Week 3 June 2023
By Kavita Ratna 16th June 2023
to ginger-laced chai
on the luminous
wings of the
By Debbie Strange, 15th June 2023
my eyes close
as I rinse the rice
a third time . . .
this ancient ritual
connecting me to you
under a mountain cairn
all these years . . .
the goddess of wind
still keeping our secret
By Debarati Sen, 14th June 2023
These jhumkas and chandbalis are my beauty arsenal.
They whisper your name like a holy prayer,
with a tender softness.
Their jingles stir emerald ripples in the river of my dreams
where you are a pious visitant every night.
On some flamboyant spring evening
they walk with me stretches along the Vidyasagar Setu.
With the hues of the setting sun at Princep Ghat, they
utter our love story laced with the lavender tinge of longing.
My chandbalis flutter with the wind when she sees your torso whispering to the rainbow at Maidan.
They smile together with our silly rantings at Sarobar Lake on a June morning.
On a May evening, amidst the resplendent setting sun at Victoria,
they hum ami tomaro songe bendhechhi amaro pran.
On days when you are away and I am busy reading
Tagore's 'Sesh Basanta', my jhumkas rattle cliches of melancholia,
Softly pattered to sleep by my chandbalis Together they create a mellifluous symphony.
While I wait for the stars to melt in the mouth of the
night sky and for you to return to our peach coloured mornings.
By Ram Chandran 13th June 2023
no tobacco left
for the old man's hookah
in the middle of the paddy field
a dancing peacock
By Donna Pucciani 12th June 2023
I’d thought it would be chilly, but never used
the hat and gloves. I start each trip
with the best of intentions—packing lists,
items sorted according to plans:
mornings at the museums, afternoon walks
in the piazza, evenings full of theatre
and a bit of glitter after hours.
But the return journey sports a suitcase
of sweaters smelling of wet wool
and a raincoat full of damp.
Jet lag absconds with all sensible thought,
meandering through my sleep cycle
like a pair of old socks looking for a shoe.
The Zodiac looks down on the foolishness
of schedules destroyed by weather or indigestion,
precluding the tour of the Vatican
or a stroll through Kew Gardens.
I take my aching back to the overstuffed chair,
and, squinting in the blue of the evening television,
re-imagine taxis shaped like bumblebees,
ice cream in paper cups at the intermission
of an Agatha Christie play, or Bernini’s saints
staring down on St. Peter’s Square.
God knows where I left my list.
The past has vanished. The future flops ahead
like a lop-eared rabbit galumphing through
a garden of blue carrots and lilac lettuces.
The luggage now is empty and light. It sleeps
in the basement, dwelling in possibility.