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International Poetry الشعر শ্লোক ကဗျာ ליבע ਪਿਆਰ өлүм கவிதை บทกวี ποίηση költészet 詩歌

with Vera Ignatowitsch

To Be A Brilliant Woman in the third world!


to be a brilliant woman in the third world

you have to not be!

if you want the basic tips

kindly listen to me

put your mind in a box

be ready to say every moment “I agree”

announce your eternal silence

stop whirring like a curious bee

act like a bird in a cage

never dream of being free

don't consider obedience guilt

it is an honor getting down on your knees

and about your gifts

quite enough to know all the electrical appliances —

do you know about dishes and how to make tea?

nobody cares about gifts

it is not necessary, they are too wee

don’t try to laugh aloud

it is perfect to be a tree

and understand that argument is so dangerous

that the best a woman can do is flee!

to be a brilliant woman in the third world

you have to obey!

your family, your husband, your neighbor, your president

whoever he or she may be!

you have to stitch and cherish and nourish and never expect the chance to flourish!

you have to maintain silence

never crying whee!

when you succeed or if you finally see!

in the third world

all you have to be

is not be

nobody cares about your gifts

it’s enough to have a degree

in lessons of obedience

or cooking purée!


Amirah Al Wassif is a freelance writer. She has written articles, novels, short stories, poems, and songs. Five of her books were written in Arabic, and many of her English works have been published in various cultural magazines.



it is cold enough

to break stones

in the mound of flesh

lodged in my rib cage


you scooped out

the insides

like the sweet yellow part

of a lemon tart

and left the crust for flies


(and who wants

to buy a bitten peach?

or feel nauseated

if asked to eat?)


only the flies

neglect the difference

between truth and lies



Jagari Mukherjee holds an MA in English Language and Literature from University of Pune. Her first poetry collection, entitled Blue Rose, was published by Bhashalipi, Kolkata, and her first chapbook is forthcoming this year from Cherry-House Press, Illinois, USA.



Lamp my lamp,

bright streetlight burning

brighter than myself!

Come here, lamp.

Talk to me.


My walking-ground was in the field of stars

with these plain human feet, because the stars

surround our planet with no up or down.


Now a three-year-old girl tells me

in a woman’s voice: Come here!

To tuck her in at nap-time.


     Looking at a street light by my mother’s home

     the night before I lost my job again

     over another disagreement about how to raise the





I too can lead a tall song by the throat.

If manhood’s proof is always to be in the money

my heavy silence will not earn the name of man.

But if you look back on yourselves, how you began,

your hardships were all paid for by the state. So


three peasants walking in a field without a gun

watch a great duck fly by and when they hear

the gunshot each man thinks his poverty his own. You,


you good people, Red Guards in your childhood

of your Great Cultural Revolution, now you say

the poor are poor because of being lazy.


     After hearing from my young wife who brought me to


     that her parents want proof of my manhood by my

               showing them the money,

     thought shows me where their own starting capital had

               come from.



Ilya Gutner was born in the Soviet Union in Moscow and grew up in New York. He was for a time a PhD student in Slavic Studies at Brown University, but that soon ceased to be an option. He studies philosophy now in Shanghai, China.



The white-collared kingfisher must be angry.

He was gliding tree to tree straight

through steady breezes, a turquoise blue

arrow zipping upward, free. And how royal

he must have felt before he flew into

my window screen — his honor inversed. How

stunned the monarch must have felt!


What kind of Gods would create

such a hue, a specific kind of blue on wings

on a crowned regal head, such a masterful

coo, and yet such a flaw — no tactical sleight

to deflect the sickening bolt, the jolt

into a square, soiled pane?


Why such malice?

Why the sudden blast against parading

lightness? Did he wave wings aghast?

Did the impact dislocate his spine?

I cast my eye through the cursed

glass. Settled outside

ruffled grey sparrows perch

on a bowing branch.

Anna Teresa Slater is a high school literature and drama teacher from the Philippines and a postgraduate student in Creative Writing at Lancaster University. She lives on a farm with her husband, dog, and cat.

It is India


If anything physical can be immortal,

soul of universe so vividly present

before naked eyes,

whom invaders have mauled again and again,

even today where ferocious insane claws

are trying to pull it apart to drink its blood

that is the place called India.

Formed before even history can look,

she who never went out to rob territory,

can live on very little wealth worthy of mention

that too for thousands of years

is the place called India.

Poor eyes of the world can see only poverty there,

shameless can come running for solace to her

when burnt in the flame of life

without bothering to contribute anything

that is the ever soothing place India.

But oh selfish world how long

will you go on sucking her blood?  How long?

Stop it now for good or else it may be too late.


First published in Taj Mahal Review Vol. 15 Number 2, Dec, 2016, India.



Sandip Saha has published one poetry book, Quest for freedom, and poems in Better Than Starbucks, Pif, The Cape Rock: Poetry, Las Positas Anthology by Havik, Inscape (Pasadena City College,) Shot Glass Journal, fēlan, Oddball Magazine, Snapdragon, and more.



There is a window facing the sea, facing the tides of you.

The waves perpetuate your voice of Brágui and, when they


you embrace my body of salt and sand.

The ocean mistresses sing your song with eyes pale as the

          moon made

of mist. Our bond is deeper than the depths. My brother, you

          are my home

and through me, you will live.

Raquel Dionísio Abrantes has a bachelor’s degree in Cinema from Universidade da Beira Interior, and has given a Master Class in Writing of Scripts about Narrative Structure. Her article, “Image by Image — The Construction of Horrible Beautywill be published in Livro de Atas.

coffe beans.jpg

Don’t Dance


They will tell you

Don’t dance.

It doesn't look good.

Your flab wiggles ugly

You look weird trying those moves

Don’t dance.

You might break your ankle

Lose your mind.

Your hair, it’s sweaty, disheveled.

They will tell you

Control that brimming spontaneity

Be what is expected of you

Gulp your eccentricity

Stifle your calling.

They will tell you

Being in a trance is taboo

And dancing barefoot is unwomanly.

Slouch. Cover. Pretend.

Smile politely.

They will tell you this

Over and over again

And here’s the thing girl —

When they tell you this


You are doing something right

Something that makes you




Chandrama Deshmukh is a writer, poet, and storyteller. She has authored a collection of English poems called Moonlit Monochrome. Poetry for Chandrama is that one streak of silver lining amidst the chaos of life.

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