February 2019 issue 
A Song of Victory

Let us sing a song, oh comrade!
A song that awakens the nation we made
A song to inspire us, one and all
A song to make the narrow domestic walls fall.

Let us sing a song of peace and love
A song that would descend the Gods from above
A song to make the Earth meet the Sky
A song that makes all the white doves fly.

Let us sing a song of courage and bravery
A song that would leave behind our story
A song to rise us from being oppressed
A courage to make the world feel impressed

Let us sing as song of freedom, oh comrade!
A song to make our soldiers rise from the dead
A song that awakens our minds with wisdom
A song that awakens our people to freedom

Let us sing a great song of victory.
A victory that would create our new history
Victory that brings forth peace and harmony
A victory to cherish in each ceremony

Let us sing a song, oh comrade!
Let us sing this song, oh comrade!
By Pat Ashinze

The theory of puberty
puberty is more than a word.
it is more than an escape of hormones,
more than heights and fat and flesh,
more than bleeding mounds and voices,
more than pictures of dance and hate,
more than girls hipping up in lingeries,
more than boys taking their first, hard breath
as men in jean trousers and cotton singlets.
puberty is a boy crawling into punctured
silence over tasteless salts and nightmares
puberty is a girl trying hard not to cry,
over mossless hills and arid portals.
puberty is prejudiced, the type that colours
entrants in the paint of passion or grief;
in the paint of luck or acceptance;
in the colour of butterflies or worms.

the sky waits
and the sun tarries
for the bird to remember
it can fly and soar high
even when its wings defy will
and the storms rage unkind.

see, my dearest reader.
it is not strange to forget purpose.
it is not new to drift into cluelessness.
it is not a sin to fail and falter.
even the crow oversleeps seldomly
until the dewy dawn tickles her
long throat to obey nature's order.

even the flaming fire may forget
how fiery and bright it can burn
until it sees the ashes of past exploits
and remembers itself as a song
of lights and thunders.

at times,
frequent or infrequent;
our finest moments in life
are often borne when we remember
the forgotten words: that
we were made for more than
what is; that this cannot
and will not be the end.


because the night is quiet
the trees will search for a voice,
the wind will sing gothic songs
for flowers to dance and  bloom.

a child once heard his father
call his mother a dog as his fists
thudded hard upon the skin
he once worshipped.

the mother whimpers in the
frightening silence as her child
watches the beast rip her purse apart
to squander the money on booze;
on pool; on diseased brothel sluts.

at the sight of towels drawing
blood from a swollen head and wools
sucking mucus out of a bleeding nose,
the child consoles his mother
to stop crying; to take heart and endure
in a house where love meant learning
to sleep with wounds and STDs
as a miserable husband breathes fire.

this is how boys become cold men,
deriving pleasure from hate and grief,
watching their abused mothers
drink gallons of sorrows and regrets.

but this child is a wildflower,
finding strength in solitude and nature
this child is strong and resolute,
waiting, earnestly for the beast to
be pictured in an obituary.
Then he'll have the remorseless luxury
to spit and urinate on the grave epitaphed:
"Good Husband, Beloved Father".
llfe must have a terrible sense of humour.

The Kolkata of my dreams ( An ode to my first home - Kolkata)
By Sarmita Dey

Last night my dream took me to one of those Kolkata bye-lanes
Where I found myself in front of a Durga Puja pandal
Not one of those palatial structures with the idol clad in gold jewellery
Which people come to view from far and wide
And go back home to tell one and all
Send videos on WhatsApp or
even come up with a YouTube channel which get a million viewership almost.
This one was a puja, of the kind that I grew up around
A traditional goddess surrounded by her children
A basic pandal with good lighting
Not very crowded, I got a good view of the puja and was able to hear the chant of the mantras
I found peace of mind here.
This was the Kolkata of my dreams.
In my dream, as I walked down the bye-lanes, I felt hunger pangs
A hoarding of a fine dining restaurant stared at me from the corner of a shop, almost luring me
But my heart felt differently, and my feet took me up the stairs of a sweet-shop
A platter of kochuri alurdom and a couple of rosogollas
From a run-down shop at the street corner
Yet I found utter bliss here.
This was the Kolkata of my dreams.
I ran pell-mell in my dreams
In search of the friendly neighbourhood store.
At last I found one
which met my needs.
There were malls galore everywhere
The glare of lights and the thick crowds
My cosy store had everything that I needed.
This was the Kolkata of my dreams.
Now, my heart craved for some soothing music
All around, the blaring mikes
Loud noise and the cacophony
could not give me the solace that I was out seeking for
When suddenly my eyes caught sight of this pandal
which had a side stage for performing artistes
And the singer whom I loved to hear was there
An evening spent in rhapsody with uplifting soulful music.
This was the Kolkata of my dreams.
My dream took me to the boipara
No glitz and glitter, yet these footpaths had them all
You just had to name a book and
within seconds it would arrive
The smell of books, their feel, exhilarating
and here I was with my soul’s quest
during this lifetime.
This was the Kolkata of my dreams.
Movies and magic shows
Ray, P.C.Sorcar, I saw them all in one dream.
And in the darkness of the night
When the world was asleep
I saw Her, the good Samaritan
Wading in between the pavement dwellers
Placing a warm blanket on a toddler
Handing woollens to the needy
A city which once showed the rest of the world
what serving humanity was all about.
This was the Kolkata of my dreams.

My speckled band
By Ustat Kaur Sethi

The setting orb in a distant sky
Marred by blackened shadows
The dark dusty mist of lie
Enveloped by pale beams

Under the caverns of homely touch
Lie numerous threats unknown
The coloured greys
Waiting to be shown

The daylight approaches
questioning my thoughts
The evasive nightingale has slept
Its songs leave my senses
I am shook awake of the effect

The dusk creeps up
lulling me to sleep
My chaste morning lily
drowns in sub waters beneath

A silenced sigh, a jarred cry
In light to behold
Yet behind the dusky doors
My true self unfolds

A tiny seedling survives
In the porous havens of earth
Nurtured in deceit
I saw hope at its birth

My story is a boon of the dark
Starting in seeded womb
It will all encompass
By my final breath in the tomb

The burning flame of conscience
Fueled up what was left
Now the ash remains
Waiting to be swept

My past haunts the minute
The hourglass has loose sand
Years regret voices doubt
“I wish I had chosen the pure side of the speckled band”

Through Tide and Time & other poems
By  Ipsita Ganguli

Through tide and time

This river
Of myth , miracle and mystery
Gushes forth
Through the twists and turns
Of Time...

Telling us
That the only thing
That remains
Is the flow

History is gone
Etching stories
Along the banks
Heritage lives on
Evoking the truth

Yesterday shaping
A new Tommorrow


Your feather touch
Across the dimensions
Of space and time
This autumn eve
The feel of You
As You
Waft all over
In pristine white

Then a golden hue
Swoops down
Embraces us
In a golden orb
With life
And love

In joyousness
The feathers dance
And twirl
And swirl
To the music
Of abandon.
When You Forget How to Write a Love Poem & Genesis,
By Nalini Priyadarshini

You try different places at different hours,
dipping your pen in psychedelic summer skies
then switch to inky silence of monsoon clouds
when it doesn’t work
But vanilla days leer at you one after the other
until you realize that you are beyond salvation
So, while you continue to ransack your pockmarks,
for that elusive spark, you know in your heart that
you've forgotten how to write a love poem

You desire its cadence and metaphors as much
as the warm body of a lover in your bed on a winter morn
You finger the crumbling dry flowers rediscovered
between yellowing pages of A Hundred Years of Solitude
and long for its sinuous form to unravel in your hands
You smoke a week old stubs leafing through old loves
until your body aches under the weight of indolence
but, it refuses to be coaxed into existence

 You convince nobody when you say it’s not your fault
that you've forgotten how to write a love poem
least of all, yourself,
a kleptomaniac in emporium of love
primping your garment of frailty
surrounded with smutty mannequins.

 Craving for an escapade to runs its finger on your lips
you are offended only by mundane
lest it becomes your destiny


After Rumi
This being human is a Tree
Changing seasons pluck
from the pod you grow in
and scatter you to winds
loneliness withers you
seclusion hardens your shell
desolation confounds you
chafing you raw with each breath
 buried in the bowels of solitude
you encounter vituperative
the shame, the fear, the malice
and occasional moments of awareness
Embrace everything life brings to your table
they belong to you and you to them
when sorrow threatens to shatter you
let it break your heart
out of these cracks in the womb of muck
comes a shoot of survival
and root of resilience
for as you descend deep
into the abyss of despair
you also ascend to apotheosis your kernel is capable of
you cannot have one without the other
and as you break the heart of earth
that weighs heavy on your chest
testa of your limitations splits open
and you are born in the true sense

Be grateful for the darkness that anchors your roots
as much as for the verdurous limbs that reach out for the sun
for they both are sent as guardians from beyond.

Of sand and sugar & other poems
By Scott Thomas Outlar
of sand and sugar

delicate and deliberate
these spells take time
the last granuleof sugar
its texture scratching
your tongue
my tongue
our tongues are melting
one more grain
of sand
its hour
history is repeating.

Two sticks and a pen
There are no original ideas
that haven’t already been writ
in a million poems
across six thousand ages
Only the hand that holds the pen
is different
and sometimes
the same old story
finds fresh blood
with which to raise its voice
There is nothing new under the sun
but sometimes
there are hearts and minds
that burn hotter by far
the art of fire

can be rekindled.

five poems 
by Anand Prakash

1   Love Struggle

Love in her eyes, she winked at me
I laughed at her advances
Flustered at my behavior
She ducked down for being humiliated

A year later I realize how hard
It was to approach a girl of my dream

2 Potted Plant

We live on the edge
Outside of the living room in the balcony
And watered daily, actually sprinkled,
We grow the best of flowers

We know our limitations
How much we should grow before
We’ll be pruned or
The cemented bottom will limits our roots
People come to us, appreciate us and sat with us
Mostly on weekends
We listen to their story, their struggles and make up our mind

We look at the park in the front and envy
The sprawling trees and animals moving around those trees
We hope for stability and loving future
But for that we need to find a spot
That’s not borrowed or given on lease or on some kind of fellowship
But belong to us, given to us freely, and specifically to us
For us, for our qualities
Until then, we dream or hallucinate for country of our birth


She told me
She never thought about me
After I broke up with her
And I laughed
She said, “I'm serious.”

Reading these sentences from my journal
I realized how vulnerable I was
But then psychological survival was a must


First of all
He spoke very little
He didn't look in my eyes either
Sighed at money related questions
Scratched his arms on family issues
Wetted his lips on life plans

I understood
That world is tough place for
A romantic like him

5      Killing Intentions

Mother and daughter tries to kill their groom
Mother and son tries to kill their bride
Both were successful
If only mothers were not there
Groom and bride

Would have probably not killed each other.

A beautiful river

by Madhumita Bhattacherjee Nayyar


I see a beautiful river

a shimmering river

up there in the sky,

the sands play rising up and down

creating wave-

waves which glitter

and shine

and reflect,

in the mirror of my heart;

i lay in the sand

glowing ,


somewhere there,

mercurial feelings swim across,

The Universe dances,

along with sings my wet voice.
by Anju Kishore

Why do they fly around in circles
And return to my window
When they have the sky at their wings
And all of the earth to wander in?

The horizon ought not exist
In their bird's eyes.
Nor should fences matter.
As for lines drawn by men,
Wouldnt pigeons flutter past them?

Shouldnt they fly past the sun?
Blue, grey and white too
Merging with each other
Sky and bird
Like paints splashed. And smeared.

But they fly around in circles
Within a frame I do not see
And return to my window
As if pulled by a thread unseen
From wherever they might be.

They must be bound by habit too
And by their winged societal strings.
Perhaps like us, they are confined too
By calls of blood, head, heart...
And their own whims of can and cannot.

Yet, its unfettering to watch them fly,
To toss  my spirit on to their backs
And feel the wind as it tears
Every burden that it bears.

The cackling of a goose in a monster's den
by Saikat Gupta Majumdar

People are there in the world
Cruel in nature, heartless and brutal too,
Act in the way that are harmful and inhuman
May victimise anyone, even me and you.

The tyrant kings ruined and killed ruthlessly
Punished their tenants cruelly enough
At the time when monarchy prevailed,
The brutality still emerge
Behind democracy the disguised violence---
And massacre by the terrorist, unless strongly obstructed.

A holy spirit can only bring changes
Incidents may be cited in the regard,
Incarnations were sent by the ‘omnipotent’
And evil things were driven away from the earth.

Such incarnations required in the Universe today
Who can rectify all evil minds with the spirit of God,
Which is desired but sounds absurd, like a myth
As if a goose cackle from a monster’s den.

golden lotus
by Teji Sethi
by Tejinder Sethi

Lotus springs at her footsteps 
when she walks over water
placing gently her heels 
she sways like a tender stalk
this gait of hers exudes grace 
look at her feet! 
beauty manifests through virgin petals brushed with gold
they look divine ! 
how she wishes if someone once peered through her silk stockings 
into the slime and mud 
deep roots entwine
that choke her with pain
corroded toes 
clamped tightly in dressings
she wonders how they love to feast their eyes on her talisman
how frenzied they are to posses her charm!
elegy she sings as they devour the whorls one by one 
her lotus feet now lie unclothed as her soul
no more they allure these men
but she has found her toes...

( the sketch attached to this poem is done by the daughter of Tejinder Sethi, Ustat Sethi)
The Hitchhiker Souls
by Orchida Mukherjee

With the Universe below &  the galaxies above,
They have met each other & risen in love,
Two boisterous wanderers roaming by the dark
Ousted by keens, dexterous beserk.
Perished for being rebels, killed by the law
Death sucked their souls, releasing it's claw
& as they kissed their scars, the Sol smiled in bliss
Far from the Chaos, they charmed eternal peace
While the Earth and Her children battled sins, grave & tough,
They blended in the Cosmos and spoke of Love. 

Tough recall & other poems
by Sunil Sharma

Birds on the trees.
Outside the small house
in a north Indian town
where narrow lanes and roads
once echoed with bird songs
and  the same arterial spaces
were carpeted in the golden autumn
with the soft carpets of flowers
and green-yellow leaves
altering thus, the landscape.
that familiar
flora and fauna of the
early 1980s
found only in the picture-books or
old photographs
arranged carefully
by loving hands
and later left in a hurry
in a dark attic of time.

There goes the song of the nightingale.
Catch the  notes, before they trail off
or get drowned in the harsh cacophony
of the traffic sounds meant to
deafen you, the tax-paying
honest citizen of the mega polis.

The dulcet song that takes the migrant
to a receding village, in the hills,
bare, bald, brown

being brutalized by the
forces mercenary, skeptic,
the brazen denuding acts
done, in the name of

of  progress and growth.

poems two
by Glory Sasikala


I can hear the pitter-patter over the tiles
of the small room that houses
the watchman's meager belongings
the plop as a drop fell off my window pane
the gurgling through the pipes overflowing
someone is walking with gumboots
one step at a time
through the water pool that's accumulated
outside my front door
and I can gauge the amount of water
by the sound of water between each step
how long it has rained
by when the chorus of mating frogs begins
Ah, on this dark night
Rain my sole companion
Soon I shall be curled up in bed
and from within the comfort of my blankets
I shall hear the pitter-patter, plops and drops
as it rains all night.


Here’s a basket I put in for you
To all that you have
I added some more
When you imagined saving me
When you gifted me what I already had
When I believed your story of flying to the moon
When I enjoyed our date at the roadside tea shop
Good looks
When I linked my arm in yours and walked proudly
When you married me
When I told you how much I loved you
And now, as we sip tea together and hold hands
I know
That you gave back double fold
By giving me my life.
a poet's paradise
by Phuntsho Wangchuk

Imagination is a poet's paradise
Which none can rob for their avarice;
It's an empire of joy, a kingdom of love
Which by politics cannot be destroyed
Nor by military arms can ever be cloyed.

It's a refuge, or a saviour from above,
Come to liberate and motherly shove
Me from dread and despair of reality;
It's a fertile land of hopes and dreams
Nurtured by endless fancies and whims.

To muse and brood are its normality
Thus I land here on a superfluous city
Enriched with kindness and gratitude;
Where truth is king and reason, his laws;
O what a perfect place, devoid of flaws!

Fantasy expands and soars in multitude
And thoughts deepen down the solitude,
Touring its universe in depth and length
Where mirth and paience grow in rife
That make me forget the reality of life.

Oh imagination! Hold me with strength!
I'd better die in your paradise of cleanth;
Let me not, by claws of reality, be bereft;
Protect me from life, I'd bedwell you in deft

And take me forever, but never to be left.

Surpanakha's Revenge 
By Avishesh Jha

I promise
To find a stronger man
One who could break
The Pinaka from the centre
Which my brother failed,
Failed Miserably

I promise
To propose marriage to him
Followed by his Anuj
Become an object of joke
Succeed in angering him
With the motive of 
Feeling his sword across my nostrills

I promise
To give up my name Meenakshi
The lovely name given by my mother,
As I had fish like eyes
For Surpanakha
The one with long nails,
One who is ugly,
One who now has a slit nose

With this slit nose
From which the blood oozes out
I promise to,
Reach my brother's kingdom
Get his empathy
Hit him at his weakness
And Manipulate him
To go at war

I know this won't be right,
I know lakhs will die,
But he Killed you 
He separated me from you
I only know
The demon that Ravan is
He shouldn't survive

And you need not worry
O Dustbuddhi
After the War
People will talk
Of Ram's Dharma
Of Ravan's Karma
Of Seeta's Sacrifice
Of Vibhishan's Advice
But no one shall ever come to know
That I plotted his murder
I promise

(Pinaka = Bow which Ram breaks 
Meenakshi=Surpanakha's original name
Dustbuddhi=Surpankha's husband 
(Ravan had him killed)
Tree & Life
By Madhu Jaiswal
Tree and Life

A slice of hope somehow still lay in my parched heart, like new green leaves blooming on a barren branch.
Like a herald, it slowly soothes and nurtures my ruptured soul with it's colourful hue time to time.
I water all my believes continuously but somehow things didn't change.
And gradually my self-esteem scumble and I get confined in a shell.
Unknown to myself, valueless for others
All over my heart, that hovers in my mind draining and killing me from within.

I woke up daily with dampened heart, carrying on.
Trying to make amends with circumstances,
Or perhaps like a deciduous tree which had no leaves to shed, still trying and standing tall with pride.
My thoughts weighing heavily on me,
my mind frenzied with flashy greens , prolific as they are,
Ruffled and confiscated by various seasons and unknown reasons.
Such is the life, like a tree, 
flourishing whilst heart's deeply throbbed by love, luck and happiness.
Lone, pale and barren when autumnal changes occur!

Darker than Death

by Shree


Darker than Death
Is now a bonding,
Which was supposed to be
Sweet and simple,
Lucid and natural -
But not anymore, sadly.
It has become increasingly
A threat to my existence,
And intimidating to my respect.
There exists no more purity,
No more genuinity.
Alas I have to hide in disguise,
And wear a plastic smile.
Although my heart aches
Like a carbuncle
Filled with rotten pus and blood.
I am always pushed
To match the criteria
Of so-called “good human being”,
Where I find nothing but
Arrogance and hatred.
Where love is ignored.
What matters is performance
To meet the bottomless expectation.
Care and compassion is not valued.
What is valued is the sound of silver.
Sad, very sad I am….
I should not have to prove
What I am.
Love should flow automatically,
But unfortunately it doesn't anymore.
All my tries are shunned,
My best feat
Is never enough.
I am brutally blamed
For anything and everything.
Strings are now gossamer
Like fragile feathers.
I am more scared now,
Because darkness looms over
My feelings and emotions,
Where there is no respect
But a bitter spin of my words.
Although I was compelled to
Express my sorrow,
But then they were trodden
Like unwanted pests.
Punishing the trust
With major upheavals.
Dead… darker than death
Are now my apprehensions.
(Inspired by the famous quote of PauloCoelho)

wriggle out & other poems
by Madhumita Sinha

wriggle out

When I close my eyes
Pop opens my mind
The hidden memories surfaces
Once again for me to unwind
These deep dark memories
Of struggle and pain
Suddenly leaves my heart
Open and vulnerable
To let these demons
rushing out of dark
In the hope that
I make a closure
To all those bleeding wounds
Which often bleed and pain
By burning out those painful thoughts
To finally drift out away
From the dark and deep
The tunnel of pain
Feeling healed and light
Away from misery
bathed in delight


 I desire to curl up
Within your heart
And go to sleep
Feeling loved
As you stay away
From me afar
My harbour of love
Awaits your presence
Your scent of sweet fragrance
Till then is my true companian
My eyes look starved
My lips are parched
Still I know
My soul has Veil
Of your embrace
Keeping me safe
From hurts and pain
Away from every sadness.

November 2018 issue 
Amit Dahiyabadshah - Two Poems
An Elegy of Rice and Wheat


You have a beautiful field of rice there O Bangladeshi
and I love how evenly it spreads in every direction 
promising rich harvests
Except for those patches here and there
where the rice grows taller than the rest 
almost like wheat?

I am of the wheat people you know
and my brothers too fought for your freedom 
and some were left behind
Write me a post card if ever you find where they fell
or even if you ever learn to tell
why some patches of your perfectly even rice field
grow taller than the rest
almost like wheat?

It was the plaintive song of a boatman 

turned Baul 

upon the moonlit Padma 

that brought the moon to tears 

a shower of falling stars 

gathered each in its embrace 

and a heavenly dew the both 

and together they fell like silvery rain on 

silver sea 

Each droplet soft as buttery moonlight 

beautiful as a shower of stars 

sweet as the purest heavenly dewdrop 

was taught to breathe free by rain clouds 

the ocean waves taught them to swim 

and the song of their creator 

draws them always upstream aganst the tide 

where they may find reserruction 

upon the tongues of the lotus eaters 

and only upon the rasa 

of that sweet river of words- Bangla

reincarnate as river song.

Santosh Bakaya - Three poems

Gone all wrong
When he sees a picturesque landscape painting,
he looks around furtively,
 heading toward the willow tree, in the painting;
almost fainting
with untrammeled ecstasy, waiting,
to once again become a part of that painting.

Waiting for the tree to sing those lost songs,
rising above the rumble of the throng,
gone all wrong.

Waiting for the tree
 to once again create that rhapsody,
that sweet and serene melody
emanating from the striking of the willow bat
  as it hit the tennis ball for a six in those bygone days.
Oh boy! Nothing could replicate that joy.

Howzat! What sound is that?
On no! Not again! The same gory refrain.
The television blares and he stares
 in the distance.
Teary – eyed.

There is a police encounter in his village,
he springs out of the painting, cursing;
seething with rage.
But the willow in the painting, rooted to its spot
And weeps.

A Candle Wavers  

A candle wavers; a lambent beat,
 grimy mirrors scarred with age
squint in the light of a well- worn tube light.
The people in the eatery are in a hurry
 rushing, gushing, flushing, crushing,
 brushing against each other, smothering each other.
Jostling, elbowing, shoving, bulldozing into each other.

Few men with fewer teeth, sit under the awning,
as enigmatic as a conundrum; foreheads creased,
 parched lips humming a discordant melody,
 vestigial hair wisping in the breeze.
Dried up, shriveled,
with a thousand and one ailments bedeviled,
they wait. The few men with fewer teeth, wait.   
A cantankerous waiter with a large apron,
 freckled with grime, hovers around;
like a rogue about to unleash a horrendous crime.

 The departing sun looks down at the few men with fewer teeth.
 The wind cuts through their thin fleece and patched trousers,
 a hollowness in their legs, goosebumps along my spine.
Who are they?
Homeless folks, choking on memories?
Refugees or merely old men forsaken by their progeny,
too impoverished to afford an old age home?
Roaming and drifting aimlessly
till they get tired and slump down at a spot
from where they will not be shooed away
on another gray day?

The Invisibles
The sky looked like a grumpy grizzly bear,
rudely shaken from hibernation.
 Dark clouds floated along smugly,
bloated with the elation
of power.

Two pairs of tiny eyes looked at me from a glossy magazine.
 Tear- streaked faces, lost; rejected.
Ejected from parental arms;
 from the so- called humane society.
Hair disheveled, clothes tattered,
 Scattered hither – tither like dust motes. 
Who were they? What was their identity?
Refugees? Immigrants? Orphaned?
Corollary damage of war?
Horror! Horror! ’ stared me in the face
as the beleaguered Invisibles hugged each other,
 utterly dejected.
 I lifted my tea cup, drugged on the dimpled beauty
of yet another dawn.

As I sipped on, the image slipped into a dark corner of my mind.
Unkind, unkind, the world is unkind, I muttered, mind cluttered.

I am getting late
How mean! How cruel
! I mumbled,
 what will I wear today?
 My clothes are not ironed,
I grumbled, and fumbled,
stumbling into the daily routine; yet again.
Should I take my parasol? Will it rain?

Ah, those tiny ones without a roof on their heads, towards the door, I headed. Thinking. Thinking hard.
My heart had done its duty of bleeding for those tiny ones
surrounded by nothing; just nothing but rocks and boulders.
Alone, all alone in the wide, wicked world,
cold shouldered into

I gave a toss to my hair, and was off to work,
no longer irked, but just numb,
comfortably numb;
unfazed by my identity of a callous, insensitive soul,
 I felt absurdly whole
as I hurled myself headlong into the rodent derby.
A masked rodent.   

Amit Shankar Saha , three poems,
My Words

Trees squat on tall grasses,
a pond cries for drowned souls,
plantains droop into muddy sleep,
fishes breathe hyacinth dreams,
weeds and stones outlive the night,
the lily will shy to flower here:
my words, those that live in huts by the tracks,
who owns their lives in this light of dusk?
They clamber into my poems,
like a broken bridge half-way into a river,
like a broken roof half-way into a house…


You wore that colour in chiffon
Sometimes the sky dips it in the sea
Sometimes the sea gifts it to the sky
Sometimes it blinds the eye and I
Can't see beyond the lush canopy
Sometimes it's there invisible
In the leaves of other memories
Like someone's faith, someone's belief

The Lost Pigeons of Summer

When you think of the lost pigeons of summer
you also think of the lost time that will no longer tick on wrists
you also think of the monsoon that lost its way in the mountains
you also think of all the virtues that were taken into quarantine
you also think of all the words that became sound and disappeared
and you also think of all the lost poetry that will remain lost poetry
the lost pigeons of summer were lovers
in the birdbath of loss their love was found

Aabha Rosy Vatsa, a poem

Six days into freedom
And what a feeling!
O boy, the binding chains around my feet
Have been shattered to dust
The choking sensation in my throat
Has transformed into a beautiful melody
The air is no longer starched
But full of jasmine fragrance
I am no longer a harried woman
But a blessed daughter of the creator
O freedom!
How long I had to wait for thee
And now that you have arrived
I can't stop singing my favorite song
How I cherish every moment that I am alive
How meaningful and light, life has suddenly become
O freedom
Never again enslave an innocent soul
Never again let tyranny park its vicious talons
Never again let me be deprived of simple joys
Never again let slavery enchain the soul
O freedom, I am in love with thee
My days of agony are an old story
Today my gait is celebratory
My steps tap dancing to life's beautiful rhythm
O freedom, I embrace thee with all my heart
You and I are now eternal lovers
Never to be parted
As long as humanity lives
O freedom!
How I love thee
O freedom!
I celebrate thee.

Madhu Jaiswal, three poems,
Perceiving the Bliss

A beautiful song played somewhere,
and the gleaming eyes reflected it's shine.
A smile came on my lips, my heart beaming with pride.

Taking a ride in reverse of times, as I recall.
Getting numb I freeze, in the dainty
momentum of solace!!

Dancing to the soothing tune, holding hands.
Fondness oozing, taking away to some distant land.

Tacitly teasing my soft cheeks,
getting closer as we dance.
Smoothly adhering the rhythmic pace,
leading slowly in a sensuous trance.

Lifting my kohl rimmed eyes as I tried to peep.
The affection in thy eyes delving deep.

My heart cohering the procrastinating feeling of peace.
Swaying graciously to the musical extravaganza perceiving the bliss.

Life’s Foray 
Tonight stays awake, 
the doomed spirit, of my life
towards the foray of witheredness.
Trudging in-between
Fluttering and pacifying deep down
Moon hidden behind the clouds,
drizzling rain
as if shedding tears
at the brisk hours of twilight.
Clouds hovering over
rumpus of disturbed mind
brokenly beautiful
dictates of life
strewn on the floor.
Flooded with emotional outbursts
yet moving stereophonically

steered by clinged assessments of so called social life!!


When vibes are reciprocal
souls connects at a level deep
Consciously, taking a peep
Wondering at the obligations
appraisals at par
Some closely knit, yet so far
Few distantly though
share covalent bond
It's all about 
the affiliation and cohesiveness that’s been shared
Life's on goings, it's virtues, unique.
Wondrous criss-crossed
implacable of lives
Peripherals of the ensuring times.

Francisco Munoz Soler- three poems
From his yet to be released book "Eloquence of silence"

Because of their uncertainties
feel tempted to comprehend the human condition,
they try to capture echoes,
the eloquence of silence,
the radiation of kisses,
and the endless exchange of looks,
without the scientific knowledge
of going back to the origin of our souls.

“Poetry is a form of existence and presence in the world”

What is it to be a poet and why,
I never ask these questions to myself,
it flows out from the spring within my soul
forging the choices of my life,
my stance in the world,
expressing myself through the word
and through silence
with beauty and humanism.


Let’s not deceive ourselves: hatred seduces.
All one needs to do is look at history,
to remind us of the splendor of its arson.

The elegant executioners take no rest,
they stalk their wretched victims,
they discriminate, dehumanize, execute,
always firm, neat, credible,
they sweep away hordes with symbols
and have legions to defend themselves.
Let’s not deceive ourselves: hatred is lovely.

Truth and coexistence demand
that brotherhood and compassion
should not remain in eloquent silence and
hatred should not rewrite history.

For Wislawa Szymborska and those who fight against sectarianism.

Shyamal Mukhopadhyay, a poem
Love Unbound
love never unfolds grace from divinity
never warrants moral dogma of purity
in adolescence halfbaked pudding frosty
dissolving in tears by jerk of social ingenuity:
but defaming love, an act of perversion
mischievous game planned for terrorisation
culpable infringement for moral purification
obsessed community in primitive tradition:
what  basically appears a physical perception
in sinceritry transgresses to transcendation
all senses converging into supreme revealation
souls in unison enjoying novel incarnation.
nature does endowed love in all element(s)
hunter prodigy kills dove-in-pair as it`s patent.

Glory Sasikala, two poems
I'm going in for a face-lift
To get back the same face
I had
I'm gonna makes some resolutions
To be who I am
I'm gonna make some friends
With people I already know
I'm gonna celebrate a God
I already worship

I'm gonna be good....

Now, that's really something new
I'll be doing
This Yuletide!

There was no destiny
No mercy
No rationale
No omen
No prediction
No protection
And no God.

Just a shoot out.

Lopa Banerjee, two poems
Mirror, Mirror On The Wall
The bedroom stains thrive on shimmering streaks of air.
Each new luminous morning, starting to smell of the flames of the day.

The mirror, tucked away in a quiet nook
Smells of poetry in its atomic particles of dust.
The toiletries, jammed in the dresser bathes
in the flamboyant beauty of the sun.
The mirror breathes in the looming shadows, and light,
sings along a mundane, familiar song.
With the walls in the room,
Smeared with dirt, ink and old habits,
The golden pulp of the coiled bodies
Smelling of stale, recycled dinner and
The playful banter of the sun.

The mirror is their oldest confidante,
He laughs, cries, sulks, flirts with crumpled bedsheets,
Old, unwashed linen, with the pining window blinds.
The mirror takes in all–bodies engraved
In the warm sweat of the room, bodies moving,
Spinning fast, legs and arms bloated,
Dragged in a household of dreams and despair,
The lips, peeled, sore, yet singing,
Sucking the blood beneath the fingernails.
The mirror luxuriates, reflects and enlivens
The powdered beauty camouflaging
The dark night’s empty crevices.

DeJa Vu
You and me have traveled that tattered soil before,
Look how its nameless rocks beckon us.
The streets, like molten lava, the harvest moon
Bleeding, the chipped edges calling out our names.

You and me have drifted, swallowed our distances
of several different births. Had this land devoured us
When we dipped our rusty nails in waxy sands?
Look how we resurface, our unfinished story ablaze in the land.

Look, how the lamp still burns, I encase your warmth, flickering.
I track your musky breath in the city’s labyrinth.
The sepia temple echoes my grief in crushed ashes.
The vermilion, smudged, straining, awaits our hushed voices.

Look how the sand stones carve our last, intertwined breaths.
Look how the ruptured skins of our memories
dance, splutter around the wet, rainy fields.
Do you see those kohl-rimmed teardrops, pirouetting in the rain?

Do you see the jagged edges of the river banks where we slept?
Your silver touch, licking my dark spots, my sun-kissed orchard?
Look how the river song seeks us again, surreptitious, vicarious,
Come, let us hold hands and plunge, nude, surrendering.

 Aditya Shankar, a poem,

Atop the skyscraper,
the window cleaner
hangs on a leather harness
and listens.

The wind is the call of the
bloodthirsty jackal**:

Let go.

Return to the grave
where strugglers belong.

Be a withered smile
among floating milkweeds.

If you listen carefully,
the wind is
rising flood water.

The hands of time, sharp
like the gnawing teeth
of urban wild.

In a city under siege
from a pack of wolves,
death is as inviting
as the lap of a mother,

as routine as a name
stricken off the work register.

* Gehenna is destination of wicked (often translated as hell) in the Rabbinic, Christian, and Islamic literature.
** Mother of Antichrist,
Jyotirmaya Thakur, a poem
Infinite beauty of nature in magnificent harmony,
Beckons  everyone  to enchanted displays,
A wake up call  that time is fleeting,
Every magical moment counts to stay.

Infinite dreams of wealth and fame,
Destroy our life time and energy  drain,
Life not be washed in ephemeral glory of stature,
Let happiness,love of tranquillity be in main.

Infinite wisdom abundantly in existence, 
Burning desire for learning in persistence,
A lifetime not enough for knowledge acquisition,
Fountain head of youth is spent yearning accumulation. 

Infinite hope is the core of human endeavor,
Each dawn blesses life with warmth of grace,
A gift of opportunities with countless triumphs,
Twilight reflection,renewal of resplendent days.

Night in candid darkness comforts weary hearts,
Mystic wanderer ultimately covered in shrouds, 
Turbulent winds of fields buried in oceans loud,
Symphony of infinite stars in rhapsody resounds.

We are all travellers on a cosmic journey ,
Life is an eternal connection of moments of infinity,
Be conscious in unconscious prayer of our breath,
To enter precious temple of sharing eternity.

Mysti S.Milwee, three poems,
Flight into Freedom
The smell of your breath lingers
here in the darkness, unable to rest
when you are embodied inside me;
facing the pain with needles in my
eyes, shattered heart bleeds -
dark angel appears in the abyss
lost in paradise filled with poison;
denying the feelings inside of me
angels emerge, bright white light
raises me up to the heavens as
the storm passes underneath me -
arising above the flames a breath
of heaven gives me life, waning
through clouds; screams fade in the
distance, breathing deep and
releasing the voices within,
letting go of what was a fear taking
over my mind; empowering passion
rises and my wings raise up taking

flight into freedom.


Breaking the Silence


Tangled in a web frozen in place -
Can anyone hear me?
sorrow overwhelmed my broken
heart - searching for hope in
the promised land; as the dark angel
stepped into my shadow
taunting my mind but the
fire in me opened my eyes
to the sun - blinded by beauty
standing still in time to foresee
clarity, sun spots seek vengeance
on the shadows, breaking chains
of gold going for the glory shaping
the heavens empowered by
hell and holy water, drowning
demons, and the breaking dawn
of day steers the darkness away -
breaking the silence, calling out to
humanity with love breaking through
dark curtains that weighs down the world.


A Vessel Made for Humanity


Vessels of victory pushing forward

across the oceans in my mind in the storm

disturbing the sound of silence

contemplating life in adversity -

anchored by faith, and freedom

to fly the distance when looking

to the sky, I see life pass by

as heaven answers my call

when on my knees;

surrendering my heart

in your presence, arising to

see you making a vessel of me

for humanity to see the beauty

inside of me;

earth, wind, water, and fire

feeds the soul for survival

standing in the presence of time with

eyes open and hearing whispers in the wind

grounded by natures beauty, washed in

the holy water and persevering with passionate fire.

Madhumita Bhattacharjee Nayyar, three poems,




A shameless, unbridled, passionate feeling zig-zags,
Looking over the soulful moments, glancing through time,  a glimpse back,
Pretending to look away, as the silence smiled and said something,
In those dreamy, giggly, boisterous minutes , a code for me lay embedded, something very soothing, 
An exulting happiness and gratulation at everything and anything, I felt as my own,
When the senses swam and basked in love's  presence known, 
Mere words ,sounding like whispers of mine
Fell short, both in describing love or its magnanimity, define.
The relationship, had staggered at times, tired and reeling,
At times happy and affable, without a trace  of melancholic feeling.
Pieces of memories like a jigsaw abound,
That need to be carefully fitted, lovingly picked up from all around, 
Heartbeats rejoice and thump like a gawky sentimental,
Oscillating and swinging, like the golden pendulum, 
One second upwards, towards the sky,
The next second downwards, in an yearning sigh,  
I feel a rush of fresh blood, as I call out your name,
Let us say that it is the heart's frolic, a naughty love's game, 
Let it all unfold, for all eyes to view,
As I keep nurturing the feelings, my love for you!!!




   On a cold november morning 
With a warm heart fluttering with the auburn autumn leaves
A charming smiling face, I encounter, familiar, with mischievous twinkling eyes and
A voice so known, that said “ finally we meet”.

Taking small steps ahead, towards you, unsure,
Still convinced somehow that you had some cure,
My love struck a melodious note,
My heart singing along, enchanted, further as the soft strains floated.

A somber sky waited, splattered with heavily wet clouds,
You unlatch the door and recollections crowd,
As I waft and sift through the memories, forgotten, but still so beautiful, 
All captivated in colourful frames, but illusional!

"Hope , it never comes to an end," my voice trembled and quivered, 
Isn’t one life a little too short to be in love, with so much undiscovered ?
Your tempting passions stroke my douting emotions,
Where were the feelings lost...will they come back as magical, enchanting potions ?

Birds tweet and chirp through the lattices of the entwined trees,
Dogs playfully run around the quiet, lonely streets and roads,
knitted in the loving yarn of soothing past memories...
As if  the city of my dreams, peacefully dreams.

Mannequins well made up, look through dreamy eyes,
Creeping softly like the vines, those unknown streets of the city go stealthily by,
Anamalous freaky thoughts at times go crawling up the stone walls, reaching the tin roof,
Spelling discordant noises , attempting to break the silence, make placid 'peace' move,
Here I lay quietly listening to it all, under my heavy blanket..

Hiding under the dark, my entire existence, that the fearfully unknown then seeked,
Seeing through my uncontrollable mind, all that was beyond the darkness, unseen.

Time stole the moments, tiptoeing like a nimble thief,
Stealing the precious moments of life, my little treasures of joy and happiness, all that I am left with,
In the middle of this clutteringly noisy night, as the sharpnels of the 'dark' strike,
Uncertainity drowns my mind into chasms of numbness
for ages to come, as it freezes slowly , 
the same echoes then melt at times and come back to haunt the nooks and corners,
Rummaging through the chinks and crevices of the 'insomniac' mind!!!

Gopal Lahiri, four poems,
Memory Box
All my past shadows have been stored here in this room,
Childhood stories let the visitors in,

A box at the corner, unused clothing, silver ornaments,
Grandma’s sarees embrace those woven threads,

Striking floral fabric with red border
And a grace that never goes out of style,

Cracked weather bitten hands always caring,
Beneath those glistening eyes, there are pools,

The low notes of the evening songs
Played with violin, rest quietly on the dust and dirt
Of the window sill,

The blurred black and white photos on the wall
Reminisce dew laden morning and tweets of the tiny birds,

Long, slim, little boats are as if floating haystacks
Moored on the water, overlooking the crumbling patio,

There is no tedium in the shallows of the river.

Still curious are the pigeons on the iron railings
Not a word they use in despair, in hidden tears.

Kuti Ghat

A decrepit ghat on the bank of the river Hooghly
recalls history, 

The Weather stained jetty and the missing faces trudging across
The narrow space,
Motor launch ferries across the river reminding the
abandoned smile, reclined languor,
Here I am, Here I go, loving glances propel,

A few boats inhale history, those wooden planks
Underpinning unseen words,

The low tide lapping gently at the submerged steps,
Dense foliage engulfs the school building wall- 
Pigeons on the roof still believe in fight,
Stack of dry bamboos die on the mud flat
The light of the glass temple turns dim,

They flare and smoke at an angles
of broken walls of Dutch Kuthi, etched in pain,

Twilight flickers with the small wood fires made
by the rag pickers,

Creating floating porches of stolen moments.

God is still on the other side at Belur Math.
Ghat*- a flight of steps leading down to a river
Kuthi**- House
Belur Math.***- a Holy place,



Beginning from here,

This narrow lane, this yellow pavement whispers,
A patch of dark shadow lies on the window sill,

The breeze sways on the green grass.

Before the setting sun slips on the horizon,
The sound of the hidden whistle floods in,

The lonely oleander tree is now branching in the mist,
Lights begin to sprout around it,

This alley, this brown field is known to all,
Now everything has changed-

Even the colour of the grills, the dust and debris,
The unexplained smile and the rumpuses,

In its hollows and fullness, in its lows and highs,
The evening glow reclaims my childhood ever so softly.


Fire Play

Winter and the bleary night
Formless night buries dream,
You are born from grieving,

Sitting in the wicker rocking chairs,
Their lips are filled with lies,
they want to shoot you.

Don’t be afraid of gunfire
The sound of people, the conch shell,
You have your own sky.

Bullet-strike with the force of the thunderbolt.
They never want you to speak, 
Your mind cannot grasp any of it.

Seal the night and open your butchers palm,
Go for a kill in silence,
death play out in a ring of soft white fire. 

Sudeshna Mukherjee, a poem,


In preparation for the inevitable 
She lay down 
shorn bare 
dressed in the minimum 
brightness giving way 
to dull yet eye catching 
in ochre mustard dull orange 
lastly to dark brown 

In preparation
for the frozen fingers 
to invade and freeze
forming an icy cover 

Yet life thrived !

To live death is essential !

Ampat Koshy, three poems,
Poems  for The Kolkata Review 


a candle burns
at both ends
one for self
one for love
a moth dies
the moth burns
the candle ends
the crackle and hiss of the burning moth
the guttering wheeze of the dying
love leads to strange sounds
love leads to death's bends
the light, the heat and then the end
love is short-lived but explosive friends
with death
from which


Your Black Angel
Look how e'en the stars, - goddesses one time,
get tired
of their orbits, - throw themselves
into the black sky's arms
e'en if it takes them
millions of years
to perish,
and despair!


You ask me if I want to know what your dreams are
I say, yes, of course
I never had anyone ask me what mine are
Not ever, you
I have none left except
The usual life has given me
‘Waiting for an alibi’
A son to be looked after till death
Or to be arranged for to be looked after
Beyond my death
A wife ditto to be outlived by or vice versa
Two daughters to be ‘learned’
‘Paired’ off if they want it
Grandkids, if they come, to be cared for
Then the end
Beyond which ‘lies’ no dream

I do not tell you any of these things
You are like everyone else
Selfish and only bothered about your dreams
Which are only ordinary like everyone else’s
Becoming a writer, being a wife, mother, maybe one day a grandmother
While mine
To me
Because they hold in them the unasked for mystery of why till now I survived life’s bullets
That no words can tell.


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