now.

Girls take their time getting out of their pajamas.

Women say their rosaries for new time.

And men like me are terrified in front of the black glass.

 

(Also terrified are those who sit in huge castles and on high thrones.)

 

Beyond is silence like a raging ocean

where ships drown with longing —

and prisoners see Eden burning.

 

The clockwise move slowly now.

The news spreads fear faster than the virus.

One counts the hours of life ahead

and sees the final destination — death.

Younger ones pant like tired dogs

and put out cigarettes in their burning hands.

Children fill sacks with toys

and, confused, wait for a new day.

 

But there are also those who don’t need clocks and calendars:

that old man sitting under his beloved tree,

doctors who fight to save more lives.

Groups of reporters roam, like the wind that warns of worsening

     weather.

Bad news is growing they say

because some people have closed their windows on good news.

 

The media is full of sadnesses

and troubling reports

overflowing with viruses and microbes.

 

Humanity sneezes anxiously

in this long night of frightening darkness.

I sit in the back seat and watch the evil hearted sneeze

but also hear kindhearted voices confessing on the altar of forgiveness.

 

But when the cathedral bells ring

everyone turns their eyes to heaven.

They sneeze again and pant,

and pray that tomorrow the world will get better

and celebrate a great mass of love.

 

 

Ndue Ukaj is an Albanian writer and literary critic.  His poems have been translated into many languages. His book Godo is not coming won the national award for best book of poetry published in 2010 in Kosovo.

Prosperity

 

Three basic human needs:

bread, rags, and roof.

 

Bread—

The bread I eat these days tastes different.

I have forgotten the grim face of hunger.

 

Rags—

I dress better than I did long ago

but the greed in my heart still goes naked.

 

Roof—

I live in a grand and high building these days

from where people appear stunted.

 

 

Chandra Gurung, from the Himalayan country Nepal, writes poems in the Nepali language, and also translates poems of Arabic, Indian and English poets to Nepali. His first poetry collection was published in 2007.

Adam and Eve

 

Who said Adam was first —

how come his ugly bone became

the loveliest Eve?

Trash, trash, trash!

 

The collected heap

of selective grace

of the universe is woman!

 

She’s the First of all —

the green of the earth,

the blue of the sky,

the fluidity of water.

the brightness of light

and the chill of winds!

 

A man never thinks

how he stumbled

on to this earth

sans the Holy Womb

spitting him out.

 

Yet man extends

his protruding ego

and rules the world

while the Life Giver

remains in sunken humbleness!

Shame, shame, shame!

 

 

Mydavolu Venkatasesha Sathyanarayana (penname mahathi) is an Indian English poet. His poems have been published in a number of magazines and have received many awards. He has published six poetry collections and three epics.

I took a photograph of my own

 

I took a photograph of my own

when I died

and since then I keep an obscure shadow of my past

in the book-pocket of my skeleton.

So, how can I send my own photograph?

“But you have limbs . . . movement . . . birth . . . death” you may

        point out.

I agree by querying —

Is there no ghost but moves its own limbs?

Is there no fossil but tends the fire?

Rather

send a photograph of your own to me if you can help

so that I can give birth to mine.

 

 

Partha Sarkar 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.

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