Monday, 6 March 2017

Poetry Corner : Re-Markings March 2017

A Sonnet of Loud Despair
E. Ethelbert Miller
Like cellphone users
we now believe everyone can be a poet.
We overlook how the tongue can be raped by words.
At night one can stay awake listening to electronic
devices humming what is mistaken for Whitman
and Hughes. Maybe these are the days of the last
poets; the time of madness forced into the straight
jackets of couplets.

What do our ears know
of blindness or our eyes of speech?
There is a crying in the world from language
being lynched. The smell of death swaying
over us singing a quiet blues of deep misery
a sonnet of loud despair.
  • E. Ethelbert Miller is Board chair of the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) and the Director of the African American Resource Center, Howard University, Washington, D.C. He is the author of several collections of poetry. He has taught at UNLV, American University, George Mason University, and Emory and Henry College, U.S.A.

Adios, El Commandante Fidel
Morakabe Raks Seakhoa
Like a gargantuan baobab tree,
Your liberating words are brave deeds
That, when and where they fall:
Irreversible change the whole world befalls.
As history was bound to absolve you, Commandante Fidel,
Posterity’s tasks couldn’t be more clear,
To bring forth tomorrow’s beauty today,
Banishing capital gluttony and people’s hunger forever away.

As we doff our hats to you and your gallantry,
We raise our scarlet standard even more lofty,
To make our foes flinch and class traitors sneer:
For we’ll keep the Red Flag flying everywhere and here.

·         Comrade Raks Morakabe Seakhoa heads the wRite Associates (in South Africa). He helped raise the visibility of South African literature and its writers through numerous events and activities.

I Wish I Could Walk a Mile in Your Shoes:

A Tribute to Maya Angelou
La Shawna Griffith
I wish I could walk a mile in your shoes
See all the sights you have seen
Watch life from the confines of your eyes
Taste the fuel that fuelled your pen
I wish I could walk a mile in your shoes
To understand your mind
How you thought
Why you believed so strongly in revolution
Why you were such an inspiration to all that heard your voice
You see these shoes
Tell the story of your life
And they are big shoes to fill
As they possess so much knowledge
The remains of a creative soul
That have edged a permanent mark in history’s page as a literary legend
And a poetic superwoman
My brain cannot posses the amount of knowledge these shoes entail
I can only imagine how it was for you back then;
Being a black poet in a time where civil unrest was a “hot” topic
Where the caged bird was singing freedom so beautifully
That person’s ears became tuned with the cry of unrest
The words in that poem gave persons a sense of hope and something to believe in

I wish I could walk a mile in your shoes
The shoes that have told
The wonderful tale of your life
By tying the laces
I have accepted the poetic challenge
To walk the path you have so gracefully created.

·         La Shawna Griffith is a poet born in and resident of Barbados. Following on the footsteps of her idol and role model, Miss Maya Angelou, her goal is to become a voice for the voiceless, a hope and an inspiration. Her maiden publication titled Unlock the Door, a collection of thirty seven poems, has received acclaim from various international quarters.
Two Poems
R.K. Bhushan
Main highway
In the city of the dead
Has a crowded and chaotic
Market on either side
Populated by government buildings,
Financial institutions,
Shops, big and small,
Running private business
And professions;
And push-carts,
Parked in order
In this disorder,
Selling all to feed
Without a trade-cry
All traffic snarls and speeds
With the grace of a haphazard
Fatigued , neither girl nor woman!

It is an all-season
Dumb-show of multitudes,
Restive, restless, disquiet
And even touchy
Strangers and known-strangers,
Failure, failure-in-success,
Success to come,
Dreams of success
Dazzled and befuddled
Writ large and deep on their faces.

Formal hellos and handshakes
Or even mechanical enquiries
Or curiosities
An attempt
At breaking ennui
And far-off confusions,
Do not warm up or cool down
The smouldering sensations
Of these urban, semi-urban
Or rural heroes and heroines,
Lighted up like eyrie-dwellers.

They seem to have
Gone off the deep end!
Perhaps to the better end!
Religious Theme
In all working
And governance,
In professions and academics
Political schemes,
Economic reforms,
Social regeneration,
Educational rejuvenation,
Religious resurrection,
Global awakening,
Philanthropic projects,
Universal welfare
All declarations and assertions
Are sacral for development;
Monsters guised as deities
Are religious
In teams and themes
Rooted in labyrinths
Of innovative tactics
For strategic management
Of sales and marketing
In deafening jingoism
And jargonism.

Success of this holistic
Attitude and approach
Is dazzling, baffling and distracting
Sacred to activism!
All good; without humanity!
  • Raghukul Bhushan retired as Head, Department of English, Lajpat Rai D.A.V. College, Jagraon (Ludhiana) India. He is the author of several poetry collections.
Three Poems
Soun Kanwar Shekhawat
The Blank Space
A light of brightness came into my life,
Enriching my life in a state of ecstasy.
First, I wondered it to be a dream,
But, to my revelation, was all heartfelt.
The light embraced me and clutched with itself.
Being my reason to smile,
Being my reason to live.
However, to my astonishment, one day it disappeared,
Leaving me all alone.

I searched thee on Mountains,
I searched thee in sterile spaces.
Thou was not there, thou was nowhere.
Thou left me mousy and moronic.
I was a lifeless tool now.
Oh, Earth! Just lacerate and take me in,
Oh, Sky! Just disperse and bombard your thunder on me.
Thou left an unreadable vacuity in my life.
Someone might bring smile on my Face,
However, no one can bring the brightening smile of my Eyes.
Someone might make me speak,
However, no one can feel the silence in my words.
My words are too silent to express,
My silence speaks and cries aloud.
Dear Pen
O Dear Pen! Catch your speed again.
Let me numberize my thoughts
And color the sheet.
Else you ping my mind, leave useless worries.
O Abundant Brain! Let's pen down you.
But where to bring verse from?
From Literature or from Science?
From novels or from journals?
Just Pen down my friend,all my thoughts.
Catch your speed or run faster.
Pen down my friend,
Just pen down.

What's Toughest in Life
I transpired out of the Womb,
My sweet cry led my Mum smile.
My smile vanished all her pains.
My first question to self:
What's toughest in Life?
While walking, holding my Dad's finger,
I fall down with blood on my knees.
Deliberating the whole day:
What's toughest in Life?
I grew up with many exams of life,
Some with ecstatic achievements,
 In addition, some with painful foggy eyes.
I re-enquired the question:
What's toughest in Life?

While my brain was inquesting,
A sudden cyclone of evil appeared,
And I was a distant far from my loved ones.
The painful loneliness was murderous.
I went out to experience the world.
Where staring eyes, harsh attitudes,
Multi-faceted personalities and miserable faces were all around.
Life, O Life! You’re the toughest.
·         Soun Kanwar Shekhawat, an M.A. in English Literature, is employed at Yes Bank, Jaipur, India.
Two Poems
Anupama Kaushal
Open Spaces
Zenith is all tranquil
Merging the ultimate quail
Manna a forever shawl
Nadir a chaotic pail
Grabbing and snatching trail
Making essence pale
Proximity brews distances
Builds myriad narrow cells
Wrapping behind a mask
Pretending a social bask
Human touch inhuman
In the crowd of Adams
A fall of the leaf
Reminds a stay brief
Society makes a leech
Nature a true preach.
Women Empowerment
Talk of the Touts
A chance for the Pouts
Flashes all agreen
To catch the brightest dream.

Touch of every nerve
With glib tongue serve
Building yet another mound
A stage for the clout.

Deeming the severed scarf
Of Draupadi’s or Sita’s past
Empty desolate sights
Clapping to the heights

Waiting for the dias to bright
Spent in silken tights.
All is preached and done
Hands yet penniless.
Power on the desk
Woman in the dregs.
·         Dr. Anupama Kaushal is Lecturer in English at Government College, Tonk (Rajasthan), India.
A Smiling Sphere
Runjhun Kapoor
Peeping through the clouds
A big star pouts
Smiling from the sky
The mirror of my eye
The first ray falls
As silver ball crawls.
The dark night slowly envelops half the earth
With haunting killer owls in search of their prey,
A black hand moving towards the earth…
The moonlight pausing the black and spreading bright rays.
The shining sparkling silver light covering the dark
Makes night a better place to live.
However bad intensions rise.
God is there to set things right.
·         Runjhun Kapoor, aged 12, is a student of Neerja Modi School, Jaipu (Rajasthan), India.
Published in Re-Markings Vol. 16 No. 2 March 2017
ISSN 0972- 611X
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