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.

*********

Bare of Shade - Published in Stockholm Literary Review

Bare of Shade

They said I'd reach home if I reached your heart.

So I took the odd path

went left 

followed blood trails

rabbit burrows

wizened grass, dry wells.

Until I reached un mended fences

barbed wires, geographical chalk lines, 

morbid like skeletal grins.

Then I went right 

walked through eyes that shone

like sweat in the hollow of the collar bone

followed the scratch of the twig in the mud -

followed wilted tuberoses

strewn on the road like tortured, white, fairy brooms.

Until I reached alphabets, vernacular kick starters  

poetry and the rustling-bamboo flutter of turning pages

jaundiced by sun's mania.

And then I knew

Not reaching

Not settling

Not winning

Not being

I knew that homes are bare of shade.

They hang like dead birds from wires of distance.

Claw at air to send litanies that make even seasoned Gods kneel.

Homes are in those pining gazes we exchange

when we pretend not to look at each other,

aware of the galaxies that so easily keep us apart.

*********

Two Poems in Stockholm Review

I chanced upon the call for submissions to the Stockholm Literary review quite inadvertently. And suddenly many memories of my father's college days in Stockholm, Sweden came alive in my mind. Suddenly the thought of submitting two of my recent writes to the journal seemed more appealing. It seemed to symbolism a personal connection with the place where my father did his masters.

I sent the editors two poems - both freshly written, both particularly special to me. Quite unusually, the editors got back to me in a couple of days stating that they would like to publish both the poems. Of course I was pleased...firstly because they accepted both poems and secondly because their come-back time was so short! Inviting you to read both poems at the link below :-

http://thestockholmreview.org/the-stagnelius-section/vinita-agrawal/

 

Summer We Called Home


Unfulfilled promises jangle like an empty syringe of morphine 

Sprinkling the pain of blockages further into the veins

The chapel at the turn of the street is cob-webbed with morbid confessions

They tar its facade; reduce it to a box of walls when faith disappears

I cannot pray anymore...I am sunk in the creek, in a jungle of letting-go

When rescued, I'll make triangular boats and float them in your name, like water flags

Seasons will come and go and I will continue to sing the songs you wrote for me

From between the jowls of my December mufflers...

...Will continue to torch the corners that failed to receive light

In the spell binding, fleeting, summer of our love...a summer we called home

*********

Nirbhaya Anthology by Kusum Choppra

What happens when women want more from life?

NIRBHAYA is a unique writing project that ropes in sisterhood across generations and takes on the tyranny of unwritten rules, customs and misdemeanours to help women find their place in the sun.  

Strange stories evolve: NIRBHAYA & OTHERS WHO DARED is that Anthology of Hope. 

Nirbhaya’s women are grandmas, mothers, daughters, sisters, wives: brutally gang raped, inhumanly burnt for dowry, shunned from their rightful inheritance, deserted by their families or may be, just living a lifetime ‘adjusting and tolerating’.    

Finally the traumatized, broken spirits lift. They learn to think out of the box, find incredible new age solutions to age-old problems. 

Quietly but firmly they stake out their own space and live in it. No loud speeches, no bra burning; just a new quiet resolve to live their lives with dignity and courage. Doing what is right and simply going about their lives - tacitly challenging anyone who threatens to impose on their space.

The message here is that the new dawn on women's horizons is quiet but promising, soft but with a blazing core of gold and tentative but full of new directions and firm vigour. No atrocities can suppress the beautiful female spirit any longer. 

The proposition is that every female has a Nirbhaya in her that can evolve to take a step forward, sans confrontation, with the confidence of sisterhood. 

To know more about the project and about the author, please visit www.kusumchoppra.com

Here's raising a toast to Kusum for this incredibly relevant work and wishing her book all the success!

 

 

 

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My interview with Jayanta Da in Leap+ - A magazine for Writers in Asia

LEAP+ has been developed as a way to help advance the careers of writers, and for anyone interested in what’s happening in dynamic literary communities around Asia.

With contributions from writers around Asia and beyond, it seeks to provide pragmatic advice on creative writing, editing, literary translation,  finding publishers, opportunities to present new work, and places to find writer peers and mentors. It welcomes ideas and articles from established writers, editors and others willing to share their expertise and experience.

LEAP+ is not a literary magazine. It does not want to duplicate existing resources, and there are now plenty of good online literary magazines produced in Asia. 

My interview with the doyenne of Indian poetry Jayanta Mahapatra is in the current issue of LEAP+. I hope you enjoy the read!

Here's the link: 

http://www.leap-plus.com/the-explosive-art-of-poetry/

Cara's Sweethearts

 

Fox Chase Review is doing wonderful philanthropy work. They've put together a gift basket of poetry books for a fund raising event for Cara's Sweethearts.

Cara’s Sweethearts is an organization that does the right thing by children and their families during their stay at Children’s Hospital in Philadelphia. There is a link to their website at the bottom of this post under the flyer for the fundraiser. I wish them the best.

I too contributed my book to this basket. :) Thank you g Emil Reuter for your good heartedness.

http://foxchasereview.wordpress.com/2014/10/10/gift-basket-for-caras-sweethearts-beats-from-the-heart-fundraiser-10-18/

 

Three Poems in Poetry Pacific

I waited so long to see these three poems published in Poetry Pacific because there was a looong gestation time between submission-acceptance-publication.

Abd then when they were published in May as decided by the Editors I missed seeing them altogether! I was in Vegas then - 5th May :) 

I still have to write a letter of thanks to the editor - Changming Yuan. Will do that straightway after posting the link here for all my readers!

 

http://poetrypacific.blogspot.ca/2014/05/3-poems-by-vinita-agrawal.html

 

POETRY PACIFIC

a literary e.zine for true lovers of words & wisdom

WordWeavers Contest

It feels good to know that my poem House For Sale has been long listed on the Wordweavers Poetry contest 2014. Posting a screen shot of the poem here:

 

 

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My Poem in Pea River Journal

 

8:04 AM — Vinita Agrawal

I swear no one promotes poets the was Pea River Journal does, once they've accepted your poem. My poem is in the Fall 2014 issue of this journal. Patricia, the editor was gracious enough to post it on their website as per my time here in India though the journal is published from USA. I am touched and needless to say look forward to submitting to Pea River Journal again!

Thank you Trish! 

http://peariverjournal.com/2014/08/22/feature-from-the-fall-issue-vinita-agrawal-summer-we-called-home/

My poem in the Fall issue of The Fox Chase Review

The Fox Chase Review is amongst my favorite online literary magazines. Submitting to the journal is by solicitation only. So I'm pleased to have yet another poem published in this review. Please read the poem at the link below. Thanks!

http://www.thefoxchasereview.org/s14vagrawal.html

The July 2014 Issue of IJML

 I received my copy of the July 2014 issue of the International Journal on Multicultural Literature today. 
 
The journal is published biannually in a book form by Prof K.V. Dominic from Kerela. It brings together diverse poets, writers and academicians from all over the world. It's delightful to read so many voices expressing themselves through articles, short stories and poetry. 
 
This issue carries three of my poems which I am posting here for my readers. 
 
I must make a mention of Anisha Ghosh's poem -Anonymous in the same issue. Loved it!
 

POEMS

We Become a Destination

In a magical corner of air

A cello plays sacredly.

My heart tumbles into your sagacious posture,

Turns into a capering contour for your fingers,

Begs for the uneven geometry of your craggy words 

As it watches you unfold ancient parchments in your eyes

Relaxed white walls 

Shift between my left and right brain hemispheres 

Show me a kaleidoscope of a million rosy moments

Knitted into a single future.

Music bows into this enamored opera of love

Rains swing into this diaphanous rhapsody 

Sheer and sweet like curtains 

When we gaze at each other,

Through all the bitter lessons waiting to be learnt,

We fall into a dream.

We float like wisps of feathery seeds into each other's throats

Slip into gulps of immortal love.

Time less, journey less, route less, 

We cease to traverse. We become a destination

*********

Alloy Ink

This ink

Dark with desires

Old with knowledge 

Older with thirsts

Incendiary yet apologetic 

Inciting yet comforting

When I write

The ink becomes 

As cleansing as water

One fine day in history

It hardens, becomes tensile like steel 

Coagulating feelings into

A frozen crystal lattice, defying time

Blistering souls

Forging truths

About why things are the way they are

In the crucible of life

*********

My name, a boat

My name is a boat

Porting my courage

To the pure waters 

Of your voice 

Say it

Break my name between your teeth

Taste it with your tongue

The way you would taste a fruit

Or sip wine

Savor the breaking bedrocks of its syllables

The furrowed alluvium of its earth 

Smeared and shiny with too much walking

With too few pauses 

Floating into eternity 

on the sails of your lips

Docked in the anchor of your throat

Only to bob again in the water of your eyes

When you rise next morning...or the next

My name is a boat moored between your own

*********

Abandoned in Old Age

The grime and garbage on the streets 

Are his focus points

Things he wakes up to every morning

Tortured by his aching joints

The street air has little in it

To give to his poor lungs

Oxygen is not an option 

Here on life's lowest rungs

His clothes are baggy

Tattered and torn

The same he wore

When he was thrown out of 'home'

Only his tears are fresh

Refreshed everyday

When he assesses the cruelty

Of being abandoned this way

He relies on whatever he can find 

Bits of leftover pizza and bread

Thrown away waste

Have become sustenance instead

I catch his eyes at a traffic signal 

See in his eyes, the clarity of pain 

Wan lips, pale cheeks, gauntness

That he tries to conceal, in vain

The rudder of life sometimes

doesn't steer very right

Man depends on his children

But children are indifferent to elders' plight

Old age and loneliness

Go hand in hand

When life deepens and ripens

Ironically, all joys disband 

The pain of this reality

Haunts like a ghost

Why loved ones abandon us

When we need them the most

We're living inside deaf walls 

Where no sensitivity permeates

Compassion is dead

We've forgotten how to tolerate

Demeaning those 

From whose seed and womb we are born

Ceding the flowers

And clinging to the thorns

*********

Posting a new poem today...21st July 2014.

Thinking Skin

I have thinking skin, made of indus mud, opium and autumn rain

It's used to kneading seconds to minutes, minutes to hours

Like sand inside the walls of an hourglass

But today for some reason 

It's thinking of alpine roads, cool mountains 

and Kestrels fluttering rapidly like hearts

My skin has thoughts in every pore

it thinks of taking chances with stray pockets of breath

and runnels of a soft, whispered language 

It disintegrates like a picture puzzle when you look at me 

Bunting goosebumps on the winds

Like little pontoons keeping love afloat; skin to skin, hand to hand

I have thinking skin and it wonders why we

cannot burst forth with mirth, like humble Euphorbia seeds

and pollinate our love with joy

*********

 

Fall Issue of Pea River Journal

Can't wait to read the Fall issue of Pea River Journal themed around 'The Burden of Home'. It also has one of my poems in it, titled The Summer We Called Home.

http://peariverjournal.com/2014/07/18/the-fall-2014-issue-contributors/

 

Clothes Pegs - Open Road Review

The poetry section of this fine journal is edited by Vaughan Gunson, all the way from NewZealand. My poem Clothes Pegs was selected for the May 2014 issue. Sorry for posting this a bit late here on the site. Nevertheless, here's the link:

http://www.openroadreview.in/clothes-pegs-vinita-agrawal/

 

Home

This was published in The Brown Boat, a Raedleaf Journal:

 

http://rlpoetry.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/The-Brown-Boat.pdf

 

Home

Homes have no walls

no rooms, no furn

iture, no thresholds 

Nothing through which you might enter 

and nothing from which you might want to exit

Because homes are not houses

Homes are built in the eyes 

Erected by naked, hungry hearts

In skies, in dew drops, lichen, mosses, 

Sometimes on parched, parted lips

Sometimes inside the darkening irises of your eyes

Homes are tender assembles of empty air 

Sorted by the linear breaths you lend to me;

Built for unborn little feet to run

And for smiles to sun themselves on broad porticos

My home is in the centre of your palms

Sunk in the wells of your destiny

That you carry like a liquid in your eyes

Or like an abode in your hand, my very own delta 

Between the nine mounds of the universe

*********

 

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