Academici poetry anthology

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World.s Strand
An international anthology of poetry
edited by
Joneve McCormick
and
Shimanta Bhattacharyya
Mandelbachtal − Cambridge, 2006

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Academici poetry anthology

  1. 1. World’s StrandAn international anthology of poetry edited by Joneve McCormick and Shimanta Bhattacharyya Mandelbachtal − Cambridge 2006
  2. 2. World’s Strand. An international anthology of poetry.Edited by Joneve McCormick and Shimanta Bhattacharyya. —Mandelbachtal/Cambridge:edition cicero, 2006 (academici texts and studies, 1) ISBN 3-934285-55-4 © by edition cicero, Mandelbachtal/Cambridge Herstellung: Books on Demand GmbH, Norderstedt Printed in Germany ISBN 3-934285-55-4 The title is taken from “The Wreck of the Deutschland” (1918) by Gerard Manley Hopkins: “World’s strand, sway of the sea...”
  3. 3. Table of ContentsIntroduction ..............................................................xiAainaa-Ridtz A.R. Love Enraptured.............................................. 3 Words to Live By ............................................. 4Maolcolum Bascher A Public Reading, The Crescent Arts Centre, Belfast............................................................. 9 Bonding ......................................................... 10 Memoriam ..................................................... 11 Thames.......................................................... 13 Olive Trees.................................................... 17 Ottolenghi, Islington ..................................... 18 Brother.......................................................... 19 On such a day as this... ................................ 20 Unfinished ..................................................... 21 Fumiko Abe ................................................... 22Shimanta Bhattacharyya The Poet in Exile........................................... 27 In The Dark.................................................... 28 Rain ............................................................... 29 To The Muse.................................................. 30 A Bunch Of Flowers....................................... 31 The Yellowing Green..................................... 32 The Unfinished Man ...................................... 33 And In The Human Heart............................... 35 Kali................................................................ 36 i
  4. 4. Kashmir ......................................................... 37 A Lament For Their Eyes............................... 38Michael H. Brill Tall Fires ....................................................... 43 Patently Obvious ........................................... 44 Last Blue Reflection 2002 ............................. 45 View From Afar ............................................. 46 Luminous Reflection ..................................... 47 Drama Review ............................................... 48 Green Shackles (escheating and other fine things) ........................................................... 49 Kicking the Ars Poetica ................................. 51 To Emancipated Dogs of The Future............. 52 No Bull .......................................................... 53 Driving North at Low Noon............................ 55Nigel Burwood Modern Moment ............................................ 59 Noir ............................................................... 60 Where is Fantomas? ...................................... 61 Wittgenstein’s Jukebox................................. 62 In fern ........................................................... 63 Never Said A Bad Word ................................. 64 Dark Car Theory ............................................ 65 A Lesson with Mr. Menticulture .................... 66 The Way of the Tourist ................................. 67 CEO ............................................................... 68 Blameless ...................................................... 69Üzeyir Çayci The Mauve Sea .............................................. 73 They Have Taken Their First Steps in My Heart........................................................ 74 ii
  5. 5. The Valley of the Culprits............................. 75 Friendship with Photos ................................. 77 The Hunter Has Become a Guide for the Birds........................................................ 78 The Children of Midnight .............................. 80 The Cul-de-Sac of the Rose........................... 81 Before the Eyes of All ................................... 82 Do not pass by the places which I frequented .................................................. 83Fide Erken flower language ............................................ 87 Autumn ......................................................... 88 Shadows ........................................................ 89 In your heart ................................................. 90 The Love Tree ............................................... 91 Music brings your love................................... 92 They Called Me To The Country Of Poetry ... 93Ananya S. Guha The Poet........................................................ 97 Poem ............................................................. 98 Poetry That Speaks ....................................... 99 Memory Takes Wings................................... 100 Forests ........................................................ 101 Tree ............................................................ 102 I See Poetry................................................. 103 Lost ............................................................. 104 When Do We Meet? ..................................... 105 Wound ......................................................... 106 Poem in Prose ............................................. 107 iii
  6. 6. Bob Hart Greening Down To Red Berries ................... 111 Floating Alone In Worldly Company ............ 112 Damp Similes and Mossy Messages .............. 113 Inspired By A Lord Byron Poem ................... 115 On Reading Harriet Brown’s “A Letter From The Country” ..................................... 116 Call Me Hypocrite and I Shall Answer ......... 117 Human in a Foreign Country ....................... 118Kostas Hrisos I See the Light............................................. 123 The dilapidated pot .................................... 124 My father..................................................... 125 Heron-on-a-paperweight............................. 126 A perfect moment....................................... 127 Hey Dad can I borrow the car?.................... 128 Post-Market................................................. 129 My grandmother’s advice............................ 130 Easter-Sunday Eve....................................... 131 Just like them ............................................. 132Roger Humes The kindness of once strangers................... 135 There is no room......................................... 136 I am not....................................................... 137 Who are you ................................................ 138 A Poet of Many Colours ............................... 139 Brutal honesty is the knife.......................... 140 I stand still by the window.......................... 141 Her body moves through the city ............... 142Aftab Hussain A Prayer ...................................................... 145 iv
  7. 7. Chiesa Irwin Restless Gecko ............................................ 149 Riroriro........................................................ 150 Early 1770’s, the Ocean First Seen by Kedi ........................................................ 151 Riding with the Hammerheads.................... 152 Candle Bark................................................. 153 The Unburdened Hand ................................ 154 Chambered Nautilus.................................... 155Laurynas Katkus The Young Address Their Fate .................... 159 Air ............................................................... 160 This morning you will wake ........................ 161 The Go-between ......................................... 162Patricia Kelly Blame It On The Moon................................. 165 Song for the Dance...................................... 166 A Lunatic Fire.............................................. 167 Autumn Haiku ............................................. 168 Winter Haiku ............................................... 169 Spring Haiku ................................................ 171 Summer Haiku............................................. 173 Morning Glory Haiku Series ......................... 175Monica Korycinska Words .......................................................... 179 Our Kind ...................................................... 180 Bleeding Hearts........................................... 182Erik Larson Living Room................................................. 185 Liking .......................................................... 186 v
  8. 8. The Proper Lawn......................................... 187 The Sound of Spring .................................... 188 Equinox to Divali ......................................... 189Joneve McCormick Chinese formula poems............................... 193 I Had............................................................ 194 It is inside................................................... 195 My friend tells me... ................................... 196 Gandhi......................................................... 197 The Saint..................................................... 198 Letting Go ................................................... 199 Aunt Heather .............................................. 201 Killing the Christ within .............................. 202 on the road ................................................. 203Nimah Ismail Nawwab Gentleness Stirred ...................................... 207 The Longing................................................. 209 The Hidden Layers ...................................... 210 Arabian Nights............................................. 211 Adored Essence ........................................... 213 The Ambush ................................................ 214Olutayo Osunsan Entebbe....................................................... 219 Her .............................................................. 221 The Meadow ................................................ 222 Loveliest of Summer Days ........................... 223 A BLESSED MAN ........................................... 224 Have you ever ............................................. 226 Lioness ........................................................ 227 A Soldier...................................................... 228 Good Morning .............................................. 229 vi
  9. 9. Laurence Overmire Beastly Ideas ............................................... 233 Wade in the Wave ....................................... 234 When Pilate Heard ...................................... 235 The Word .................................................... 236 Cold Driving Rain......................................... 237 Gathering .................................................... 238 Lineage ....................................................... 239 Alternate Universe ...................................... 240 Seascape ..................................................... 241Dimitris Palasis Don’t Cry..................................................... 245 So Little ...................................................... 246 Cloudy ......................................................... 247 The Return .................................................. 248 Memorial ..................................................... 249 The Life of The Wind .................................. 250 The Blue Winter .......................................... 251Wesley Patterson Shadow........................................................ 255 Phoebe ........................................................ 256 If only.......................................................... 257 A Whisper .................................................... 258 You .............................................................. 259 Tracks ......................................................... 260 My Finest and Best ...................................... 261 He................................................................ 262 New Millennium .......................................... 264 Vertex ......................................................... 265 Flux ............................................................. 266 vii
  10. 10. Michael Pokocky Untitled....................................................... 269 When Darkness Comes ................................ 270 Home........................................................... 271Rati Saxena My life in you .............................................. 275 The sea........................................................ 276 Among the earth-coloured trees................. 278 The Absence of Colours, in the World of Colours ........................................................ 281 Wild friendship............................................ 282 when he plays the drum ............................. 283 The hymn of slippers .................................. 284Laura Schuster Vision Encoded............................................ 289 Crime Scene ................................................ 290Elvira Selow greed and other beasts ............................... 293 hard beat in italy ........................................ 294 solar wind ................................................... 295 a dictionary’s flight .................................... 296 old couple ................................................... 297 Conquistador ............................................... 298 thoughts on linkings .................................... 299 renovation................................................... 300 roadwork ..................................................... 301 closing books............................................... 302Renée Sigel Impression 1................................................ 305 In a name .................................................... 306 viii
  11. 11. Damals ........................................................ 307 Loss ............................................................. 308 The Hunger ................................................. 309 Masquerade ................................................. 310 White Heat.................................................. 311 3 Sonnets: ................................................... 312 I. Brushed in splendour... ........................... 312 II. In spite of solace... ................................ 312 III. Insipid shadows..................................... 313 Voices of Silence......................................... 314Eddie Tay Jogging Before Dawn................................... 319 My Other ..................................................... 321 Willow ......................................................... 323 After a Class Reunion.................................. 324 Hokkien ....................................................... 325 Reading Wordsworth ................................... 326John Thomas To See the Earth in Vast Expanse ............... 329 Maybe It Needs a New Starter .................... 331 Will You Be At My Funeral? ......................... 333 Short Cut ..................................................... 335 Is a Dream?.................................................. 336 Camelot of the Mind ................................... 338 The Mysterious American “Continental” Breakfast..................................................... 339 Despair ........................................................ 340 Let the Rainbows In .................................... 341 Curse of the Jealous Warlock ..................... 342Markus Vinzent Forthcoming ................................................ 345 ix
  12. 12. Changming Yuan The Calm Clam............................................ 349 Withered Twig............................................. 349 Human Culture............................................ 351 Awakening................................................... 352 Subjunctive Mood........................................ 353 Name Changing ........................................... 354 The Savage Spot of Light ............................ 355 The Way Forward ........................................ 356 Allenian Dragonmania ................................. 357 The Vest Knitted for George....................... 358 Immigration................................................. 359Catherine Zoltan San Francisco .............................................. 363 Tribute To Cavalier ..................................... 364 Why This Poem............................................ 365 Parent Here................................................. 366 I Can Want .................................................. 367 Little Girls................................................... 369 The morning after....................................... 370Poets’ Bios............................................................. 373 x
  13. 13. Introduction“Poets are born, not made” − though clichéd − is amply borneout by the poets who feature in this anthology. When the ideafor the anthology was first presented by Professor MarkusVinzent, the spontaneity with which the poets responded to hiscall eminently put paid to all notions of the poet being a merecraftsman, seeking perfection. The heart of the matter is thatone cannot choose to be a Poet. It is Poetry that ultimatelymakes the choice. And once the Muse has intervened andexercised her right to choose, a Poet is born.We present you with a unique collection of poetry from all overthe world − an exotic bouquet, bound by a universal love of theliving word. Each of these poems is “alive” in the sense thateach seeks to communicate something that is otherwise in-communicable in ordinary language. A poet lives and observesthe world he lives in very intensely. His predilections of subjectmatter depend upon his interests. Hence, he may write on awide variety of themes: social, political, personal, religious etc.A poem may be biographical, humorous, patriotic, progressive,formal, satirical, pastoral or even didactic − though didacticismis no longer considered a virtue in a poet. Whatever the subjectmatter of his poetry, a poet writes in response to what societydeals out to him. And often, in his quest to arrive at the truth,he freely commutes both within his social milieu and without.The poets in this collection all have a common goal and pur-pose − to reveal the truth about the human situation shorn ofits upholstery. Regardless of the methods an individual poetadopts to divest Man of his manifold guises, it is the business ofpresenting a true picture of society − warts and all − that solelypreoccupies him. And this is true of all the poets in thisanthology. xi
  14. 14. To give the readers an insight into the poet’s working methods,here is how Ananya Guha tackles the “duality” of humanexistence in “Poem in Prose”: Once, as a child I wore masks… Today I still wear masks...But The masks of my childhood and the masks of today are no longer the same.One can sense a palpable note of despair in the lines: the poetdespairs of the loss of innocence but what irks him the most ishis inability to forestall man’s fall from grace!Bob Hart, in “Call Me Hypocrite and I Shall Answer” speaks ofthe importance of keeping the channels of communication openin a relationship: If I’m a glass and if your dying stains me don’t you see that you must live to make my colors shine?What the poet seeks is active participation in a relationshipwhich is at once spontaneous and unpretentious. A relationshipwherein two people may “live” as a perfect foil to one another,if only to bring out their true colours. Here, too, one candiscern the poet’s anguished plea to let the “Mask” drop.Eddie Tay, in “My Other” pulls the mask back to show two ofhim! His “other” does things that he, respectable citizen,would not do: He puts on my clothes, steals my money, and tells me I have measured out my life with coffee spoons...With both humour and despair, he observes his “other” to bethe hunter that goes into the darkness for poetry: When I go to bed hungry he leaves the house with my keys and prowls the night for poetry... xii
  15. 15. Rati Saxena pulls back the Mask in “The sea” to reveal theprimordial relationship between man and nature, and from aperspective both profound and majestic she shows the creativeforces reigning in harmony: I saw him and the sea that evening, he was lolling in the sea and the sea was overflowing in him...The metaphor evolves: ...the sun was sinking in the sea and I was sinking with him...There is no separation here; instead we find ecstatic union.The themes that the poets touch upon in this anthology arevarious and multilayered. Personal love is one such concernthat rears its head every now and then. Aainaa-Ridtz A.R,Renée Sigel, Maolcolum Bascher, Fide Erken, Michael Pokocky,Elvira Selow, Monica Korycinska, Catherine Zoltan and Chang-ming Yuan all dwell on the subject of love; but each individualpoet imparts his or her own distinctive treatment to thesubject. Whilst Renée Sigel reflects on another’s treachery andself-deception, and feels deeply aggrieved at the “demise” oflove in “Damals,” Maolcolum Bascher is fondly meditative in“Thames,” where love is depicted as a remembered experiencewhich is at once delightful and poignant. The poet straddlesthese antipodal aspects of love with delicate poise: When she lay sleeping Some spark between us in the heat In me it never truly dies. Now I cannot see the river All reflection is inside.Catherine Zoltan, on the other hand, does an admirable volte-face in that she speaks of a mother’s love for her children. Thepoet is acutely aware of the transient nature of life, whichreminds us of William Cowper’s splendid rendition of the same xiii
  16. 16. theme in “The Poplar Field.” In the poem, “Why This Poem”Zoltan very subtly persuades us to make the most of life andlove lest death strike the all-cleaving blow: …I may be gone before I know… … All that little children want is someone they can tell. All they want is for you to listen well.The notion that time is at a premium is hinted at ingeniously inthe poem. There is an inescapable note of urgency that exhortsthe readers to take control of life, and cherish each moment ofit to the fullest.Changming Yuan shows us with great humour the universal loveof fathers in the context of his own father’s intense desire toempower and protect him. In “Name Changing” the father willstop at nothing: confucius once said if the name is not right the speech will carry no might so my father created my name by rearranging the sun and moon vertically and horizontally to equip it with all the forces of yin and yang dispersed in the universe...One could say that the poems in this anthology are all aboutLove in its myriad forms.A poet employs a varied assortment of literary devices to suithis purposes. He makes use of metaphors, similes, euphe-misms, meters, bathos, alliterations, humour, etc., to drivehome his point. However, these “tools” do not necessarily makehim a good poet or guarantee good poetry. A carpenter mightwell be equipped with state of the art technology, but unlesshe has acquired the skill to use his tools effectively they will beof little use to him. The same holds true for the poet. The xiv
  17. 17. poets in this anthology use a variety of literary devices withgreat facility.Michael Brill, in his poem “Tall Fires” handles personificationwith considerable panache: My toaster died this evening, In flame and then in steam.The poet brilliantly invests a common household appliance withhuman qualities. Having thus gained our attention, he verycleverly leads us to the heart of the poem and by means ofartful imagery, laced with grotesque humour, succeeds in pre-senting a skilful juxtaposition between the sentient and theinsentient. The poem, towards the end, takes one final dig atMan and ends with a pithy saying: I pulled the plug—tall fires are bad, But SHORT fires are much worse!Which at one discharge exposes Man’s vulnerability and hisslavish dependence on modern gadgetry!Nigel Burwood, in his poem “In fern” informs us of the value ofbeing prepared when one needs to be saved; withcharacteristically stunning wit, sophistication and economy ofwords the poet tells the entire story in four short lines thatexpand far beyond themselves. We quote in full: In the middle course of my life Having strayed from the straight path I got lost in a dark wood. Luckily I was carrying a mobile phone.What else is there to say? Well, the editors would like to addsomething: Nigel suggested the title for this anthology, and wethank him very much.Poets like Roger Humes and Kostas Hrisos are at their best intheir short poems. Sample Humes’ poem “The Kindness Of OnceStrangers,” which we also quote in full: xv
  18. 18. When the final words are said and door is quietly closed do I hear you softly weeping or perhaps sharpening your vengeance or perhaps both.Observe how the poet tersely yet convincingly sums up adomestic situation. The singular thrust of the last line cutsthrough the tenuous bonds of a relationship with a finalflourish. Once the “final” words have been said, there is noroom for reconciliation.Hrisos’ poetry, unlike Humes’, is replete with robust optimism,coupled with a delicate sense of humour as the following poem,“I see the Light,” also quoted in full, clearly shows: I see the light Somewhere in the distance. I am not scared. Even if it’s only a candle And it goes out, by the time I reach it, I will light another.From a very different perspective, Dimitris Palasis presents adrama of life in death, death in life with accomplished subtle-ty. In “Memorial” life and death engage in a lively interplaybeyond strict boundaries: ...I drew you in front of me weaving dark and light with my figures... Deep in sleepy eye-holes your memory was not of existing thingsFor Nimah Nawwab, life and discernment go together, deathand mindless suppression; rebelling is an essential part of theprocess to claim one’s full humanity, reminding us of Gandhi’sstatement, “The only tyrant I bow to is the still voice within.”In “Gentleness Stirred”: xvi
  19. 19. ...“Stop, your scarf has slipped.” The tirade begins, gains momentum... The mind is strange, the spirit stranger yet, The rebellion begins.A poet may use length to achieve an effect, such as JohnThomas does in “Is a Dream?” when he builds up a hauntingpower through a refrain. Such a simple question the title asks …or is it? In fact, the whole poem is a question, of the mostprofound and many-layered sort. Starting from a dream as“random neurons on the go go go,” the poet creates a verbalsymphony that expands to encompass the whole universe: ...Somewhere across the galaxy a house stands High on a rocky crest above the blue-green sands And all the twists and turns of that strange place Are but reflections of the flickers on our lids and face...Suddenly we realize that the question itself has the power −even the moral power − and the true answer doesn’t matter.Alexander Pushkin once remarked: “A poet is a king and kingsmust live alone.” The act of writing poetry is doubtless a lonelyaffair. However, having said that, one must bear in mind that apoet cannot write in complete isolation. Poetry cannot becreated in a vacuum. The progenitor of poetry needs must bealive to the world outside. He must be alive to the ebb and flowof life as it were. And invariably, in his relentless search forinspiration, a poet may draw heavily upon external sources andinfluences. The poets in this anthology are no exceptions. Poetssuch as Patricia Kelly, Chiesa Irwin, Üzeyir Çayci, WesleyPatterson, Laurence Overmire, Olutayo Osunsan and Erik Larsonhave all richly benefited from venturing beyond their imme-diate spheres and the results are very much in evidence in theirworks. Patricia Kelly, for instance, has used the Haiku, aJapanese verse form, to great effect. In a group of poems underthe title “Autumn Haiku,” she adroitly captures the sombremood of the season: xvii
  20. 20. quilted autumn leaves, caught in mid-tumble by love, warm both wall and heart too lazy to close window: only nose above quiltOne has to read the poems in their entirety to fully appreciatetheir beauty.In conclusion, the editors of this anthology would like to saythat we are confident that this collection will bring a measureof good cheer to all lovers of poetry. What is most remarkableabout this anthology is the fact that the poems give littleindication of the diverse, cross-cultural identities of the poets.They speak in one voice here: a voice that is distinctly humanand universal. Thus we have a poet from Pakistan, who speakswith ease and spontaneity to people of all cultures, as do hisfellow poets in the U.S., Canada, Great Britain, Germany,France, Greece, India, Africa, Australia, China, Lithuania,Turkey and Malaysia. It is this multi-cultural mulligatawny,served up by the poets of this anthology that lends piquancy tothis unique collection of poems. The Editors xviii
  21. 21. Aainaa-Ridtz A.R 1
  22. 22. 2
  23. 23. Love EnrapturedWaters rise in humdrumEscalate crashing onto shoresTearing ages against the grainClawing, reeking into Love enrapturedLike bamboo, curve a danceStealing glances of silent awePearls drop from Eyes of ReflectionClawing, reeking into Love enrapturedWings drenched in tears uncurled, soreLifting its dreading flight, “FlyLittle one, Fly!” she criedVoices unheard in restless beatsClawing, reeking into Love enrapturedWhen oceans burn, when tears razeWhen hearts are devoid of honeyed embraceCold stenches the grounds of wretchednessClawing, reeking into Love enraptured 3
  24. 24. Words to Live ByThese words, they etch and grow within, striking each root, clawingdeeper and finally breaking the sheath that covers your heart, to let thelight pass through. Rejoice when love enters and light defines the spaceof living…These wordsthey etch their waysonto your heartscraping like thunderscraping like the edgesof a blunt linoleumtool etching, alwaystooling to make a denthoping to break thatdark dried bloodsmeared heart... these wordslike Izraeel they whispernothingness, yet theybeckon you to mopyour face smudge onthe barren earth kissingand embracing it, like atear from the eyefalling down thenforgotten...these wordsthey talk to you, they areyour breath, the blood yougave at a funeral of peersthe ones you killedthe lusts you buried...these words 4
  25. 25. they tempt not your soulfor the soul of the lifelesssees not the flameof lust that holds tightin the grip, fizzles in theessence like burntcoal and tearsbreathing lifeencircling mothsdrawn tothe sun..these wordsyou live withuttered in solitudeloving, hating fightingalways nudging, dentinghoping to breakthat dark dried bloodsmeared heartletting the Lightthrough 5
  26. 26. 6
  27. 27. Maolcolum Bascher 7
  28. 28. 8
  29. 29. A Public Reading, The Crescent Arts Centre, BelfastAmong a City’s coarse remains,Its closed rooms grieving,Beyond all paramilitary gainsA tranquil seat of learning.One buildingWrecked by time’s decay,The back roomA poor man’s theatre.We crowded out all divisionAnd dissent,Entered into an explosion of reading.She was centre stage, a PoetessStalking to and fro, head erectSlim hip throw-ingA tantalising attentive imageWith every explosive word.That nightShe was a Poet of stature,The soul of her was wingingAbove the fire, scorch and splinter.She was force and confidenceThe cells of her visions inherentIn the uncanny use of language,None had ever given her lesson.Heaney would have welcomed her,McQuickian would recognize her,There was no part of catalyst;When she left the stageIt was to deathly silence.ThenThe uproar of her well-deserved applauseDisturbed the dust high ceilings. 9
  30. 30. Bonding(for Geraldine, my long lost lover)She was quiet in the groupingLounge ofThe Ulster Peoples’ College.Nothing of divisionSimple bondingHead down into readingHardly heardHer faded green duffle coatSwamping her figureLike some frail eccentric old woman.ButWhen she looked upThe green of her eyesSea depthsEvaporating in Irish Sunlight.We hardly everSpoke a wordShe and I.Good EveningOr Goodnight.Light softening the outline CityShe was almost a mouseIn a dusty corner of poetryWith her dreaming quiet voicingBut her words demanded attention.We all listened and wanted moreAnd more she gave to us. 10
  31. 31. Memoriam(for Seamus Heaney)Break your gunsFor the cloth drum is silent.They have buried their deadWith all due pomp and circumstance.Who will heed the bugle call?The deaf have no hearingAnd the blind cannot see.Who are you?Is countless death such a magic thing,That it will give us unity − Never!And that which men call GodIs faced turned from us.No gun this penBetween the finger or thumbNor fork or spadeSeamusBut conscience!No more the strong arm liftInto love and rough tweed smell.Pipe racks will remainAnd the curl of leaf bone dry.Where Mothers in their weepingWatch their Daughters grieving.When bugles sound and drums retreatMarching men stamp their feet.The snowdrops have sprungAnd the grass is silent,The buds of winter are breakingAnd the spring enters the sea.Spring is on the borderAnd the Watcher, face stained, hides.The Hare begins its dancingAnd the squat black barrel is live. 11
  32. 32. Not a breath of ease,Or whispered Irish breezeDisturb the stillness.Listen!Hear the drum beat, snare tight warningThe Brits are coming.Parade grounds have emptiedAnd the Saracens whisper rain.They have their ordersAnd will come again and againUntil death is retrieved.Sleep thenIs that a Rat, tat, tat.Is it the wind?Or is itA butt knock thundering a door?No more the black capor hideous tones inscribedNo more the fall nooseNo sense in Law.Vigil candlelight and weepingHave been offered in recompense.I did not see their salt stainOr hear the low murmurings of shame.And beyond these defenceless deathsHeroine or HeroThey do not talk of heroism. 12
  33. 33. Thames(for Rosemary Agnew-McKinlay)Gulls on a mud bank, ducks in the glideAll ripples expanding, bank touchHulk on an island slipwayRot in the hullBranch in the overlap.It seems as thoughIsland and boat are one.Fabric in the wind and tideWhat waters runWill run on foreverIn the sea, cloud and rainSnowflake on a hillI will not see that hill again.But sometimesI may think of Ireland.Our memory, she and IGrey eyes clarity of her laughterWalking at the side, arm swingHer stride in tune with mine.I loved her easyWhen her hair, wind liftedThrew back the sunAnd her breastsPushed thumping into hugA Wife for any man.When I first met herShe was silence on a holdAn open gaze in her eyesA puzzlement in mine.The waters come as I look outDark is on the other sideWhere thoughts cave in.The length of waterman is lightedThe bar an island at the end.I watch!But she will never enter 13
  34. 34. Too much sea between usBetween her and the Brit!There was difference with usHer Tribe resolute in hatredFlags on the twelfth, ranting beneath.But disparity was strength in our lengthAll things common to a sea.In bed she was a LambA Tiger in the haunchEach thrust her riseCool sweat on her skinWhen she lay sleepingSome spark between us in the heatIn me it never truly dies.Now I cannot see the riverAll reflection is inside. 14
  35. 35. Books at the top of a stairs(for Geraldine Reid)All booksWords; lighted dreamingsThey rise from solitary imaginationsFor shoulder stoop revisionNight thoughts.I forget all daily habitSit in a straw weave kitchen chairPage into other wisdoms.My easy companion is smilingSome heart amusementErodes her serious concernAny moment now!Her laughter will bubble freeBreak the lip of studious intentAnd the woman at the counterWill lift her head for silence.Do not stop laughterSuch thingsLovers are made ofPrivate touchingWaking from close skin sleeping.There is her fine length of backLight trace miracle her spine.I know when I touch herShe will reprieve all patienceI the Lamb leaping springHer Tiger flaunting the jungleThe Lion of our union.She will findThe imprint skin of my creativity remainTrace the line placementOf all these human yearsAnd her exquisite sleeping 15
  36. 36. Will come to others as dreamingTribes will declare territorial divisionsStray Dogs will bark the Belfast moon.She has recaptured silenceBut there is still laughter within her green eyes. 16
  37. 37. Olive Trees(for My Arab Father)As if blood between usHis sense of humour − wicked.Not much of conversation betweenTwo quiet thoughtful men.Nothing of common languageSits uneasy between themA Look, a gesture of hand.A slight lift of eyebrowAnd all things are understood.Two potted Moroccan Olive treesAre a measure of this man.There is a sensed strength in them.Acclimatised to this english weather,They thrive; reach for the StarSome years before they fruitThe sweet of North African olives.But like My Father, I am patientAs much as his Son should be.And if there areBut four single years between us.My Father is still My Father! 17
  38. 38. Ottolenghi, IslingtonCakes, pastries.Such a vast colourfulAbsolutely delicious arrayOf flavoured tastesTongue tantalising adventure.Sitting,As I doAt a single round whiteMetal table,My posterior adheredTo a whiteMetal folding chair.Some spark of season acquiredWithin this quiet lounging.They come swinging pastHip throw, skirt whirling.Laughing, chatting.Fierce throw of stunning eyesAnd every one is beautiful.Whether fat or thin,Round or matchstick tall.And lovers obliviousOther than each to eachFloat along Upper Street.Some mayConsider nuts, cream,Custard and jam.A veritable joint indulgenceShared lovers’ experienceOf cakes, pastries,Walnut and marzipan.A mouth-watering full stop. 18
  39. 39. BrotherHere in CheswickIs whereYour good heart lived.Not farFrom a dancing tree.A rain soaked sunWashing the high street.I can almost hear youSee the laughter, prideOn your face, your Sons,Turned up towards love.Until death thundered your veinsCracking your heart still. 19
  40. 40. On such a day as this...On such a day as thisWhen skies are clearAnd all seems so perfectMelissa is dying.How hard she fought.Never for one momentForgetting others’ pain.She would make me laughWith her emailsHer lovely sense of humour.I will miss youMy American Warrior.(Melissa suffered ovarian cancer for some years. She was always positive and never gave up.) 20
  41. 41. UnfinishedDancing betwixt the ferventand the calm,the in between of constancyin her, here and now bewilderment.Where one is notthe solid ground, she capturedwith her indecent intentHell benton total inconsiderate destruction!Her success beyond all consequence.As he, within the gaseous multipletied well into his own mortality,aware of the increased pain of itand that Other?The weakening of forceagainst the roulette spin of fate. 21
  42. 42. Fumiko AbeQuiet in her polite approachInto bow of her greeting.In a normal Yokasuka barWhere polite Japanese gentlemenRelaxed after workMuch like in an English pub.It seemedI was being askedWhether I would like an orange?Strange offering, I accepted.She peeled the rich orange skinLaid it aside.ThenWith her manicured nailsRemoved each particle of white pithUntil the fruit was naked.Each segment separatedWas laid into a porcelain saucerA regular circle patternAnd sugar sprinkled to sweeten.She presented her offeringWe each ate a segmentUntil only one was left.After momentary deliberationI offered her the last segmentWhich she accepted.LaterShe came to meWaited as the bar owner translated.She was to finish work at 10 pmAnd wished to take me toAnother Japanese bar.Where we were made polite guestsAnd laterWe climbed a hill to her wooden houseAnd paper sliding walls.She laid a sand pillow for my head 22
  43. 43. Love between usWas a curious lack of language.Our fingertips and skinSpoke more than any wordsFor ten immense daysUntil the pacific claimed my leaving. 23
  44. 44. 24
  45. 45. Shimanta Bhattacharyya 25
  46. 46. 26
  47. 47. The Poet in Exile(Dedicated to artists who are persona non grata in theirown country and have had to go into a self-imposed exile!)Sagacious as the scarecrowHe leads a stilted lifeIn the sun’s hot gaze.His mouth, dryAnd stuffed with pebblesProduces no sound, no breath −Only the wind soughs hollowlyIn his shallow depths.The Sun, the Moon, the EarthThe season’s cosmic conspiracyVouchsafe nothingNot even a grain of thoughtIn the loamy compost of his brain.Sagacious as the scarecrowHe can only articulateThe raucous speech of pebblesWith a stony silence. 27
  48. 48. In The DarkSomewhere around a shadowy cornerOf a nameless streetIn somebody’s backyard - grown over with nettlesChildren play cricket.I can hear their shrill voicesWafting in the torpid, evening breezeThrowing a challengeTo the interminable gloom of approaching dusk.Not far away, a young motherRestrains a deprecating handIn a sudden flood of remembranceAs she watches her children playFrom behind curtains:She dare not disturb the placid watersThe river will flood its banks anyway -And the little childrenWill learn to be afraid of the dark! 28
  49. 49. RainIt’s pouring like never before.You are stranded in the pedestrianSubway. And as usualYou notice nothing exceptThe decrepit, old beggarHunched upon the splattered stepsBefore his decrepit bowlThat is quickly filling upWith soft, sudden silver.He regards you leerilyFace twisted in a wickedToothless grin. You shuffleIn your reeboks. Eyes averted.His gaze, sharp and lance-likeCuts through your shirtTo the stippled skin.There’s an edge of extra glintTo his eyes. Or is it only the rainDrawing everything into a sharper focus? 29
  50. 50. To The MuseOurs is a love-hate relationshipPivoting about dawn & dusk, hope & despair, life & deathThat we have got along with each other tolerably wellFor so long - through long spells of droughtBroken suddenly by a short-lived, but, torrential downpourProvokes a mild a wonder!Long hours have I spent with youIn the park, at the theatre, on the beachesOr in your arms lipping your warm breastsAfter a post-pandrial siestaEven in silence, (when we have quarrelled!)And yet I have failed to understand you -No matter how hard I tryI fail to convince you that I am a good lover -I promise you fidelity in the words you have given meBut you simply shrug me off with such indifferenceThat I almost cry out in despairLike a madman - froth in mouthAnd reel under the strainThat overcomes me in continual surges of pain:Like the eternal lash of waves on a moon-jinxed night! 30
  51. 51. A Bunch Of FlowersHustled, prodded and packedLike a flock of sheepInto the long, narrow aisle of a jetliner,They queue up to their assigned seatsFighting time, excess baggage and the grimeOf rootless years stamped on their faces.All sense of this mad rushWill soon be washed down with immodest sips of whisky,All explanations brushed aside -Like the smooth-scented paper napkinsDispensed to preserve what little there is leftOf human company.Suddenly in the midst of it all,Somebody soundlessly wafts into the pictureIn a rain of glances.Hugging a bunch of flowers to her bosom,She glides down the aisleCoolly conscious of the confusion around her.Sheltered in the eye of a storm,She slips in and out of the crowdExpertly shielding her prized possessionFrom the relentless onslaught of pressing bodies.Ah, somewhere somebody is waiting. Somebody beyondThe metallic banshee of jets. Somebody who cares. 31
  52. 52. The Yellowing Green(for Maolcolum)The sun peers through windowpanesShamefacedlyLike the household catWho lets himself in through magic portalsAfter a night’s murderous binge.The ceaseless ticking of the clockShatters the ethereal peaceOf delightful sleep -(After a spell of insomnious tumult -)With crass indifference.There were times when lengthening shadows spread gloom -Ah, how often we leapt out of bedJust to watch the glorious sunriseAnd the naughty gambols of playful lambsUpon lush green meadows.And now, twenty summers later,One hardly takes notice of the full-grown lambsGrazing upon the yellowing fields:Only the grassAt the foot of the telegraph pole is green. 32
  53. 53. The Unfinished ManHe dreams about a blue houseWith a red roofAnd mangoes that burnLike hundred watt bulbsIn his backyardHe has been dreaming about themEver since he banged his headAgainst a cross-beamIn his father’s garage(He had not reached puberty)He has had several accidents since:One very nearly claimed his left eyeHis dream has not changed thoughIt is always the blue house with the red roofAnd mangoes that glitter in the backyardHe dreams about a blue houseWhere the night disrobesIn a slow strip tease. Where dawnSlips silently under bolted doorsSpilling her load of gold-edged mailWhere fear does not coil, uncoilIn the bellyLike a thousand vipersWhere shadows do not castDark glances in doorways at duskWhere clocks do not echoThe heart’s silenceTicking away into oblivionWhere mangoes are in seasonAll the mellifluous year round 33
  54. 54. Ah sometimes his mind goes blankHe fights the dark in the darkHoping for something drasticA blow to the head perhapsTo jump-start his brainTonight he is fighting againAgainst the din of consciousnessThe dogs are stripping the nightTo the bone. The flower in his brainIs witheredThe mangoes are slowly becoming stone 34
  55. 55. And In The Human Heart(for George W. Bush)There is a certain emptinessIn the human heart I cannot fathom.Nothing grows there(Except the echoing beat of despairThrobbing to the rhythm of machine-guns!)There is no substance:Not even for a seed of hope.The great deserts that span the great continentsHave gushed forth either water or oil;Vast wastes of sandHave sustained many a civilisationAnd borne the toilOf a million shuffling feet -But, in the desert of the human heart,Where there is neither water nor oilOnly the hungry fires of destruction spring. 35
  56. 56. Kali(Hindu Goddess of Destruction to whom bloody sacrifices are made)A blood-burst of flaming gongsCleaves the black silenceLike a knifeBodiless voicesRev up relentlesslyIn a ceaseless dithyrambic clamour:As sphinx-shaped carousersWith billowing belliesBreak into a riotous dance -Around a towering figureOf a dumb-struck dark goddessWho only speaks the language of blood? 36
  57. 57. KashmirIridescent drops of bloodGleaming like scattered beadsUpon a desert of virgin snowBear a mute testimonyTo somebody’s twisted lust.The terrible hungersOf a famished landRecord in their throesThe birth of gun-toting messiahsAnd a feeble pulseOf a primeval storm that echoesGory tales of a divided hearth. 37
  58. 58. A Lament For Their Eyes(*For my ULFA brethren who are either dead, dying or will die)They want to shut their eyes, they cannotThe red, lidless eyes gape like festering woundsThey are struck with a strange sicknessThey are struck with the seeing sickness of the skyThe sky sees everything. The sky is one enormous eyeThe sky never stops seeing. Seeing everything all at onceThe eyes too can see everything. But only in patchesThe sky sometimes weepsThe eyes do not weep, they cannotThe eyes have become clogged with excess saltThey cannot wash themselves clean like the skyThe eyes do not have the luxury of tearsThe waters of the eyes have become locked in iceLike subterranean cataracts in winterThe waters of the eyes have withered into a lakeA lake of frozen tearsThe sun comes feeling for their eyes with pointed daggersThe moon comes feeling for their eyes with banderillasThe wind comes feeling for their eyes with grasping fingersThey cannot shut their eyes; they cannot shut their eyesLast night they fished out a corpse from a pondIts mouth was wide open. The eyes protruding like ping-pong ballsThey say he cried a lot. Others say he died of seeing too muchNow he tastes death in his mouth and death stares through his eyesThe rain claws at the green skulls of violent memoriesThe air is moist with blood spewing from ransacked townsA vulture slakes its thirst at fetid pools of submerged bonesIn the distance clouds gather like poisonous mushroomsThe rice withdraws into the earth. A swathe of smokeCovers the eyes of those who have comeTo cremate their dead. Somewhere a girl tries to singBut the song sticks in her throat like a knife 38
  59. 59. They want to shut their eyes, they cannotThey cannot shut their eyes in spite of the daggersThey cannot shut their eyes in spite of the knivesThey cannot shut their eyes in spite of the gunsThat seek out their pithless hearts with long fiery tonguesThey are the fallen angels with wings like shards of electricityThey cannot shut their eyes, their eyes with their pierced dreamsOh, if they shut their eyes the nightmares begin.*The United Liberation Front Of Assam, a secessionist militant organisation fighting for an independent statehood in Assam, India. 39
  60. 60. 40
  61. 61. Michael H. Brill 41
  62. 62. 42
  63. 63. Tall FiresMy toaster died this evening,In flame and then in steam.It choked on bloated, frosted things.Its wires did glow and gleam.A moment when my back was turned,The bloated things did spawnEach one a flame that spouted forthFrom toaster’s mouth a-yawn.I gaped as these two spouts of flameThe cupboards did assail,Each flame a roaring demonWith a multicolored tail.Through wreaths of smoke I jumped untilI reached the towering flames.Two tall and skinny fires these were,Two demons without names.Though they were tall and lean and fastI vowed they’d bow to me.A primal thought flashed through my mind.I turned as if to flee.And then I grabbed the carcassOf my ailing toaster friend,And tossed it in the sinkAnd brought it to its watery end.Oh, yes...Before I let it go(I guess I was too terse)I pulled the plug − tall fires are bad,But SHORT fires are much worse! 43
  64. 64. Patently ObviousPatent 6,980,xxxsays I can’t breathe in again:Not my idea to use...can’t point to prior art......saw it on the Internet......lawyer back at two......I’m on “hold”......[gasp]...Treble damages! 44
  65. 65. Last Blue Reflection 2002The photographer had one last task here.Alone, at nearly midnight,he shouldered fifty pounds,climbed fifty floors,assembled hefty tripod,mounted camera aimed at the blue phantom towers(searchlit gaps where the real towers fell last year),and waited − patient fisherman −for vagrant photons scatteringfrom chance dust and mist.Though cable-muscled legs ached,his grim eyes (much aged since fall)banished the pain,demanded this distant departing viewto warn, to contain the lethal avalanche.Could wraithlike bridge spans from the phantom towerscarry forth his faith in the futureand a thousand latent souls to their new beginnings?Just before dawn he sighed,closed the shutter,packed away the camera,trudged down the stairs.It was no good tonight:too much wind swaying this building,too little dust.Only a few more blue-lit nights.Luckily he would need just one more try.Then, on to his next work(born of his faith before the evil day)− protect and nurture his new baby at home. 45
  66. 66. View From AfarDots of light, electrons’ spoor,deftly, seamlessly woven on my screen −capturing early-spring mid-morning in your home;looking out through a mirrorat the ancient city across the bay,trees in the mid-ground not yet in bloomexcept the polka-dotted playful pinwheel.Your patio grows in full leaf.Small birds live in the foreground room,maybe parakeetson brief vacation or too fast for the camera,but fresh water awaitswhen they return or alight.Draped on the dresser, attached to a metal necklace,a diaphanous purple shawlwhose casual perfume could weaken a man.Behind the camera a bed,not with live-tree postsbut strong enough.Also the sun, and the returning traveler −now farther than Odysseus from Penelopein space, time, and probability. 46
  67. 67. Luminous ReflectionThat candle flame’s enough at nightto lose a key and find itbut casts a shadow in the sun −a greater light behind it.The shadow gutters lowand blocks the words I read and write,so better now I use the dayand snuff the lesser light. 47
  68. 68. Drama ReviewThe new production of “Death of Everyone Else But a Salesman”,a timely tribute by Ruth (R. A.) Rellim,would have been the bellwether of the decadebut the actors and stage crewwere absent on opening nightpursuing their new careersin telemarketing.I tried to clap with one handas the other plied cell-phone sales.No audience to be annoyed.No one alive to enact the present −only your ghostly wish-world of futures. 48
  69. 69. Green Shackles (escheating and other fine things)Hey! Don’t toss that note from the bank, orthe state will get your idle bank account!”How so?” you ask.First the bank freezes your money so it will hold still.Then the state grabs the frozen green.I call this harvester the Good King (G.K.)in deference to history...“What history?” Now you’re curious.Good King John threw up his hands,then threw his arms around the unclaimed land.What else is a good monarch to do with all that green?(Even so virtuous,those hands were forcedto sign the Magna Carta)Now, many Johns and Georges laterG.K.’s good work lives on in US (or is it WE the people?).The unstirred pot of green − a bank accountreverts to George du jour, through suited proxy.“What!” you say. “That pot’s not idle −I stir it every tax time.1099 makes it fine − right?” Wrong.You pay yearly the burden of Pharaoh and Caesar and Mad George combinedyet G.K. sees it not.Heshe grabs your green againfrom pots unstirred two years.(That’s when the money freezes, ready to steal!)The G.K. name “escheating” hides the cheat.Recall if you can the cheatwhen in your later yearsyour hands can’t stir the pots so briskly 49
  70. 70. “Don’t like it? Then leave!”I can’t. My dwindling green dribbleis still shackle enoughand holds my free inalienable body.G.K. won’t let me move it. 50
  71. 71. Kicking the Ars PoeticaHow came the poet to this state?Typical homeless manon a typical Christmas in Harvard Square,yet with a difference:a sign saying “Poetry” acrosssharing the “e” with “Readings” down.Word-processor calligraphy,held by filthy rag-wrapped hand.His receding mane does look a bit Shakespeareanbut his eyes scream in petulant pain:“They took my best stuff!”How came the poet to this state?Once perhaps he was a rainbowed splashin a magnificent cascade,Homer to Marlowe to Shakespeareto Asimov and beyond:“his verse has launched above a thousand more.”How came the poet to this state?Was his natural poet-poverty helped along by lawsuits?In his innocence, did he take in vain the name of some copyright or trademark?Loss of poetry and wealth, the sign (from Kinko’s),all the rest would follow.As I pass, I wipe moist eye with a Kleenexmindful of how I must honor his image. 51
  72. 72. To Emancipated Dogs of The FutureThe time has come to emancipate you,to let you run your own world.I know you’ve been waiting a while for this;we relinquish the keys gracefully.Once you licked our hands,slept on our floors,ate what we gave you,silently asked permission for calls of nature.Then came the rain of heavenly virus RNA,changing you forever.Now you think and talk and ask questionslike when will you be free of us?We ask nothing in return,yet I fear you will pay a grievous price.In the old state you died easily when the time came:An injection given to you, unawares.Now you inherit the mantle of the master.No one will ease your death,the slow, agonizing dissolution of the bodythat, as masters, we have had to bear.This is the price of emancipation,to be bound by the shackles of Hippocrates,and by an ageless ethic.Only your hardened criminals will be immune. 52
  73. 73. No BullWe both know it’s been a rough rideon this bucking bronco of a plane from Europe.Now you say you teach middle-school phys. ed.and what is lessyou just ran with the bulls at Pamplona.You prove it with your video,shot your second day of running.I met six bulls too, just yesterday −my shoe’s evidence not so graphic as your horn-torn sneakerbut more fragrant.English cow pastures have nature-walk easements −polite counterparts of Pamplona streets.This one spanned miles of eastern polders,a drainage ditch on each side,six herds of cows visible in the distanceeach one with a bull.An occasional snort in the sultry airmixed with the brush of our feet against grassas three of us trudged in.Academic Glenn had done this before −no need to worry.One half mile in, a trick of the eye:A huge bull, with his admirers,seemed to stand right in the path.It was impossible,but so.The bull stood with his front feet on the path,his herd behind him.Head held high, horns shining in the sun,tail swishing, he looked down at me.I remembered this gesture from middle-school −unmistakable. 53
  74. 74. “Let’s go back,” I said to Glenn,who drew out a map and unfolded it.I went on: “Glenn, I don’t think we need a mapto figure out what to do now.”Glenn turned with me, and his female student followed.As we walked, my backward glance saw the bull standing.He was unlikely to pursue, I reasoned:His absence would make his cows scatterperhaps to take up with other bulls.Maybe we understood each other.On the right was a more distant herd,a brown mountain hulking over it.“That’s a really big one” said Glenn,but I had closer worries.On the left, a herd that had been far awaynow stood a few feet from our retreat path.We affected nonchalance in our walkbut I skirted the right-hand drainage ditchand slipped and almost fell in recent leavings.Where was the bull?Suddenly emerged a gray flankrippling like a huge flag in the wind,rising from the herd in a mounting tension.Too short a moment, I thought,but we got by.Relieved, I recalled another thought from middle school.Nookie is good, even if it’s the other guy who gets it. 54
  75. 75. Driving North at Low NoonDriving north at low noonI feel not much day is left,But it is warm − no snow or rain’s in sight.Sun is behind me, dazzling(I dare not look in the rear-vew mirror).Ahead, bathed in warm colors,Trees rush by me, stark and wrinkled,Yet evoking summer eveningsAs the cold blue sky stands blamelessly apart.I shift to elude pain as I drive,Adjusting the burden of half a century.A religious meeting and my northward wayHave hidden the shadows that foretell the night.Soon darkness comes, and (in a while) I rest.The last ember of my wakefulnessHarbors yet one mote of New Year’s resolve:Though another year bears me inexorably northward,Though another winter meets meon its way from the Arctic Circle,I shall find low noon again. 55
  76. 76. 56
  77. 77. Nigel Burwood 57
  78. 78. 58
  79. 79. Modern MomentI was sitting in Peet’s cafe in Frisco(as they don’t like you to call it)talking online with a cloned geniusEinstein Turing Turbo 7,as he likes to be called.My virtual handmaiden Zelda Fitz 6,was, as always, at my side.Suddenly just as I was feeling peckish,my old pal Didier teleported himselfin from Paris − the Boul’ Mich(another no-no nomenclature)with a fabulously fresh baguettebaked just 15 minutes before inthe 23rd arondissement.Quite a modern moment. 59
  80. 80. NoirA war hero kills his roundheel bride,in ocean winds under glistening palms.Rain falls on her body,darkens her dark dress,draws blood along her black hair.Lightning reveals the stoic faceof a shamus sleuthing in a hotel garden,his scarred jaw, his laconic teeth.At a night club in the bay hills,singers wear slinky dresseswith sparkle and sheen and have long hairand dark glowing eyes like Veronica Lake.Lust and longing perfume the air,where the svelte girls torch-sing about lost loveand the utter impossibility of happiness.A lot depends on a heartsick gangsterdriving down a dark mountain roadin a long white Lincoln.Later all the good and bad peopleshoot one another in a dirty garage. 60
  81. 81. Where is Fantomas?At that time Fantomas hauntedthe places and passages of Paris,always disguised, always a man− sometimes two men.The hack author Igor Larsen,(“Two Eggs on my Plate,”)or the poet assassin Lassenaire,elegant criminal of the Seizieme.Untraceable, unseizable −sometimes a frail old man,the pedantic antiquarian Loupart,or Lord Mortimer −a tweedy English bounder,wiry, whiskered, springing from the dark.Everywhere and nowhere,untraceable, unseizable,but never for an instant himself,a feat beyond his incredible power. 61
  82. 82. Wittgenstein’s JukeboxI’m sitting in the House of PiesDrinking muddy coffeeWhile Ludwig talks at me.Always the foundations of reasoningAnd the limitations of knowledgeTo logic − and only logic.‘Put another record on the juke box’I shout after 2 hours (and no pie).‘But there is no juke box inThe House of Pies’ cries Ludwig,‘Can you prove that?’ I quip.He laughs out loud (a rare thing).‘Nigel − I like your cheery face.Let’s go camping in Norway!’ 62
  83. 83. In fernIn the middle course of my lifeHaving strayed from the straight pathI got lost in a dark wood.Luckily I was carrying a mobile phone. 63
  84. 84. Never Said A Bad WordAt the funerals of those who died too early,well before their time (a short innings)I usually hear the dead man described ashaving ‘never said a bad word about anyone’and sometimes it is true.I hear it so often thatit seems saying bad wordsabout people is the secret of a long life.Is it meekness or genuine nicenessthat holds our dead man back?Does he feel that if he put people downthey would do the same?And why does he spend his afternoons in drinking clubs? 64
  85. 85. Dark Car TheoryOnly a part of the secretis ever revealed.It happened on 85just past Cupertino.A dark car is closing in behind meat high speed on the crowded highwayin dying light.Pulling over to let it byI slow down and glimpsea secret running under the world,the dark car theory,the demon is multiplied,the meek are twice meek,the unlit car will weave fastthrough the shining safe cars.Take care, those who most needto take care cannot.The racer tears into the future,he had been usefulto demonstrate the theory. 65
  86. 86. A Lesson with Mr. MenticultureThe pupil says: −‘Please Mr. Menticulture,can you teach meto live without worryand fearand, like, fast?’Mr. Menticulture replies: −Yes. Consider, if it is possibleto, like, get rid of fear and worry,why is it necessaryto have them at all?The pupil says: −I get it.I, like, totally get it.(Leaves room.) 66
  87. 87. The Way of the TouristTake the funicular railway,kiss the Blarney Stonewalk the Boboli Gardens,ride the London Eye.This is what we dowhile we are alive.Up the Eiffel Tower,down the Blue Grottoround the Coliseum,onwards to Angkor Watback through Cumberland Gapalways best as a touristwith camera, phrase book, and map.Ignore experts,go where everyone goes,surrender willinglyto the way of the tourist.Swim in the Med,drink the local brew,visit Elvis’s grave.This is what we dowhile we are alive. 67
  88. 88. CEOSometimes hiking in obscure hills,I caught sight of my linemenAnd would climb up for a talk.When I told them I was the presidentOf Bell Telephone CompanyThey were, frankly, amazed.Walking to the operaOr just pacing the pavementI would disappear down a manholeTo check my workers were all right,And to show my appreciation.Such acts have made me inordinatelyWealthy. 68
  89. 89. BlamelessThere was a time that has run awayWhen dread and fear woke me each day.Streets leading down obliquely to rampartsNo longer confound,Pools and great subterranean reservoirsCause no disquiet.I am the master of fallen yearsBeyond laughter, beyond tears.Unmoved by failure or success,Indifferent to indifference,I lead a blameless life in Bournemouth. 69
  90. 90. 70
  91. 91. Üzeyir Çayci 71
  92. 92. 72
  93. 93. The Mauve SeaIn all your life you have never seenthe mauve sea...As though thirsty to dieon hera bird tramples fireI did not see eitherat the pointof resurgence of morningon the mauve seaAs though thousands of hopesvibrate on hermy eyes disappearinto the calls of the next dayA start shakes me in the morningwith tears, facing, oppositeIt restsand stretches with all my griefbefore my eyes...The mauve sea 73
  94. 94. They Have Taken Their First Steps in My HeartThe pain first took hold of my wristsIn the heart within my heartMy sweet childrenTook their first steps.Rain drips on the windowsThere is that which comesFrom far awayWith hands in handcuffsI do not know the day or year of humanity...Stars shineThanks to drops falling from treesThe moon springs tight a trap on my pessimismFor a night…The pain first took hold of my wristsIn the heart within my heartMy sweet childrenTook their first steps. 74
  95. 95. The Valley of the CulpritsIn the valley of the culpritsbe patient.Remain planted on your legsto be struckby the newcomers and, leaving them,never look behind you,so that each one can seethe hairstyle on the nape of your neck.In the valley of the culpritswhile insults fuse togetherdo not say anything, especiallymake like the nightingale which ate a blackberrywhile the human one is depreciating.The bump at the end of your nosemust not have an impact on your spirit.Know that your language burns if you eat while prickingand your backyard burns if you speak bitterly.Above allforget your mother, and your father.It is not necessary to worry about their fateor that they are weakened physicallyor drag themselves along.Do not say anything.Drop...Let your efforts break down.Let the mast be reversed... 75
  96. 96. Carry on your way simpering.If you see a fallen friendabove all have no feelingno pityand if you have envy, give him another kick.Do you know that nobody is thinking of you at this moment?If you come across a large turkeycut its throat without saying anything to anybodyand eat it!Have no panic, remain stillwhere you are well hidden!In any eventyou are in the valley of the culprits.You will be viewed badly if you work much.You will be driven out if you speak the truth.You will be crushedif you go the way of love.You will be beaten in various waysif you resist tyranny.You knowthat there are things not to be neglected.In any eventyou are in the valley of the culprits.Be pitiless!You know that integration is spoken about uniquely,that at least your identity card is like theirs.One demands it from you insistently.If in spite of all you do not likeall that I have just saidyou do what you want,act according to your desiresas well as your accomplishments,one never knows...Perhaps you will be accepted! 76
  97. 97. Friendship with PhotosMake drawingsof a frienda comradea neighbourand place them in a central corner...Do not count contours and lossesretiring from your memorywordslike interest, aggression, treason...Colour, decoratemanage them...Hang them in the nicest placeof your home...As long as they are theresleep without frightwithout fear...You will seethat your friendshipwith the festive coloursand the sincere lineswill not deceive you. 77
  98. 98. The Hunter Has Become a Guide for the BirdsThe hunter has become a guide for the birds,his two facesagainst two wings.He has chopped down treesto make a postwith small dried branchesfor the birds to roost.He has broken off flowersto decorate this small treeto cheer the birds.He has put small stonesand large grains of wheaton platesso that the birds can eat.He has constructedposts with pencilsand towers with postsfrom the ruins of the towersso that the birds can take cover.He has appended signatures,each one different,on dry leaveswith his two faces,no one noticing.After some time,chasing the birds one by one,he blows like a wind,saying that judges and prosecutorsare his friends. 78
  99. 99. The birds, like many others,quickly understandand when the time is ripethey emigrate,exchanging one thing for another,finding another country,agreeable people, trees,grains of wheat on platesand flowers of all colours...while living peacefully there,the hunter is of two facesagainst two wings. 79
  100. 100. The Children of MidnightMemory of war is silenced in themand there is a tiredness in their knees,the children of midnight kneel before the sun...this only oneof the many thousand sorrowscovering their eyesas if they were thirsty for a dropof the moon’s lightThe children of midnightwalk fallen in the dark,resembling the skyI cannot leave these sensitive, indifferent onesI still do not know...after how many years?I re-examine themand they still cry,these children of midnight 80
  101. 101. The Cul-de-Sac of the RoseGrief will invade your dreams.Listen to the oceanfor all that you would see.Remember blue fieldsfulfilled by sunwhile sorrow sleeps.Hand in handnights bring fish.Your eyes soak up the sky,you cannot endurethe murmur of things disappearingin the cul-de-sac of the Rose.There, poems will be silenced,songs will make you cry,glass will break in your hands.You cannot think,and then you knowyou are no longer able to see mein the cul-de-sac of the Rose. 81
  102. 102. Before the Eyes of AllA whistle has snared your longing,your pride has burnedinto a young man’s roots,deceiving your mutual hope;and your thoughts,like handkerchiefs of stone,have fallen from the bridges.In your own dazzled eyescolours are not repressible,but you have packed the suninto compartments.While the sword playsdarkly in the dazzle,your stories open the arms of slavery.A whistle has snared your longing,your pride has burnedinto a young man’s roots. 82
  103. 103. Do not pass by the places which I frequentedEspecially do not smell my flowersor tin my hopesAs a favourDo not stretch your frozen handstowards my fire...Do not finger my nights, full of nostalgia,with pity for my stars!Do not make my songs endureGo, before my eyesAs a favourdo not pass by the places which I frequented.Leave me to myselfDo not mingle in my thoughtsHold yourself distant from my feelingsAs a final favourleave my poemsDo not pass by the places which I frequented.(Üzeyir Çayci’s poetry has been translated from the French by Joneve McCormick) 83
  104. 104. 84
  105. 105. Fide Erken 85
  106. 106. 86
  107. 107. flower languageflowers have miraculous coloursthey send us love with their perfumes;flowers have a different languageeven if i learn all the languages in the worldit won’t be possible for me to tell about loveas well as fragrant flowersi smell love watching their coloursand want to say “i love you”in the flower-language to my lover 87
  108. 108. AutumnIt’s been raining continuously.Bright drops are seen.The streets have opened their wayTo the gloomy loneliness.It’s not possible to findThe brightness of daylight,Distinguishing the daytime from night.Darkness in the skyIs being felt like a saddening end.There is a silent wait among the trees −Oh, when will they be naked!Leaves have been falling so slowlyBecause they don’t want to be noticed.Trees are getting undressed.The weather is dark.Alone are the streets,The leaves are falling.Autumn has come crying. 88
  109. 109. ShadowsGrandma is sleeping in her bedone of her thin handslies on the quiltwith long, beautiful fingersHer bed is in an empty roomnobody thereexcept a young lady from the pastwith long, beautiful fingersGrandma can’t speak or singshe can’t even see a thingstill she has thin handswith long, beautiful fingersThe young lady used to singshe used to speak cheerfullycook delicious food for mealtimeswith her long, beautiful fingersGrandma is sleeping in her bedher long, beautiful fingers on the quiltout fly three white dovesnot true beauties, just shadows 89
  110. 110. In your heartsmall is happinessin green grassbut far is happinessin a bird’s flightas you want to get closerit goes far awaysmall is happinessin sky’s cloudshappiness is a liarsays you own itbut just leaves sadnessand goes farnot possible to knowwho owns itwe smile in sightbut in reality, crysmall is happinessin green grassbut far is happinessin a bird’s flightdon’t seek itin sky cloudsit’s in your heartnot so far 90
  111. 111. The Love TreeThere was an old treeat the corner of the streetso big and imposingthat everybody tried to climb itSome people weren’t strong enoughto grasp the branchesso they fellbefore reaching the peakSome were too heavywhen these tried toreside in the treethey broke the branchesThere was one persontall, thin and gentlehe reached the topafter struggling many yearsHe settled therehis beautiful wife asidebut the scenery was so attractivethat he started watching. 91
  112. 112. Music brings your loveeyes closedi open my heartfeelings pour and spreaddancingmusic is in my braini want to feel itso i stop my brainand let my heart workmind is farbut heart is nearheart feels the musicmusic brings your love 92
  113. 113. They Called Me To The Country Of PoetryLate,One eveningThey called meTo the Country of Poetry.They said,“Come quickly!If not,No tickets will remain.”The streets of the Country of PoetryHave flowers on the pavements.They smellSo distinctively.Travellers pass along the streets.They disappear,Leaving something scribbled on a scrap of paper...Some odd writings.Some people read themOthers throw them away.But they are inexhaustibleThose odd scribblings.Travellers comeTo the Country of Poetry.And sometimes are unable to procureA return ticket.They drift alongThe narrow streetsAnd pick up flowersWith unusual formations. 93
  114. 114. Tonight,There’s a freeTicket available.A one-way ticket.I salute the ones who stayIn the Country of Poetry,For it’s the country ofThe lonely, poor and peculiar.Unfortunately,It’s not possible for youTo enter −Unless you really are a poet. 94
  115. 115. Ananya S. Guha 95
  116. 116. 96
  117. 117. The Poetwas interviewedfor a jobhow will poetryhelp you in lifethundered oneof the memberslooking aroundtriumphantlyas if he hadasked thequestion of the decadehe wincedmuttered “poetry is life,symbols...”he did not get the jobbut went out into the worldarmed with more poemsto battle it out. 97
  118. 118. PoemCome speak to mein the language of the soulCome speak to mein the twitter of the birdsCome speak to me of a savage silencethat is holiness,and let me be a begging bowlfor alms. 98
  119. 119. Poetry That SpeaksPoetry that speaks isthe written word emergingout of the oral, in time’smythic shroud, in picturesof man in primal moorings.Who wrote poems then?Poetry that speaks is ancientlanguage of birds, of naturein whistling wind,God’s omnipresence.What are poems written for?In what archetypal silence?Poets are driven by mad lustin history’s corridors; in time’s constricted space.Poets are friends of rites, ceremoniesof voices marauding and dead.Poetry that speaks is man clawing;eating raw meat tangledin clannish, internecine wars.Poetry that speaks is time’s spate,rivers’ red.Let us write the poetry of originsof ancient gongs and wildfiresstampeding this mad hollownessand, hammer the heart with words. 99
  120. 120. Memory Takes WingsWhere did they come from, the poems?From the written word, tormentor of feelings,The spoken sometimes a defaulter?The weather, a beaten rose?In early morning’s awakened holocaustThe grey dusty Radiant ReaderPlugging its way to school with monotony?The school hall brooding over boysIn grey-green uniforms...Messiahs of sad spiritThey still brood, these poemsMusic of lives, my lifeAndMemory saunters...Takes wings. 100
  121. 121. ForestsOnce again these rains,gathering into bowls of dustgnawing memories; with cloned feetdrying up membranesMine is the staring gaze on yesteryearsas these hills hauntedlike passing shadowDoes anything bedevil them?Or is this antediluvian landreplete with myths and storiesreclusive, full throatedin its pleafor solitariness?These rains maketheir wraith like appearanceonce again, compelling me tohide within its thicket of dense forests. 101
  122. 122. TreeNow I am alonealone as the treewith its droopingdismembered selfplanted for nocturnal yearsnear the window ofa peregrinating houseThe tree is taciturnknows the sun, the hillsthe moon and speckled starsThe tree stands anonymouslyrefusing to mingle with habitateven when the stormy skythreatens to shake rampartsin the whirlwindViews landscapewith its gnarledspreading branches like tentacles,melting into fistful of waif like tearsWe are alone the two of usWaiting patiently for the hawk 102
  123. 123. I See PoetryI see poetry in all sorts of placesI see a word lying in the ambitof a leper or a beggarI pick up that lone pariah wordand write a poemPoetry in those huge blue archesswirling overhead;my kite flying daysIn the silence between infinitesimal spacesPoetry tooin the mad womanwith her ugly peering eyeswho came to my house, one summer’s afternoonmoved by monsoon’s furyonly to dieand to cause a death in me;SomewhereEvery nightthere is pulsating poetrywhether a dog howlsor the wind sends a piercing cry.Time ticks away ruthlessly...There is poetry there. 103
  124. 124. LostThe poemthat was foundamong garbageand heaps of rubbishstifled mewith a songa song of destinya song of the wayfarera song in the midst ofrevolutionit was lost, by pilfererswho killed peoplein the name of religionin the accusation of conversionthey blasphemed truththe killers of men, women and childrenthen came the cry of the songthe poem that was lostcupped palms into prayerand wept like never before. 104
  125. 125. When Do We Meet?Will it be in the twilighthour? With fate intercedingor will it be in the profusion of delightsome call it love, the sceptics: destinylet me inhale from the garden of rosesto be reminded that you were once minejust for those few palpitating moments asyou resonated with the world-around you:And I was born. 105
  126. 126. WoundIt has opened once againthe wound,it hurts no longer thoughbut when it opensit nurses all the old onesand I feel like a bandagedvictim, condemned to daysof hibernation in moth eatenasylums, where soulful livingis non-existent, where thewound comes backfull circle, to lash the bodywith tremor, with periodicinanity.Healing is out of the questionwhat can, and perhapswill happen is that like theyawning mouth of a riverthe wound will continueto stare me in the faceagape, aghast, that Iam still its wayfaring friend. 106
  127. 127. Poem in ProseOnce, as a child I wore masks. Colourful. Of different shades andhues. Wearing them during the festival season, they made faces.The mask and I were one. They were my glasses and through themI saw smiling faces, crying, angry, laughing faces. Today I still wearmasks. But where are those red, blue, yellow masks, those that Irevelled in, those that I wore as a child? The masks of my childhoodand the masks of today are no longer the same. 107
  128. 128. 108
  129. 129. Bob Hart 109
  130. 130. 110
  131. 131. Greening Down To Red BerriesAutumn is blood no matter what.Whatever blood is, in the vat, that’s Autumn!I mean, Spring is trying to leap upto and witha fire invisible;with summerthat fire jells into fleshwhose distances yawn into longing,abyss between the heartbeat al-ways frilling green.Autumn takes to the legs −the kid’s kick in all out racing −not to long for, but to go!So the long days curl,red edges closing together −fashion avenue is intense with dyesmore crimson than sunsetmore blue than sky,sky nor flesh is necessary to the distance,nor wind to the stirring,wine only wanted in the stainfor its intoxication!Autumn is blood no matter what.Whatever blood is, in the vat, that’s Autumn. 111
  132. 132. Floating Alone In Worldly CompanyPenthouse ledges are for the birdsa little lilt of upward notesstray help forbalancing on the edgesor a trapeze helloto float some silverpassing to wherethe yellow castles wentwith gardens purpledwhere the gold goesall the dayis glowing to go thereslowing to sleep todream it moredancing in slow motionmelody silking deep into evening 112
  133. 133. Damp Similes and Mossy MessagesLike someone diving into diverse riverssomehow always arrivingat the exact same shoreI return to the same metaphors, even findthe sandpiper printsof the same messagesin my different poetry.Gosh. Look at that. The same images.Like in this poem: river, shoreAlready second hand imagesvisited by Victorian families on weekends.I still wear them like a favorite old vestto solemn and light occasions.Pond river puddle lake − see? Sure.If you dip your handsinto many of my groups of wordsthey’ll always come out wet with water, andexamining your palms you’ll likely findsome shore. I am enamored of shoresalmost as much as faces.....almostas much as eyes.....almost as much as distancesand clouds (damply obscure in myunoriginality) I routinely describe as bright 113
  134. 134. punning on the genius ofa vapor thread that waved them,the story threads that brought them there,fingering the image lightly of thatsilver-irised multi-flowering of myth −am I bright? No! I’m flashy − I mean splashy −all wet, since it doesn’t makeme shine like a mirror tobe so slow to keep lightning outof the world of my words like sunrise-growing weedsits accumulated dew-globes such afertile glare of repetitionsit bursts the thermometer from whicha facet-minded god is proposed to leap.To leap and multiply.Beams on the waves. Sea what I mean.Pacific. Atlantic. Mythic.In theeyedrowned disorientationof the below-wave divefin-wave hope to come to illuminatea new ascension of an unfamiliar shore. 114
  135. 135. Inspired By A Lord Byron PoemPardon me a moment.Oh, I came back late?You’ve left two lifetimes behindsince I left you How is it I recognized you anyway?I think I spent the whole time dreaming.Except a second or so: you knowthat star we looked at? − I was on it.In it I should say.It was very hotat firstwhite brightness all around me, thenI dwindled till Igot all coldand its heat was far and distant stars itself.But that was justa second or so.Dreamingbrings you to strange people instrange places.You and I most often meet on ski slopes at full speedmaking whiteness rise behind us.Or one of us meets Mark.The strange people would findthose strange ski slopes I mean.In the dream? Something like it.A terrible lot of fun.Oh, they were fun! Like the ones a long long time ago.Do you trust me tohop off for just a moment? I’llbe right back. 115
  136. 136. On Reading Harriet Brown’s “A Letter From The Country”I am dressed in the feelof animals brushing by methe warm torso of deerthe brushlike soft raccoonthe featherwhip of wrens crows robins sparrows hawkshot wolf furthe trees are walking and I feel them toothe tuft of weeds and the wild turkeyI am dressed in family.Some places the brown earth is spotted with snow like a fawnwater the snowwill be cold on meyou will see my overcoat of snow.The lining will bethe hot smoke of black wood and red leavesthe leavesare chuckling cooing grumbling.My overcoat is manifold with mouths and eyesI am dressed in family. 116
  137. 137. Call Me Hypocrite and I Shall AnswerStanding on the stage anddying in my arms with allthe strength of beauty in your faceand what colors of Goyaam I wearing now?You cut the lines into yourself, say“these grooves are my life on this place!”And then you press yourself against the paper.And I say “pity is as horrible as suffering”soI hold only ink on my heartshaped stoneno blood.My blood in some distant placeI may have long forgotten. I mighthold you thereand cry your tears as warm not freezing salty sweetforgetful of how flesh so smooth a spreadis natively susceptible to rankness.The horrors of war. And where − if Icould mine it in me − would tenderness take me?We have the harmony of seasonsin atmosphere as thin as cellophaneand frail as tissue.Shall I come back (fresh from the dead)with your grandmother’s comforting lips ona childish smiling browwearing the blue of the homeland river anda russet in my storytelling gownweaved all of sunrise after purple nightflow?Shall we together seamaiden swimwhere age is no rotting but only a wineand kinder never totem only lieder −liebchen: shall we?My sleep is my drug and will you wake my grey nervesto the toothache of this world?If I’m a glass and if your dying stains medon’t you see that you mustlive to make my colors shine? 117
  138. 138. Human in a Foreign CountryAsk him what Hamlet place he was coming fromto look out at this peopled place and decideall the children are doomed.Was it that in his own self-detested lewdnesshe saw the world as onlythe great cradle of corruption?How vast to scanthrough freshforest odor andall paths and towns and elder growingand eyely multiply each coming seedof childly lookto unpassable grimfall future!Not to call it alien. Nature is in the nutshelland from in a shadowed rotting huska fertile visionary eye can turnip toan unusual shape of telescope −a viewer of vistas originalnot to call it wholely exile.He might have been a maker of symphonies:have left behindwhat voyages? − what nights? −to look so on the color of this daywhere he’d arrived befuddledson of a mothergroping for an all-circling truthto ever-begin-and-end inhis spirit he never knew was this darka marriage ring to makecompassion out of despair.Oh the journeys are interesting:dark nights and the weapons therethe sometime starsthe mirrors of black holescompanion walks; beds andsome of them left bloody 118

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