Sentimental Poetry edited by Anthony Watkins

Father

 

Standing at the doorpost

Father peeps into the abyss-blurry past

The old banyan tree in our neighbour’s backyard

Can’t forget its pain 

The last episode of the last odyssey on the verge

Father says

It’s hard to forget those loose-faced, hump-backed folks.

 

This is the place where he sits all day long to yawn

His eyes yearns from the thick lens to touch mother’s breathing

He longs to recapitulate the reels of some unsettled issues

He tries to exhume the coffin of history

The scruffy and taciturn torso slings into the desert solitude

The migratory birds return to the nests dog-tired

At dawn the young siblings practice high-jump

My absence hunts him as a static curse.

 

Time speaks an unknown language in gibberish words 

At the last phase at the cul-de-sac

Father is a foggy phantom, a flickering flame

And may be a lump of vacuum space

A wayfarer there winds up the journey in the stroll of smoke

A fisher man longs, waits and cogitates, for a good catch

A tandoor looks tattered and shabby at a nearby hotel

The station approaches

And the last unsung song sung twangs in jollification

All baggage is heaped like debris    

Father doesn’t hear why mother’s eyes shout

Only one thing he says, they will meet again in heaven.

 

 

Body

 

Night wears a see-through, deep-black and low-neck couture

This whole fortnight

The moon light is a silver love wrap in this groove of solitude

Here and there the pristine porosity a balloon of solace

The disproportionate anxiousness down our spine smells the heavens.

 

After years of separation I knew how your presence in me

Looked just like the inside righteousness of a coconut

Your body smelled of the bur flower flavour

And mine aggressively smelled of innocent faithfulness.

 

Breaking the barbed intrigue, a gulf of conspiracy

We oscillated to the other world through our rebirth

Sweating, frothing and drooling day and night never stopped  

How did the bosom of the spring smell then?

How did the hungry wildness softly seduce us?

 

A tiresome middle-aged standstill sweet breeze swathes us

And the absent eternal divinity meets at the doorpost

Our first night's disheveled breathing, perturbed bodies

Look something beyond the mimicry of ephemerality   

Our monotonous heartbeats and age-old thirst get a facelift.

 

 

Pitambar Naik grew amidst paddy fields hearing heartrending folk songs and playing kabbadi in Odisha in India. He toils hard and sweats as a copywriter with words and colours in an advertising studio for a living and dreams audaciously to be a writer. His works have appeared in The New Indian Express, Hans India, Occulum, Bhashabandhan Review, HEArt Online, Coldnoon, Spark Magazine, CLRI, Indian Review, Wordweaver India, Indian Ruminations, Brown Critique, Galaxy-IMRJ, Tuck Magazine, Indian Periodical, Phenomenal Magazine, Metaphor, Dissident Voice, Muse India and elsewhere.

Summer Evening Blues

 

Smooth jazz, iced decaf

warm, humid, windless hour before dusk

I am perched beneath a sheltering canopy

and a thousand grey clouds ready to burst

Ash trays on empty tables

vacant chairs for no company

A tall girl with an orange barrette

her short, white, cotton dress ruffling out

just above the top of her pale, thin thighs

walks silently through double doors

Nothing else moves but prairie grass

planted for atmosphere

two feet from yellow-covered power lines

and an endless parade of cars driven by the faceless

For one moment I don't care

I am a sullen child craving succor from external saviors

I ache for autumn

 

 

I Could Be

 

write me a cool night, windy

jacket zipped, sleeves pulled down

hints of yesterday's storm drizzling

nothing really

call it solitude

beneath a starless haze

add a distant city bus

and a thousand tires

rolling through downtown

an omelet

made with butter please

an iron table

a black sandwich sign near the curb

swinging just enough to be noticed

a green canvas purse

on damp cement

looped to my faded denims

and me, wrapped in darkness

and streetlight

entranced by a white screen

and an obsessive desire

to recreate one moment

this hour, i am poetry

Heidi Baker