Updated: Sep 13, 2021
Dear readers and literati,
Wordcraft held its very first National Poetry Writing Month in April, celebrating thirty consecutive days of prompts and poetry. Here, we present before you, the best-received entries per week, judged and picked by a board of professors.
Identity Crisis by Padma Parija
I'd put my words in a rich marinade
that folded ingredients
from a cupboard in the kitchen
of my mind
With select few ingredients
That remind me of home
I've built within myself.
A tin of metaphors,
subtle, sordid, capable of smoothly smothering anyone who inhales it,
Spoonfuls of adjectives in a marmalade of sunshine tied up with the grapevine slithering up my backbone,
A dash of stories I've loved to have lived in,
A bit of hurt
Cloves of nostalgia for my poem
to be as fragrant as petrichor saved in the fibre of my being
Where it rains every alternate day,
A spice mix of roaring oceans crashing on my spine, an accumulated storm of tears I'm mostly running out of,
Freshly squeezed love oozing from the cracks in my heart, too much to give, too less to receive.
I'd put my words in rich marinade since dawn,
Handpicked the herbs from the garden of narratives,
Cranked the oven in my palms
To make a dish
I've relished as an illusion
Never as a reality
Always as a reminder
Never as a memory
Of the poet I was
Of the poet I am
Of the poet I could be.
Photograph by Anwesh Banerjee
No you weren't in the photographs
But you were in my memories all the same.
I remember putting them together
In the rosewood box grandma had gifted
Me on my fifth. It still contains a wrapper
From a candy I bought but hated. A cigarette,
Half burnt like the friendship that was lit, and
Lost over it. The dried wisteria petals in an
Envelope bordered with Danae sleeping.
And the polaroids. Each reel. Expensive.
Decadent. Aesthetic. Cold.
You aren't there in any. Because of course
You hated being clicked. Moments. Fleeting
Moments. And you would capture them. Unfairly
Enough. But there is one photograph where I
See you. Like the ship that rolled past the
Falling body of Icarus, like the movement of the
Minutes hand, like the suddenness of your wayward
Glance on my skin. There with the sunshine. And
Gone into the secret stardust the next second.
Yes you are there. In the mirror behind us.
Reflected as you reflect on the smiles of those
Who you click. Smiles hiding milking breasts.
Smiles hiding the beginning of something new
From what was an accident. We spoke later. You
Asked me to get it aborted. And I walked out
Into the darkness that bled into the one
In my heart. Into the mists that are the embrace
Of the stars.
Photographs. They capture ghosts of course.
But your last one of mine did. The ghost of a
Love that can now only be kissed from tears
That have long stopped rolling down.
Shore By the Sea by Aranya Sahay
But do you believe like an Oasis in the desert, There's a shore in the midst of the sea? Enticing a fatigued sailor Astray from the supposed path to be?
Where the dry sand glitters in the rays of the sun
and the balmy winds sway the trees.
Where the ship can refuge and reside Whilst the storm passes through the sea.
Where they can enjoy the rich delicacies of the greens
Whilst the mermaid sings her melodies.
But do you realize like the oasis in the desert
The shore by the sea too is but a figment of comfort The shore, a whirlpool in reality, With skeletons and bones
not the destination to be? For like the oasis turns out to be a marshland
And treasures and masts Burying everything deep within the sea.
Rekindling the travellers will to live Just before engulfing them to another realm.
A Room With a View by Anany Dwivedi
Behind the window, an average street,
Busy with people, in scorching heat!
A sea of people, a frenzy wild,
Among the faces, there stood a child.
His face was dusty, his eyes bright,
Dressed in rags, a pitiful sight!
He looked here, and he looked there,
Begged for money, stood in despair.
Safe in my room, away I look,
A loud thud, and the earth did shook.
The sky turned red, and the voices loud,
A pool of blood, and a gathered crowd!
The next day, back was the noise,
A sudden reminder to us, time enjoys.
All My Lovers in a Rose by Anwesh Banerjee
A rose is a use, but a rose is a rose,
is also not a rose. It is a spiralling, intoxicant,
A series of lovers I choose to remember,
remind the self of each time I put.
the value of myself below the crushing weight
of the bottomless ocean of my lovers words
being fired like a bullet towards the heart
of my dying esteem
You thing of beauty you Rose!
When I looked at you, I saw a
Pair of eyes staring back. I saw
poetry scribbled in numbers
And Greek alphabets and symbols.
Funny how, unknown to him and me, we
Loved things of ground sea shells
And salty airs exceps his numbers
Were an insolvable paradox and mine
The bloodbath of an Oedipal tragedy.
When I looked past, the opiate layers
of the second series of blood burning petals
my loens burned with the guils of second love
that is unforgiving in its capacity. We burt knowing
That we will be hurt back, but hurting
Is just another style of arranging flowers
Is satisfies the gut and ultimately dies a slew death.
But then life wasn't all sommer
Across a third sea of lies and the history
Of space there was the fourth promised land
of stolen glances. Brushing caresses.
Hidden loves. And life is not a balcony
In medieval Rome. It's a city being divided
Roses make ballets which are bullets
In the midst of fires and blood. Poems
Are spun with words and guns
Nonetheless. The breast springs and
And light. And finally
It's scarred you explain
We entwine our flesh. You whisper.
"What's with poets and sunsets
Sunrises can be beautiful too
Heaves in eternal west, till the sky
Splits in a stroke of singular thunder
I see him again.
Freckled Callosed Piercing
Pollen covered. Seene inducing
But maybe the moon wasn't for us.
Forgotten Bookshops by Soumya Jain
There lived a vellichor,
In it's atmosphere.
The place didn't get visitors any more.
Just once in a while inquisitors.
All was different yet strangely same.
The dusty greasy surfaces of the pale brown books,
Left a prominent mark on my fingertip.
And suddenly a rush into the past:
A long gone mystical time zone.
Where feathers were used as pens and leaves for paper,
Where history wrote it's present.
Oh how so many:
Would have embraced these shelves,
Would have sat in the corridor for hours ruminating.
There still echoe in the air,
Murmurs of a reading session,
Exclamations of a climax!
Sobs of an end,
Sighs of romance,
Awes of wonder!
All in the air.
Of that rustic, yet traquil space;
That forgotten bookshop.
Everything Burns Up by Ruchira Mandal
Everything burns up.
Great Roman cities.
Fabled libraries in ancient Egypt.
Meteors crash with the weight
Of impossible dreams.
Our forests burn, and histories,
And the air we breathe. and lives.
The world turns ashen
On the flames of hate.
The stars you see may
Burned their ends.
We burn, so we may live again.
Self Portrait by Anany Dwivedi
Sitting in this pit I dug,
I gaze upon
your aura and your form.
on this pedestal beneath you,
there exists an idea in there
Yet, it escapes me
in your jumbled threads.
Which parts must I pick
to complete this self portrait?
Every inch that I grab
is a false positive, it's a paradox
of my own design.
or rather the result of this air I breathe?
Inconsequential, however, for it remains incomplete.
Ever melting from my grasp.
Vinyl Records by Ruchira Mandal
Grandfather's house, long ago.
Discs too big for a child's hand
And a machine that just won't
Roll back time. Some music
Must remain in memory's eye.
Why Poetry? by Anisha Bhargava
In the wee hours, just as you kill time
to see the moonlight disappear from your palms and a bubble of warm light take over the shadows disappear, to let the first rays a
of the sun peep into your room
onto your palms
when you hold poetry in your palms
it makes its way between the gap of your fingers
and finds its corner
for you to wrap fingers and make a fist
I wish there's a room for the poem you're holding to,
in these dark times
the poem's edges don't hurt you
the ink doesn't stain your fingers
and they make a home, in your palms like the bubble of warm light
into your room
onto your palms
in your heart.