"I want to write till my last breath." Interview, Spark Dec 2014

The December 2014 issue is the 60th monthly issue of the journal and thus a special occasion for the entire team and for the readers who relish the magazine month after month. To mark the occasion, Anupama and Vani - editors, Spark have put together a pearl string of interviews with the writers they cherish and who contribute regularly to their magazine. The end result is indeed an hour or two of mesmerizing reading and enrichment. I too happen to be a bead in that pearl necklace. You can read my interview here:

http://www.sparkthemagazine.com/?p=8094

 

Cracking Sugar

For the record let me tell you

that your silence has reached me.

 

The clusters of green pepper in the forest

dangling like earrings from ears of tall branches 

slice the night air pungently

like a sword lancing silk

and I know that sound.

It is the same as the silence 

convulsing noiselessly between us.

Ashes Of A Day

Ashes Of A Day

Already, the day is in my hands

though it's not yet broken free of the night.

Fragmented and fractured at the crack of dawn.

All of it crumpled like ash on my palm,

before it's even begun.

A day lodged whole in the oesophagus 

A start slapped to the finish line like an unhedged bet.

Nothingness riding the body like a fever

Mercury rising in thermometer veins, like hysterical laughter.

*********

My poem wins the NIRBHAYA book contest

A month ago I wrote about Kusum Choppra who has compiled a book of short stories titled NIRBHAYA. The stories represent the core courage that women possess and exhibit when faced with bitter obstacles in life. As a part of the exercise to promote the book, the team Organised a contest inviting writings that  portray the indomitable spirit of womanhood. I submitted my entry too - a poem titled Attracted To Sin, and it was adjudged the winner.

https://www.facebook.com/notes/nirbhaya/entry-7-attracted-to-sin/881604378540317

 

Poem in Earthen Lamp Journal

Proud to featured in the Earthen Lamp Journal edited by Divya Dubey. I dedicate this poem Black Lead, to all my Tibetan Friends...for their interminable struggle against oppression and exploitation and their indomitable spirit to claim their share of justice on this globe. I also dedicate it to the sweet, friendly relations that India shares with Tibet and Indians share with Tibetans at a deeply human level.

http://www.earthenlampjournal.com/content.php?content_id=121

 

Nothing Like Winning! First Prize in the Wordweaver's Contest.

I submitted my entry to the WordWeaver's Contest in August, I think. Or perhaps earlier than that. My poem House For Sale was inspired by a true incident in Mumbai. Poetry is often triggered that way - by the things we see happening around us. This was one such poem.

During the selection process my entry first made it to the Longlist and then a month later to the shortlist.

The results were announced today i.e. 1st November 2014. I was pleased that my poem was chosen the winner from amongst so many wonderful entries! Yes...there's nothing quite like winning! I'm all smiles now. Thank you Escribes!

Here's the poem- 

Four Poems in RædLeafPoetry-India

Linda Ashok or Lee as I call her is a poetry promoter with a difference. Yes she, like many others has a wonderful website to promote excellent poetry from all over the world. Yes, she also has a wonderful poetic sensibility like many other splendid poets. What sets Lee apart, is her soul. Her passionate, righteous, tender soul that bleeds like an open wound when the underprivileged suffer or when injustice is in the air and burns like a hot flame, scorching anyone trying to pass off mediocrity for real creative talent and trying to cut corners to just put their work out into the world. For Lee, poetry must be gut wrenching, sword-like, blending blood and tears together and yet flying away tenderly with your soul.

How I love this 28 year old, upright, liberated poet cum promoter of poetry!  I'll have all you readers know that she chose my picture to go with the poems herself, from my Facebook album! That's Lee!

Four of my poems are up on the site. 

http://rlpoetry.org/vinita-agrawal/

 

Autumn Surrender - poem in NorthEast Review

http://northeastreview.com/2014/10/22/autumn-surrender/

Autumn Surrender 

Immense.

Autumn is a season of sown miracles.

A weather-vane, bleeding red.

Starched auburn perfection.

Old spirits of heaven and earth

torching soil and sky, like love.

 

With turrets of blushing earth piercing air;

Plum tinted, glinting like a rooster's feathery back

celebrating something no one knows anything about

bringing alive the worn-out tyre of the earth.

Nothing prudent about autumn;

it snatches our eyes through open lips.

 

Nothing passive -

it forces us to listen to something other than ourselves.

Our heartfelt moans sink in it,

mottle the sienna maple leaves with treacherous tales.

The cold battles of our minds steal some warmth

from its melting ochre pyres and flow past time.

*********

Land's End - poem published in Stockholm Literary Review

 Land's End

The souls of pavements

and the silence of footsteps 

that have nowhere to go

slope down into the sea

here, at Land's End.

Salt licks air.

Something unfinished

lies in the net of the night

like fallen stars

and the railings 

mating perpetually 

with the sea's spray, 

beckon to leap

into the mess of my past

hoping to become food for fish.

So many sandbags of me

heavy with touch

are lined against the shore's crags.

Vastness floats to me

seeps inside my jute.

I look like earth's lips:

Parched

Parted 

Puckered 

Dry, as all the nothingness

that pants like a tired, broken leaf

seeking Land's End

and then, the endless burn of seas.

*********