Jul 062017
 

Red Wraith

Lara Biyuts (Larisa Biyuts)

 

 “The most about my life in the old merry Nyomanland has been erased from my memory. Vanished in the dark,” such was the reply of Count Eric Stenbock — my friend who lived in England most of his life — to the request of the small circle of his guests, who adjourned to the drawing-room of his spacious apartment, after dinner, one rainy day in November, in London. Unlike most of his parties, this one could not be named totally informal, because Eric’s publishers were among his guests. At coffee, everyone felt like gossiping, but we shied off from all allusions to the upcoming trial of Oscar Wilde. We began story-telling.

“Could it be so?” I said with the intention to encourage him one way or another.

“Oscar…” he said in reply to me, ”…as an author you know that different periods of one’s life can mutually efface some impressions to each other, even brightest impressions, smoothing over things and features.” Both he and I were amateur writers, with me highly appreciating his book of verse Rue, Myrtle, and Cypress. “However…” Eric stopped short, with his big, hazy figure deepening into his chair, “…there is one story that used to be of interest to me, much, and it took place in Nyomanland.”

We asked him to tell the story that promised telling about the remote land.

He began by saying, “That year, on my way to Kolga, Estonia, I stayed at the town of Mitava, Nyomanland.” Glancing at the wall with a picture by one of the tremendous landscapes Julius von Klever, he said, “I was with someone there.”

 “With your Little Count?” I said, meaning “le Petit Comte”, the doll that was at the table with us. Eric shocked his relatives calling the doll his son. If you wanted Eric to be nice to you, you should ask about his son’s health.

“True,” he said, “my son was with me, but le Petit Comte stayed in, when I went out for sightseeing. On my arrival at Mitava, I met one young man, who became my mate for my stay in Nyomanland. The young man was an Englishman who lived in the town and worked as a clerk. But he could leave his office for walks with me. It’s nice to encounter a compatriot while pilgrimizing. Reggie showed me the city, and the next day we went to countryside.

After three hours at the racetrack, in the sunshine of late June, we went to look for a pub, and we found it. It was delightful, in the shady tavern, after the hot sunshine. A few men. Like we, those were happy and unhappy betters who chattered and discussed the bookmakers’ odds.

A man, owner of a panama hat, said to his companion, owner of a gray hat, over a pint of beer, ‘By gosh! When I was going to back the horse, you said – do you remember what you said?’

‘Yes, unless nobody should back a horse like that one…’

‘But people got a lot of money for it!’

‘Actually, my choice was the right horse…’

‘Really? Right horse? This is what I’ll say, my dear… you wanted to visit me tomorrow, didn’t you? Right?  You did?’

‘Well, suppose, yes I did – why?’

‘I won’t be home tomorrow. So sorry.’

‘You see… actually, I…’

‘Perhaps, you are going to come a day after tomorrow? Next week, maybe? In a month? I won’t be there, anyway.’ His companion rose and put his gray hat on. Panama Hat said, ‘Farewell!’

Gray Hat went to exit. Seeing my attention, Panama Hat said, ‘It was my first time.’

I invited him to our table.

Taking the seat, Panama Hat sank his thrum beard and said, ‘I’ll go to racetrack never again. No way, no how. To let them take my money! To depend on a horse! How silly! I hardly can understand why an educated man let himself downshift to the state when he is ready to be sitting and feverishly waiting till the moment when he is given 100 coins for his 10. The money which he never earned! No. A good book by a favorite author, a sophisticated theatre show, or a good talk with friends  whose views are dear to you – that’s what must fill life of a man with cultured mind. Unless, I’ll go there on Friday, for the final time. They say that prizes will be great and there are some horses with a good winning chances. I must win back my loses, after all.’

As the men in tavern kept drinking, the noise level crept up a notch or two. Suddenly, a male voice of a singer was heard. It was an old man who could be something like a vagabond singer, a blind musician in company of his guide, a teenage boy.

Playing his psaltery, the Blind Musician began singing a ballad about a battle between the locals and the Knights in the vicinity of Mitava. The lyrics took my fancy.

The ballad was about a besieged castle. The defenders of Nyomanland withstood the siege, for a long time, but all food supplies were over, wells of the castle had dried up, and then the people offered to the Knights to meet at a battle on the bottom of the dry moat. Just listen: the dry moat! The siege was truly long and exhausting. The Knights agreed to the offer, and the two sides of warriors met. The battle was long, but the end was unfavourable to the defenders of Nyomanland. All of them were killed in the moat of the castle — a lot of the Knights fell along them. This is my translation of the ballad’s ending:

 

Centuries passed away, the walls fell.

Grass overgrew the gun slots,

cobwebs over the chambers in the towers.

The forest where there once was the courtyard.

A ploughman works where there once was the brook.

All desolated or changed.

Humans, their malice and rage, all sleep deep underground.

Quietude. Nothing reminds of the past –

only the flower,

Blood Flower alone tells about what happened here.

Giving both joy and sorrow.

Joy and sorrow.

 

The singer finished. For some measly amount of money, his guide went round the people.

When he approached us, I gave a coin and said that I wanted to talk with the Balladeer himself. Asking why and answered that I was interested in the lyrics, the boy permitted the talk, and I went to the old man who had a pint of beer in the shady corner.

‘Tell me, Balladeer, does the place exist? The place from your ballad.’

‘All what ballads tell about is true,’ he said.

‘May I see the place? Will you show the way?’

‘I’ll show it to you – why not – only I beg you, sirs, promise not to touch the Blood Flower when you see it! It bestows sorrow and misfortune sooner than joy.’ For some reason, he addressed to me by saying ‘sirs.’

Returning for my hat, I told my companions about my intention and asked, ‘Are you with me, my friends?’

Both Reggie and Panama Hat said that they were ready to go with me.

We promised not to touch the Blood Flower.

The hubbub of voices was heard from the tavern that we had left. It was late afternoon. The sunshine was not so scorching, and the nature seemed to free itself from the languor of the day. Bushes looked dusty and withering along the road. The golden fields of barley resembled a sea. The thin soft-green stripes of flax between the fields. Dry wheatears rustled in the wind. For walkers, the thick carpet of clover with purple and white pompons beckoned. The cows’ bells sounded melancholic. Grasshoppers and dragonflies sang; the lark’s merry notes were heard from the sky. The old man led us to the place of the legendary battle.

After having to walk for some more time we finally saw some remains of some ancient fortress. We approached the place and were immediately awestruck by a beautiful yet disturbing picture.

Underneath our feet, the broad eroded moat was covered with mentioned red flowers all over, with the prickly thick leaves hardly seen among the red petals. The moat seemed bloodstained.

The Balladeer said, ‘The flowers grow on the bones and blood. Nowhere else in our country you can find flowers like these. Every man who touches the flower is fated to misfortunes and misery. The reverse may be true, but it hardly ever happens. If the flower brings luck, the luck is for ever.’

The guide boy said, ‘If one cuts the flower’s leaf, a milky sap is trickling from it. Smelly and sticky.’

The three of us, tourists, went to walk among the flowers to see them. The Blind Musician stayed to take a rest sitting on a stone.

‘Whatever the old dotard tells,” Reggie said, “let’s have a flower, as a souvenir, and go home.’

We did it. Each of us slipped off a flower and concealed the flowers inside out hats. The guide boy seeing this, I gave him a coin in exchange for his silence.

‘If you, gentlemen, want to see the ruins…’ the guide boy said. Then we followed him, going up towards the fortress.

Climbing up the slope, we went to the ruins of the castle walls.

I was the first to reach the top of the height. Picturesque views around and underneath me. The deep moat, which I had left, seemed bloodstained yet more. On the other side of the hill, the endless panorama of fields spread up to the horizon. Gosh! It’s good to be alive, seeing the views! I enjoyed, when a cry made me look back.

Reggie tumbled into the moat, apparently stumbling upon something, and our guide cried seeing this.

A fall like this could not do much harm to the young man: the grass was tall and thick. I didn’t worry about him. Reggie rolled down to the bottom of the moat and remained lying motionless as a dark spot on the sanguine carpet.

‘Are you all right?’ I cried out, ‘Stand up! That’ll do. Stand up!’

But he was motionless. Then I quickly descended into the moat and dashed to him.

Despite my pushing to him, my mate didn’t move. Assuming that he fainted, I tried to revive him. Lame endeavour: he looked lifeless. More examination — and the trickle of blood from his left temple showed the terrible truth.

Reggie was dead. Tumbling down the slope he obviously hit his head against a stone. A big one. No other stones about. Blind chance. He lost his hat, and the fatal flower was nearby.

Panama Hat and I were too shocked to care about the flower. Seeing the crumpled flower, the guide boy said, ‘The flower killed your friend, sirs.’

Dumbstruck we stared in disbelief at the dead body of the young man who had been full of life just moments ago. We – Panama Hat and I – asked the guide boy to stay by my dead friend till people from the town came.

Panama Hat and I returned along with a doctor who confirmed the death. The death among the vehement reds.

Reggie’s death was a terrific event, but one’s young age is moody, and soon I forgot my young compatriot. Either it was a mere chance or the Blood Flower’ revenge – who knows? Panama Hat won a great deal of money in his next time at the racetrack, but I forgot to ask him about his flower — and I keep mine.” He went to a locker.

From a shelf Eric took out a glass box. “Here it is –”

The dry flower was in the box. The shrunken and cockled petals were gore coloured.

After all of us satisfied our curiosity, Eric said, “So, one of us, the Blood Flower keepers, has died; another one has won a fortune, and I… I spent a year in my family estate Kolga and then happily returned to London. Nothing special.” Before anybody of his listeners had time to say anything about his wonderful story, he approached the fireplace where his golden hair seemed ablaze and dreamy eyes turned white. “What is to happen to me in the future? Today it looks like a nice day to push luck. I’ll destroy the flower, right now. Tentatively. Just for learning.” With that he threw the flower to the fire. 

On the instant, the dry flower was burnt down. By the fire, Eric could feel a slight whiff of the bittersweet aroma, if any, and we remained in the chairs.

Looking round the room, he sighed, looked round us and said, “Nothing special. Bosh!”

We agreed and sipped coffee.

 

Jul 062017
 

Promises to Keep

ilhem issaoui

 

It was an evening on the first of October. The weather was wavering between dry and cold in the farer countryside. The unwanted flood left scattered deep ponds hither and thither. She did her best to escape the mire and to reach her father, yet her weak legs and the lame on her feet ceased not to thwart her from pursuing her path from time to time, while unnoticed by him.

He would tell her stories of how his hortatory older brother used to plunge into the pool with an incomparable grace, vigour and vitality « here, he used to plunge and swim, he used to propel me to plunge as him. Yet, I was a spineless coward; I used to look for a lower pond to plunge into ». His voice was full of longing to a past amorphous. He was not the kind of a man who would beg for empathy, nay. « We used to be the inseparables. We would go catch birds, stay late at night. None to ask for us »

“Do you want to give this rifle a try?” she was reluctant; she has never tried it before. He showed her what trigger to pull and how. And there it was her first shot. He gave her the red cartouche.

He sat at a highland that she climbed with too much effort. A picturesque view of verdant meadows, high mountains, and soaring birds surrounded them.

“I used to hunt rabbits and culvers there, up the mountains; it was full, full of animals. And now terrorists have left nothing of that all.” His words were tinged with faint grief. He recalled how he used to climb all of the high mountains with his one and only son. His son who tied the knot with a French divorced young lady last year, with an eye to settle in France.

“Our home, look over there, yonder, near the mosque, it is unseen now, unseen, not even a whistle of bird could be hearkened, not even crows would be satiated to dwell in it. It was your father’s abode, where he grew, where he ate fresh eggs and dates, ten dates and an egg for breakfast. Where he and his older brother played shepherds, their dates were their cattle. Life was beautiful. Your other uncle, my half brother, destroyed it with cold blood.” A faint pathos and wrath fragranted his words.

“I told them, all of my siblings, why wouldn’t you love to give me a hand, to render the land of our ancestors a mirabilia, and benefit from it together? Why miring my path towards such dream?”

Many unanswered questions were interwoven inside his head and hers. Why would such a man as her half uncle do such harm to his history? Does not he long for it? Why such wrath and barbarism? Could the blood running through his veins be the same as his other siblings? And how about the others, why would they want to turn a deaf ear about it?

“Because he has four sons of his loines, and I not. It may seem ambiguous to you, but not to jejune minds. To them, diplomas have no worth. And I have but a son who left the country, who did his best to disown his origins. He is French now. To whom shall this land go to, when I am a bygone? I know not”

 “She wants me to sell the land in order for them to get their shares of the few and meaningless coins, my older brother’s wife. He cannot prevent her from doing as it pleases her. And my half brother delves to do his best so that I languish with all what I plant in this generous land. Who is to keep my lorn memories of childhood alive and bright when I am a bygone?” with forlorn hopes he uttered his words.

A lump in her throat was about to blast. She wished to be a man, to master hunting, to master harvesting, to master strength. Inherit the land, render it, as her father wished it to be, an empyrean.

Her father was getting old, she knows it. His wrinkled hands burnt by sun with the veins visible. She had insatiable impulses to hold his hand at that very moment, to run the catalogue of his amarulent life, saw a flower hither and thither, vow to him that everything will be quite satiable. It is noteworthy to mention that apart from his son, none of his daughters tied the knot. He was bereft of having grandsons and granddaughters surrounding him, climbing his back, pulling his dry hands, running their little fingers through his wrinkles, and with cherubic voices call him grandfather. This was his Achilles’heel.

“ what if I could” in an attempt to shatter the frigorific equanimity tinged with longing, wrath, and despondency anon, she said “what if you allow me to inherit the land, I am young, I still, I can be some lawyer or judge, master cases as such, bring back the lands we lost, harvest the land, hither shall be fruitful trees of apricots, peaches, and thither fields of aureate wheat stretching, birds of every specie, and rabbits well-fed would hide and jump beneath the lofty cactuses. I will have another house here, where my children would play, would blow dandelions just as I did, eat from what this land shall gift, delicious ears of corn, sweet watermelons, fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, and other vegetables and fruits. They shall know about their mother’s childhood and memories, and learn how to be enamoured of the land. »

He laughed briskly. She turned red faced, with a candid yet timid voice she said to him “was I childish with my thoughts?”

With a beaming smile he replied « nay, my sweet child. You delighted me! »

This could be a winsome painting of a father and a daughter to contemplate, had it not been for the tempest of doubts that defoliated her dreams. How can she fulfill his hopes and dreams? Her brother, she knows him well, is greedy and is not endowed with preponderant views, views that butter no parsnips. He would sell the land as soon as time allows him. And she feels hapless, for how much time would it take her until she is capable of building her castles in the air she vowed to build. A heavy albatross seemed to weigh her down. She sighed, as if she carried upon her back all the burden of humanity anon.

Her heart, like a worthless muscle inside a moribund’s corpse, wept deep down in frigid silence…

Jul 062017
 

                                                        Metamorphosis                                                                   

                                                                                                      Dr. Gazala Gayas

                                                                                                Associate Professor in English

                                                                                                      A.S.Colllege Srinagar.

 

How ugly I look! Do you hear me? I am a hapless creature. There is no other creature uglier than me in the order of creation. My ugly-mugly body is just piece of flesh.  Every day I tremble with fear lest any small bird may make me its feast. But one thing that I can appreciate of myself is that I can change my colour where ever I sit. I live in a garden full of flowers and birds. We all live in harmony. My day starts in the morning when the dew drops wash my face and I bow my head in front of Almighty. I sit on a rose leaf and fill my belly by eating it slowly. I am a caterpillar and this garden is my home. May be I am upset of my shape and size but I am happy that I am part of this beautiful garden. My neighbour rose scatters its fragrance to hold the garden in mesmerisation.

         After bowing my head before that supreme power I listen to the beautiful song of cuckoo. Her melodious voice makes us feel that we all owe our lives to God and every praise is for Him only. Even the bulbul, who sings always a sad song, also reminds us our eternal Garden of Eden, where our ancestors lived happily. Every song or buzz reveals the pang of love and separation. Even the beetle’s buzz would make it clear that it is trying to entrap narcissus, by sucking its nectar. During mid-day the aunts would come out from their holes to have a sun bath.

            We all lived a happy life in this garden, they call me a parasite but it the law of nature and no creature sleeps empty stomach. The creator of this world loves all his creation. After taking my breakfast I would like to hear all birds chirping and dancing. The sun injects its energy into all the creatures so that they start their lives. At noon sun reaches its zenith and we all creatures go for siesta. At the sunset the muzin would call Allah-u-Akbar (God is great) and we all creatures would repeat the azaan and bow our heads before Him. The slow wind in the evening would make all creatures dance on its tunes, till the queen of night appears to lull us in a deep slumber.

               In my garden I am the ugliest creature cuddling all the day. Men used to visit our garden to pluck the flowers or sit under trees to enjoy lush green shades.  Some girls would pluck the rose flower to put it in their hair.  Some men would come close to rose tree to absorb its smell in their souls. The rose tree would feel liberated in that ecstatic state of intoxication.  It would feel; elated as being a source of life on earth. Blowing sweet air and warmth are manifestations of its process of growth. Even the narcissus feels on top of the world with its flower stuck to its temple. It welcomes every beetle to suck its nectar as a prosperous host receives its guest. But I always experience a pain when someone suddenly screams on seeing me on a leaf. But the gardener of the garden would always make me happy by consoling me in a very humble but artistic way.

 Oh! My lovely daughter why are you sad?

 Eat whatever you like nobody is going to harm you.

People pluck roses and trample the grasses but they are scared of your shape. So, be happy and enjoy eating.

    Sunday being a very disturbing day for us, as people from different places comes to visit us. Boys are girls come to garden to play hide and seek. They pluck flowers and trample weeds and grass under their feet. I also get scared. A boy was watching others playing from the corner of garden. Suddenly he screamed and cried and his mother intervened.

What do you want? Why are you crying?

I need that rose, pluck it for me.

     His mother plucked some rose flowers and gave it to him.

 I will put it in my flower vase.

 He plucked more flowers and it irritated me. Why is man so selfish? He is crown of creation but it doesn’t mean he would trample us and kill us just for fun. Man always intervenes in our life. For satisfying his hegemonic ego he mixes artificial fertilizers and even sprays pesticides to kill small creatures like me. The boy now became a regular visitor of our garden and would pluck the flowers and sometimes trample them under his feet. Sometimes I feel happy of my shape as no one likes to play with me and harm me. While plucking flowers he screamed and yelled. His mother came to his rescue.

 What is wrong? Why are you crying?

  See mom this small creature. I want this one I don’t need flowers.

 Oh God! This tiny creature is a caterpillar, you can’t have it. See how ugly it looks!

 No, it is not ugly I like it I will make it my pet.

 No dear, caterpillar is not made a pet. See I will buy a rabbit for you to make it your pet.

 “No” cried the boy.  His mother consoled him and they left the garden. I got flabbergasted. Is it really that people like me too? I slept and woke up when mauzen called for Azan. I washed my face with the beautiful dew drops but suddenly I felt something grave is going to happen. Cuckoo thanked lord for His benevolence, rose scattered its fragrance, and beetle buzzed to meet his beloved narcissus. But I felt as if I am not part of this beautiful world. My lazy being became lazier and I started eating grass. My little heart was beating very fast. People started visiting our garden and suddenly I saw the boy pointing towards me. He had a box in his hand and he picked me up and put me in that box. Shocked I was, could not believe all this. My whole body was dancing and moving randomly. We reached his home and he put me on a table in the box. He got many leaves for me. I was in a trance, know nothing what is happening. Soon I felt asleep without lullaby of moon mother. I dreamt of my garden, my flowers, my birds , the beetle and the cuckoo. In the morning I woke up when a strange sound penetrated through my ears. The boy also got up. He came to me, he smiled and said

“I am your friend, let’s be friends”.

           The boy would bring many fresh leaves for me. He would talk to me and sit with me for hours together. But every passing day would lessen my hope of life and joy. It was a cage I am the prisoner. Everyday I wanted to die and every night I felt helpless. My sweet garden I missed it so much. But slowly I came to realise that I too like this boy. Now that if he is late from school I got worried. He was the only hope of my survival. One day he came and went to bed and was groaning with pain. I got worried.  Soon his mom came and took him to hospital. I couldn’t eat   and sleep. I really missed him. In the morning his mother came to room to fetch me more leaves. She took my box with her. After a great fatigue we reached the hospital. I saw the boy and became very happy. He looked very frail. His mom put me on a window sill. My craving for a fraction of sun would remain smouldering within me. But after a long time I got it, and it vivified me and I experienced some degree of growth. On this window sill I got ray of sun and sometimes wave of cold breeze. I experienced a zenith of being. I could feel the transformation within me, it was a miracle. May be I have dared to ask for it even in my prayers. Something is happening and that very thing happened and the happening itself is a miracle. I slept as if I am conquering dimensions and spaces. In the morning the ray of sun brought warmth and it penetrated deep in my body and soul. For a while or so I don’t know don’t know whether the breeze touched my body, but something happened. Whatever happened happened at once. It is a miracle, and I awakened my future. I had never experienced what I am experiencing now. In a moment I have become what  I had not ever imagined to be.  The breeze and the warmth of sun has becalmed the varied mixture of the fountain of my being. It has carved out her abode within me, in a manner that God  does in the soul of a believer. I am now a butterfly with many beautiful colours. I am able to move my wings. But I am still caged in this box. Now I could feel a spirit in me. I can change my destiny, because God wants it to happen. A nurse came in the room, she saw me inside the box, and felt sorry. She looked at me and then smiled.

 “No need to be there in a cage” you know the art of flying now.

 She opened the lid and I fluttered my wings and flew up in the sky towards my home my garden.

 

Jul 062017
 

Childhood (Regained)

Vrisen Kumar Singh

Teacher of English language

Sunbeam Bhagwanpur

Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh

 

(Emulated parody to Markus Natten childhood poem)

Is that today I got replenished of irrevocable loss

When I am ceaselessly being credulous

When needs and habits get in an alienated assortment of Moss

When being ignorant is a virtue, not a sin

Incessantly being a craving propensity in chaos callous: Is that today I got restored of irreparable loss

When found my words to be deprived of its Destination

Diverged, diluted being submerged in maladjusted hose

May be when people fail to understand, prefer to judge and hallucinated estimation

When being gullible is crime descended upon me

Is that today I, me, mine being defined

Being possessive and more of made me culpable of smother

Or the stifling words never left any stone unturned

Other made realise of futile wrought efforts I put

When all crave for being I got inched threw

I being naive let others judgemental amid upbraid

This child needs appurtenant entity from eclat to elan

Is that today I regained the dethroned world…

 

Jul 062017
 

Between the Words

Dr.Vidya Premkumar

Assistant Professor of English

Mithibai College, Vile Parle West,

Mumbai – 400056

 

I tread the silent spaces

blanks between the words

in our messages.

Rereading

deconstructing

not really like Derrida,

just the context of our measured words.

I reimagine them in other spaces,

like a coffee shop

over a book of Japanese haikus,

or in the car

with a Hindi song playing loud,

and the words being said louder,

or in a room with the curtains closed

and the darkness hanging in between us

while it is all light outside.

Would all these words then sound different?

Would the spaces be more close

or more distant between the words?

Would it bridge the spaces

between you and me?

Or would it be just words hanging in the air?

palpable but not visible.

Jul 062017
 

Hairy Beauty

Varsha Kalyani


My messed up hair, they muttered,
Calls for a comb!

My bushy eyebrows, they muttered,
Crazily United States!

My hairy upper lip, they whimpered,
Cries for a razor!

My double chin, they suggested,
requires cutting down beauty.

My hairy belly
Was a sight of terror for them.

My vagina with a black shield
is just being practical.

Jul 062017
 

The sculptor

Tania Dey

 

He, sweats in the dim light

Smokes a cheap bidi-

All the while rubbing his hand

On his lean body.

 

He ties the strings slowly

Involving every bamboo strip

And gives it the shape of a woman-

 

He plasters it with love and mud

Both intermingling in bouts

And the lamp grows dimmer by the time

And the memories stronger with every stroke.

 

He painted her eyes, her lips,

And carved her hair, and sharpened her nose

And then he paused to inspect the resemblance

And then moved to paint some more.

 

He had made Durga in her image

The image of his dead wife.

And in the nudge of his sculpting tools,

He had brought her to life.

 

Then he sold her for a 10000.

For sometimes you sell love,

To live.

Jul 062017
 

 

Musings on a Juncture!

 

Ms. Swethal Ramchandran

Guest Lecturer

Sakthan Thampuran College, Palakkad, Kerala.

 

 

 

            Amidst the hustle and bustle of the day,

            There comes a time when

            The curtain lowers for her to arrive.

            She is welcomed with great pomp

            As the curtain goes down with a bell,

            That proclaims her arrival!

 

            The curtain falls abruptly

            Forming a juncture where,

            Millions of faces come together

            A pause amidst the hustle and bustle,

            A pause that may vex some,

            A pause that is a chance for some to breathe,

            A pause that may mean nothing for some,

            A pause that may light up a few faces

            After all it is the inevitable pause

            At both ends of the curtain!

 

            And there she comes, the queen of the hour

            Looked upon by all with awe.

            She comes and passes off in a flash

            But continues to linger for a while!

 

            But does that matter for those who wait?

            No way ! As soon as the curtain rises,

            They rush in to get across

            And it feels like a swarm of bees

            Whirling together with vigour

           

            How are they different from the bees?

            They rush in without a pause,

            Just as how waves rush onto the shore

            And once in a while, a few of them

            Might pause again,

            Just to look back and find a familiar face,

            A familiar smile or a familiar sight.

           

            As her lingering fades away,

            Others just flash away in a spur of the moment

            As the juncture was nothing but,

            A crude pause for them!

 

            Now tell me,

            Are you one of the casual men in rush?

            Or do you ever care to look back again?

            Next time when the curtain falls,

            Go get an answer for yourself!

Jul 062017
 

Seven lights

 

Srinivas S

Assistant Professor,

Sri Sathya Institute of Higher Learning.

 

 

The merest shade of violet limns the verve

Of wealth in woolen stealth and of the health

Decembers steal from rainbows’ foremost nerve;

It writes of elegance, and of the mirth

That melancholy deep thro’ poetry serves

To indigo estates thro’ eastern nights.

 

An indigo awak’ning is a blur:

Between the skies and seas, it keeps a peace,

Uneasy as the Love that rocks does stir;

A kin of poignant lights in liquids traced,

Dissolving ere the eyes that them bestirred,

It whistles into blue, ‘a northern breeze.

 

No dye is dull as blue; no tint so deep

In seas asleep; no hue as true to tunes

From hearts whose ache the (g)olden summers keep.

No colour has the shades that blue unspools;

No nook of night the blue that insight reaps

From black; as green’s unearthed from southern lights.

 

A standing blade of green thro’ acid rain

Rebates with hope the hearts repulsed by Mars

As nascent ones erupt with earthy st(r)ains;

They seek the Heavens, but hitched not to stars,

Retain a love of roots and life’s refrains;

And beckon yellow home, from Western firths.

 

The ‘yin’ of yellow grates; the ‘yang’ tho’ sings

Of glorious Suns, by autumn dappled once—

Again, as yellowed leaves prelude the spring;

The contrasts tho’ are myths, and Thought does wince

At Sight that sees in Light a brace of wings;

As orange tiptoes by, a wand’ring monk.

 

An orange thought is deep or dire, a deed

In orange ‘tire mayhap a flame or fire;

One heals a wound; one burns the lees to feed

Its blind decrees, with soaring seeds of ire!

An orange rest, though, needs no preening heed,

Though red is here, its right of passage, last.

 

A reddened rose reports of war no more

Than redder roses strain to love again,

For ends begin, and walls have opening doors.

A redder dart than rage remains unseen –

Rebuilding broken lands by breaking mores –

That brooks no white in its pursuit of Peace…

 

Though White indwells the seven lights as Ease.

Jul 062017
 

Side Line

Sougata Chatterjee

 

 

For a long time they are living

like those still images, no quarrel ,

and I am living in a conjugal state.

Time fleets like its mirror and beats

 everyone, half or full annoyed.

For a long time, they are waiting

for a master stroke for an important mind

 raise with solid colour . Brush

may print a picture .contradiction goes on .

 A still image without the breath ,

but with a conjugal time.