Poetry

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* Aritry Das is currently pursuing her post-graduation in Journalism. She takes photographs, writes poems, listens to ghazals, and propounds a little bit of Anarchism and is an art and literature enthusiast and a vocal feminist.

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There is a due process to someone’s leaving. There is a farewell, An expectation of return, Or a recognition of the finality of going.   Even in a farce, you see, Or any kind of act, for that matter, Exits for characters are marked as clearly As their entry.   But when they are lifted out of scenes by aerialists, Transported through false ceilings And kept behind cage doors no one knows about,   The act, the actors and the audience are frozen In perpetuity.

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for Alfred Corn A boy, I stole into grandpa’s study. An art dealer, he loved books with gilded edges, Aristotle to Zola all stuck together in the humidity. I snuck Lo out to his black Chevy rifled for dirty bits, steering her away for a spin, teen-tunes swirling in my head, I Want to Hold Your Hand. We hovered over a valley ringed by sharp mountains, white turbans on peaks. Lake Dal in the hem, polished by a soft breeze. A paisley-shaped river sobbed through a dazed valley. Amputated tree trunks screamed reams of plastic choked icy streams barbed wire

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Of thoughts divested of the language that narrates them, Of minds and imaginations captured and purged of their dreams, Of painters without hands, dancers paralyzed chest downwards, young who are old, and dimpled faces with smashed smiles, Of having died long before one’s death and continuing to die long after one has died, Of a paradise that’s a hell, Of wanting to scream out but retreating into thickening silence as one remembers the smallness of one’s story, Of the worst smallness, Of a story with no story to tell its readers who have heard it over and over. Suhail Khan has studied International Journalism and Political Science from the University of

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How is Kashmir, Toru? Dear Toru, my letters to your brother elaborate on how our colony was burnt. Remember our colony, Toru? The man-holes, the electric wires? The transformer would explode every other day.   I’ll let you rummage through the letters once I return. I am gradually getting accustomed to the life in Batanagar.   It is empty, silent, and so poignant in the evenings. The bus takes almost an hour to move from one stop to another.   Things I do to be in the outskirts.   How is Kashmir, Toru? How well have you progressed with Azadi?

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An island of a man Damn he’s cursed Notice the palms of his hands Damn he’s hurt Focus on this man With the color of dirt Sketched in with coal So his skin is scarred with the color of earth Green and vermillion blue A tinge of red and the rest is black hue So from the blackness flew a winged creature With features skewed Screaming a pitched howl with more sadness than most knew If you only knew. * Kosal Khiev Kosal Khiev is a poet, tattoo artist, and survivor of the US prison system. Born in a Thai

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My heart cried after mass collided with mass.. The blast deafening.. What’s left is flesh turned to ash.. Our own reckoning.. When can we scream at last at last! But the wars never cease to be ending.. In streets and blocks.. In countries in locks.. In mass and mosques.. In masks.. beneath the cloth.. For causes forgotten long before we ever remembered if we ever had cause.. So this is a cry to the forgotten and lost.. For the ones rotten and gone.. buried beneath stone and rubble.. Where gun powder meets metal.. Where the power of the sun is

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Deep and deep into the woods I would sink; on and on would I walk; till I reach the forest hoods! Shepherd; aah! Be that I could! Taking the sheep, I would move, from noise to less; to tranquility. The welcome note would Coo the Dove; at the brink of the forest, mighty! Sheep the grass, juicy would enjoy; So would I, my moments calm. Under the bower I would coy; In mind of-course, a melodious psalm! At night, my sheep would recline and I would take, to tree trunk; Moon’s sight would slide me to cloud-nine, In peace and

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Crowning his Friday After the disastrous snow Blood-stained his threshing lines Life’s receding billow Will leave him for the eternal calm He is yet to know.   Out from his threads of thoughts there was a window time preserved there, dreams whispered there everything soaked in mourning there every thought of freedom executed there.   Chants of hope tinkling, not knowing about his breathing last. His sighs cried for solitude his resistance frightened the enemy his unknown sobbing died before its rise.   He cried when the guards laughed Only eternity witnessed him His heart bled for freedom and eyes

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How desperate we are to laugh- To chime with a can of laughter- Exhaling nervous relief, Reassured that it wasn’t a can of worms.   A concert is over. See you at the next one.   In the meantime We shall continue to create and assimilate The sweetest music ever- Silence. * Ankita Anand is the co-founder of a street theatre group called Aatish. She has been secretary, National Campaign for People’s Right to Information, and member, People’s Union for Democratic Rights. Her published works can be read at anandankita.blogspot.com

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