There is a list of dead gods,
In the liminal space.
Unwritten obituaries of greatness,
Processions never walked.
How could anyone think gods are immortal?
There is something to mothers,
Like pallbearers to funerals.
In quiet reservation, in carrying their burden,
To some unknown destination.
The difference between a cradle and a grave,
Is but the magnitude of size.
Andriana Botan is Romanian, currently residing in the Netherlands. Her writing tends toward the existential and introspective.
Light Green Stones
Early on—our mounds suffused with a decision to heal,
Our see-saws asymmetric without any threat—
We take shape, blowing only kisses
As barter, ballooning from chests, our slopes tingling with
Swift reversals of minute crawlies.
It means to marvel,
A missive for the asking, the animal. Marveling
And forgetting so as to marvel again, so soon after helpings of rain.
Getting lost purely a permission to be found.
Then haltingly, past the upcurve of your cheek,
We assume what it means to bury.
In the lush, we shift and mimic sounds,
Picking from the boughs of each other.
Dennis Andrew S. Aguinaldo teaches at the University of the Philippines Los Baños and blogs at tekstongbopis.blogspot.com.
Separate room in heaven
I hope for those people
With only three passions in life
Namely solitude, cheap coffee and even cheaper cigarettes,
There is a separate room in heaven,
Booked in advance and kept in order
Until their time comes and they get
Too tired to stand all of this.
I hope it’s always autumn there,
And they walk in their fields, being proud
Of the rich harvest
That they keep watching,
While walking to and fro,
With the no-filter cigarette stuck to their lower lip
And that two-dollar mug
That was never designed to be a part of any set,
But was to become a continuation of someone’s left hand.
I hope they are left there for eternity,
Alone and lonely, as they always dreamed,
With just occasional gusts of wind that raise in the air
Those dry leaves, as wrinkled as their face
Any time after they reached their fifties.
I hope that rich black soil,
Which is pressed with their shoes,
Twice mended and three times torn,
Becomes a home for the deep wide prints —
The only thing they manage to leave behind.
That same soil that buried
Hundreds of their buds
And dozens of their friends,
Those same people,
Who gave life an attitude
After they were chewed up and spat out,
Like a large sticky gob,
Going through the sinuses,
Showing that their time is up.
I hope they are not bothered there any more
With people’s comments, looks and expressions.
I hope they are finally happy there,
Perfectly sound and forever alive,
As sound and alive
As never before.
Yuliia Vereta is a writer from Ukraine, whose other works were published in print and online in Litro Magazine, Genre: Urban Arts, the MacGuffin, Valley Voices, and others. She has received the 2018 City of Rockingham Short Story Award for short fiction (Australia).
You stood—in a white-dotted night black top—
Posing for a selfie at the backdrop of the Taj in Agra,
You wore shades, holding a cellphone in the right hand.
“Sorry Shahjahan,” I said. “Your Taj is just a backdrop.
However wonderful it may seem, but mine is matchless.”
Then I turned to God to thank Him for all that he’d gifted me.
And then again I turned to Shahjahan and said undertone,
“Thanks by the way—for a beautiful backdrop.”
The Mughal King thought for a moment in utter silence,
Then he smiled and said, “I made this Taj for my love,
But now God has made far more beautiful a Mumtaj,”
Then he paused and spoke again, “I do not sulk. In praise
Of mine, I made the Taj, you write a verse and sit beside me.”
I was hit back from the reverie as you said, “See the backdrop!”
Ziaul Moid Khan is a speculative fiction author and a romantic poet. His work has been featured in Better Than Starbucks, Bards and Sages Quarterly and Literary Orphans. Zia teaches English, residing in Rajasthan with wife Khushboo and son Brahamand. Email him at email@example.com.
My last customer wouldn’t go home.
He came in late at night.
I was afraid,
Drink makes beasts of men.
This one remained a perfect gentleman.
‘Where’s home?’ I said — my shift was almost over —
Won’t you go home?
‘Over there,’ he said, arm stretched towards the doorway.
‘Go safely,’ I said. ‘There’s a storm brewing.’
The manager handed me a note the next morning.
‘Damn right you were about the storm,’ it said. ‘We’re
heaving anchor before it hits.’
Still, on a cloudy day,
I’ll go up to the terrace and ask the sea,
‘Has he made it home yet?’
Dipanwita Sen is a regular contributor to Dot a Doodle and to newsonline24x7, a blog she co-founded. She co-wrote, co-directed and acted in the play Pretty Boy in college. Her work has been published in the Indian Periodical.
At the foothills
A silent footstep
Grey in colour
Calm and composed
Far and wide,
The serene lambs
tremble in fear.
A slough of the slough visits them.
“What do you find in this white festival?”
I look round.
I find —
The hearts of the Himalayas wearing
The snow-capped crowns among the lush of the green
Ignoring the fog and the sun
And the innocent faces of the borders
And the dirty diplomacies.
Civilization is barbaric.