January & February 2020
Vol V No I
Not your ordinary poetry magazine!
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International Poetry الشعر শ্লোক ကဗျာ ליבע ਪਿਆਰ өлүм கவிதை บทกวี ποίηση költészet 詩歌
with editor Vera Ignatowitsch
My mother’s green thumb shows a gash
and the blood blooms into a complex rose
that always, as a posy, vexes me.
That last flower — we call it. The garden
grows nothing under her caring —
not even summer, rain or spring.
Come autumn I and Tim gather others' leaves
to spread them in pattern zen across the garden —
surreptitiously — to see the startled look on my mother,
but she only stares at her thumb
as if there a black hole clusters into a raceme,
and it inhales our beings.
Kushal Poddar is from Kolkata, India. He has authored The Circus Came To My Island, Understanding The Neighborhood, Place For Your Ghost Animals, Scratches Within, Eternity Restoration Project—Selected and New Poems, and Herding My Thoughts To The Slaughterhouse—A Prequel.
Notes on Rainy Days
A raindrop hangs precariously at
The tip of a leaf,
Savouring its final moments
In a crystal sphere.
Exhale caffeinated breath
Rain like silk strands falling
Through the lips of the earth,
Weaving life’s intricate tapestries
In her subterranean chambers.
The oriental magpie robin perches
On a black taut necklace
Strung with faux pearls and
Begins a jaunty medley.
The afternoon rain’s
a wrathful outpouring,
The roof suffers lashings
and wails buckets.
Doesn’t come cheap.
First published in whimperbang.
Ellen Chia lives in Thailand and enjoys going on solitary walks in woodlands and along beaches where nature's treasure trove impels her to document her findings and impressions using the language of poetry.
The Dance of the Dragon
My shivering body begs for extra clothing
As the cold morning breeze freezes my already numb fingers
Curtailing my feeble senses in every possible way;
It is the month of January, the middle of the winter.
But suddenly the environment begins to heat up
With drums being played and cheers expressed
As, walking down the street, a fearsome mythical beast
Sends the children into hiding behind their caring parents,
The enthusiastic spectators standing with glee and respect,
With a thousand legs striding, moving in sync
As if they belong to a single humungous being,
Swirling around vigorously in circles and ellipses
Like the rising, rolling waves of the turbulent sea,
Spitting fire all around not out of its ghastly mouth
But through its fiery eyes — bulging, burning with rage
Possessing a stare retained for over a thousand years
And expressed every time when awakened, without fail.
An auspicious, protective creature, a dreaded beast
Provides the gathered onlookers with a visual feast.
When the mighty dragon, after a long eventful day
Goes back majestically to its usual resting place
The constant beats of the drums follow, refusing to cease.
Author’s note: Various cultures around the world celebrate humanity in all their brilliant colors and magnificence. This poem describes the Dragon Dance of the Chinese performed during their New Year celebration.
Balakrishnan VS writes from Tamil Nadu, India. He is 28 years old and currently employed in a bank as a clerk. He was fond of writing poems right from his school days and writes in both English and his mother tongue Tamil.
A Picnic! Bloodstained!
The mellow artisan goes without naming.
When someone tells me to bow down my head
I desire to commit suicide
And yet I am incapable of doing it
Since every day I pick up two or more fires.
(Of course, for the rest of the day I sleep.)
Yet when someone mentions the bloodstained picnic
I remember the urinal
And I urinate.
No doubt I do it
Where the mellow words meet.
Partha Sarker writes poems to protest against social injustice and crimes against nature and does not know what to do but dreams of revolution, of course in vain.
Number of ending
1995 . . . massacre of more than . . .
numbers, numbers, numbers — 8,373?
was that the final count?
more and more deaths, 200, 300, 400 . . . 8,373
but one, oh one is more important
the son I lost in the Srebrenica massacre
his skin dark and shiny
my baby, my son! destroyed in the massacre
of 8,373! yes, they said that was how many
I stared down from the hill of my town — Srebrenica —
at his killer, yes my baby son’s killer
in his uniform, black rat in black-green jacket
at men and boys surrounded by soldiers
then closed my eyes . . . It’s a dream?
A dream of a game with soldiers?
The smoke of guns was everywhere
and my boy, my baby boy fell in the mud
with a piece of bread in his hand
his eyes gazing blankly at the sky . . .
his body — fresh bread too — inert
a candle after its last flicker
my precious boy still smelled of milk
200 deaths, 300 deaths, 400 . . . 8,373 . . .
yes that was the number at the end
I remember so well his first steps
so uncertain, like a newborn lamb’s
how I followed him, caught up
then stopped near the grass
when he started to cry and turned his face to me
and held out his plump arms
I held out my arms too
so well I remember, yes, I remember so well
his voice, clear like a chime’s
Now he is dead . . . he is just a number
one among 8,373, but oh not to me
the sky was so dark . . . the air so full of groans
full of moans
of those dying all around him, boys and men.
8,373 deaths — their killers, black rats.
the crime they committed?
we are different, we have dark hair,
we raise a prayer at sunrise,
we are different, different, different
we are Muslim, with Muslim hands
Muslim minds, Muslim hearts —
because of these we have to die!
My baby, my boy — a Muslim boy
with dark curls, and dark skin
but warm and white soul —
snuffed like a candle because he was Muslim
My heart, oh poor — poor woman!
My breast, I remember the milk in my breast
and my boy, my baby, sucking his first drops of life
Oh no no no
My eyes are full of pain
tears blind me to everything
Oh my sweet baby boy —
I’m trying to eat a piece of bread
the taste is dry as death
I am only recalling a number
number 8,373 — and bread,
bread turned hard as stone by rats.
Lucia Daramus is a British–Romanian writer who lives in the UK, a classicist, and a cultural journalist. She has been published in some magazines in Romania, France, Germany, England, Canada, etc. She has published poetry, essays, short stories, plays, reviews, novels, and more.