Week 4, November 2023
The Scarlet Season
by Sheerin Shahab 20th November, 2023
The season of death has arrived.
Bombs raining from the sky,
Like wrathful drops sizzling down
On an earth scorched with hate.
Torn limbs scattered,
like the errant leaves of fall.
The smoke from the fires rises,
Much as frosted winter breaths,
One last valiant effort at existence.
The dust from the debris of a deprived life,
Finds a home in eyes and chapped lips,
Stealing into hearts, bodies, minds,
Choking veins, blinding ducts, damming glands.
Tongues stuck to throats with thirst and fear
An endless summer, blistering, blazing, brazen
Without an end in sight.
October this year is no more gold,
Russet, brown or amber.
It is the season of death,
The scarlet season,
With elements of all.
by Alan Peat 21st November, 2023
Like a flock of sparrows heading for a hedgerow, summer disappears. Everything that seemed far off has passed so we walk, one last time, through burnt umber fields. The sunflower heads are bowed and every corn leaf is papyrus-brittle - the slightest breeze makes cicadas of them. All of the tents in the flat field have gone, turned to yellowed squares of grass. You say this - Now that the swallows have flown, it’s sure the snows will soon come. One morning, we will open our blinds to a renewed world; pure and white as an egret feeding in a field of sun-warmed cattle..
when the tarp flaps
By Pushpa Parekh 22nd November 2023
her languorous arm
Around the edges
of the land.
When winter comes...
The first nip in the air
Stillness waiting at the edge
short days, long nights
She holds in her palms
lamps lit in a row
Her face tilted away
At a distance
dark clouds gather
Clasp of cold steel
We have sharpened
the weapon of tyranny
in our hearts
Can a thousand lamps
dispel the entropy
settling in the air...
Dalit children murdered
Women's entrails ripped
Soul deaths we carry
drag us down
Even the bleak earth
must defend herself
with a mantle of snow
When winter comes...
By Reid Hepworth 23rd November 2023
swirling in a shaft
of your promises
alas, only dew
in the spiders web -
another poor child
for one final breath
By Neena Singh 24th November 2023
This autumn day’s bracing breeze
I hear in the tinkling garden chimes
It swirls the yellow-brown leaves
They mingle gaily with the earth
A plump squirrel looks askance
I keep aside my poetry journal
Delighting in Nature’s wonders
Every leaf has become a flower
Astonishingly red and orange
I sip the transience of this fall
The squirrel darts up the pine
Then down again to nibble grain
Its glittering eyes and bushy tail
Dance a carefree au revoir
Biographies of Poets
Sheerin Shahab is an introvert who prefers a book over company any day. Hence, she is a reader, a nature lover, and a die-hard chai fan. She loves to read and write short stories and poems. Several of her stories have appeared in anthologies published by The Hive Publishers, Writefluence and the MeanPepperVine magazine. You can find her stories and poems at https://penmancy.com/author/sheerin-shahab/ and on her Facebook page,
Alan Peat F.R.S.A., F.H.A. is a UK based poet and author. In 2021 he was placed third in the International Golden Triangle Haiku contest and second in the N.Z. International Haiku contest. In addition to poetry he writes books about art, ceramics, textiles and education
Dr. Pushpa Parekh, Professor of English and Director of African Diaspora and the World, at Spelman College, Atlanta, Georgia, USA, has taught and published in the areas of British, Postcolonial (including African diaspora studies and Indian diaspora literatures), and US Immigrant literatures She has received Presidential awards in Scholarship, Service and Teaching at Spelman and is an award winning poet. Dr. Parekh is the recipient of the 2019 Gerard Manley Hopkins award, an annual recognition by the International Hopkins Society, Ireland. Her poem, "Peace," received the West Coast Tagore Festival prize at the International contest held by Vancouver Tagore Society, in summer 2016.Her collected poetry on her migration journeys, Memory Braids and Sari Texts was published in 2023 by Archway Publications of Simon and Schuster.
Reid Hepworth lives in a tiny town on Vancouver Island, BC, where she plays tiny ukulele and writes tiny poetry. She is a Pushcart Prize nominated poet whose work has been published internationally.
A Touchstone nominee in the Shortlist for Individual Poems in 2021, Neena Singh is a banker turned poet. Her haikai poetry is regularly published in international journals and magazines. She has published two books of poetry—'Whispers of the Soul: the journey within' and 'One Breath Poetry'. She runs a non-profit for quality interventions in the education and health of underprivileged children in Chandigarh. Neena loves to play 'fetch ball' with her pet Rumi, and sit in the garden conversing with squirrels and pigeons.