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.

Floating Lights

 

It’s different

when a seal quakes water.

 

Burning a map daily

to bring alive love

 

confused from absences,

it’s different

 

smouldering phoenix

from damp lanterns

 

urging magic to work

like a script

 

fireflies on a dense night

stripping pheromones —

 

it’s different.

 

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.

Passion

 

Bat swirled around the

attic, and the high walls

of the red prison.

Batman was climbing

the hills.

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.

Mijn Huis

 

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.

Dutch,

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.

but oh,

nanu pulled her close

for one last time

as his cyanotic lips rasped,

‘Mijn Huis.’

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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