An Insistent Music

An Insistent Music

The music was always in our ears goose-stepping softly to a distant military tune but the madman who perches by the signal he could never hear it then another beat rose to reverberate in our guts drums and synthesizers in riotous processions from dusk to dawn, emptying the streets into the sea. the air thick…

Two Poems

Two Poems

                Stories We'll Tell our Grandchildren   We know now for certain that the world is coming to an end and that we are the bricks falling apart. Eighty years on when we sit with our grandchildren under a smoke-stung sky for a heavy medicated drink to keep…

In the Name of Others

In the Name of Others

Manash Firaq Bhattacharjee    In the Name of Others For Jo Cox, Orlando's queers, others I'm looking for you On this desert Island I wasn't wrong you are my people my neighbours – Tadeusz Różewicz, Conversation with a Prince, 1998 Each passing day, the clock turns its back on us. Time hangs on a murderer’s…

Two Poems by Priya Sarukkai Chabria

Two Poems by Priya Sarukkai Chabria

  Undetected Bookworm Where are your valiant warriors and your priests, Where are your hunting parties and your feasts?                                                 – Abolqasem Ferdowsi Shahrukh, grandson of Tamburlaine who rode in triumph through Persepolis,  commissioned a Shahnama,  a Book of Kings. ‘Inscribe in letters of gold the glories of my ancestors. Thus let my story too…

Two Poems by Joy Goswami

Two Poems by Joy Goswami

Thousands of corpses, wars Rise towards the past Peaks tipped with frost Behind them the little houses sit Their lights on For the men they have lost * The last fatigue of hunger, salt, the last drop of sleep — War, the last sport Last-blood drips into the sky — gorged on blood The sun…

O Noble Men

O Noble Men

Translated by Kanupriya Dhingra Whether I die or someone else dies, Humanity dies after all Whether there is a war in the East or in the West Peace dies after all   How can it resolve any problem, you say? War is a problem in itself. It yields fire and blood today, Gives hunger and…

A Ghazal for Gaza

A Ghazal for Gaza

  In response to a video of the celebratory chants in Hebrew by some Israelis following the bombings in Gaza, which translate as: “No children are left there, Olé, Olé”.   Four young footballers were playing on the beach, When men went coursing, preying on the beach. They built castles high up into the skies,…

The Shadow Warriors

The Shadow Warriors

  On television studios they scream and shout. The crisscrossing visage grows long and short defacing the ugly patterns beneath a 1959 TIME cover that hangs on my 2016 minimalist wall A young Dalai Lama looks on in wonder, is he thinking of the mule he rode to India? The men, yes it's always the…

Reflections of a Cartographer

Reflections of a Cartographer

Through the thick magnifying glass— Veins in my honed eye Streams of red—the contour Lines are taut webs, gradients Coalesce from blue to green, To the burnt sienna of dry blood, To spurs concaved and drowned, To bludgeoned, pocked scarps, To another fresh mound On the ground and a single flower. Each year the lens…

Another Way

Another Way

To swing yourself from moment to moment, to weave a clause that leaves room for reminiscence and surprise, that breathes, welcomes commas, dips and soars through air-pockets of vowel, lingers over the granularity of consonant, never racing to the full-stop, content sometimes with the question mark, even if it’s the oldest one in the book….

Of Peace and War

Of Peace and War

  We know very well that there is no heaven and no hell we accept them notionally, just as the sky is notional, and the Divine. War is an exile from heaven, real state of exile from a notional one. Night exiting from day and day from night are real, the clock tells us so…