International Poetry الشعر শ্লোক ကဗျာ ליבע ਪਿਆਰ өлүм கவிதை บทกวี ποίηση költészet 詩歌
with editor Vera Ignatowitsch
The Sleep of Seeds
It didn’t rain all summer.
Instead of water, my father used prayer
for his garden. Despite his friends’ laughter,
he planted spinach and lettuce,
countless rows of cucumbers
in beds lined up meticulously
ignoring old people’s warnings
about the drought.
Every afternoon, he pushed his hat back,
wiped off his sweat,
and looked up at the empty sky,
the sun scorching
the acacia trees shriveling in the heat.
In July, the ground looked like cement.
Like the ruins of a Roman thermal bath,
it kept the vestiges of a lost order,
traces of streams long gone.
He yelled at me to step back
from the impeccable architecture
of climbing green beans,
the trellis for tomatoes,
although there was nothing to be seen,
no seedlings, no tendrils,
not even weeds,
just parched, bare ground—
as if I were disturbing
the hidden sleep of seeds.
Lucia Cherciu is the author of five books of poetry, including Train Ride to Bucharest (Sheep Meadow Press, 2017), which won the Eugene Paul Nassar Poetry Prize. Her work has been nominated three times for a Pushcart Prize and twice for Best of the Net.
Editor’s note: This poem was originally misattributed to another poet.
On worn washboards, I drag
your voice from beyond
like an un-laundered cloth.
You never asked what my
favourite colour was. If your
question came, I would have
pointed to the faraway galaxy
where the belt of Orion stung
like a scorpion’s tail, telling you
to see the show of me, a tall
flask of moonlight ending in
a semi-circle on you.
We were cleft tales of the Milky Way,
settling like bespangled sealant
in crevasses of our togetherness.
How we shone as repaired comets
determined our angles of convergence
in the view of glass-peepers, their
wooden minds ever amassing
the stretch of silence that spanned
like endless trails of astro-
fluids strayed in time.
Remember the border
where we conjoined
before a spark of passion
We were masters,
there, of the game
of elude and escape.
Sheikha A. is from Pakistan and United Arab Emirates. Her work appears in a variety of literary venues, both print and online, including several anthologies by different presses. Her poetry has been translated to Spanish, Greek, Arabic and Persian. Visit sheikha82.wordpress.com.
A mystery reminds me
A mystery reminds me of the revolution.
When my brother says, “There will be the retrenchment of the casual labourers
Whereas the white-colour permanent workers will remain at their posts
With their high remuneration.”
“Will there be no protest against the retrenchment of the casual labourers
From the white-colour permanent workers that shows fraternity of the working class?” I ask.
My brother smiles sadly, as he is a casual labourer,
and I recall the words, “Unite all the working people . . .”
Partha Sarkar 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.
The April afternoon melted
like sugar cubes in our coffee cups.
A new color has adorned the sky;
difficult to paint in memorabilia.
Thought we essayed color
to the coffee table
sugar cubes only mocked us
from the drowsy pot this afternoon.
Aneek Chatterjee is from India. He has been published in literary magazines across the globe. He has authored two poetry collections titled Seaside Myopia and Unborn Poems and Yellow Prison. He is alive when poetry happens.
Use these link buttons to visit our other poetry pages, fiction, creative non-fiction, and the interview!