Volume 4 Issue 2, June 2020
Special Issue for Indian Poetry
Fire, she spoke and all the wheels
of memory turned...
Smoke so thick, the hills are pall
bearers - shoulders shrouded
weight of witness
a cloth-eaten light
Where does it go when you close
the louvre of your lids?
Light, ancient Leviathan
kept alive in oceans of eyes.
Are you brood of blood red poppies
or steep of deep opiate sea?
my life’s on the line, the urge to dredge
up the dirge, mill stones in single file
yet like Tethys you are never done
Gordian accordion knot of Ocean,
history curdling the future, in sum
I am, aftermath of Partition
word-slide clotted grief oblate
of sheaf and throat hemmed in
neat couplets to the dark pitcher
will you turn me into larval
stew of sorrow syllables, witness
fingers mute as damp matchsticks
tossed in your vegetal carnivore belly
why should seductive nectar only quell
hapless flies, let me slake
once and for all this thirst, make
a last red octagon, tentacle sign
where streets with no address pin
down place-names in waters flown
fold migrant wings, flesh palms to bid
fond and final farewell, at land’s end
come as salt to rim, be drunk.
From the sixth floor of the seaside hotel, the occupants toss their cigarettes onto the heads
and shoulders of the treetops, the green pockets where a canopy still persists a clutch of egret’s nest
Seen at other times on the sides of auto rickshaw rides they stand bedraggled, feeding on a bright skirt of refuse fringing market, medieval church, jetty
While putrid velocity faster than a drunk
on a motorcycle straddles the narrow neckline of an inlet at full throttle
The egrets watch two full sleeved first timers
of the three minute Versova-Madh Island ferry
spit out their toothpicks to joke that they have crossed an ocean off their bucket list.
The Last Beekeeper
Bees are living
in my eyes, they feed
on my tears, all day
and through the kohl
black night, I can hear
them buzzing as they mill
my dreams to honey, hum
incessantly in the raga reserved
for species on the brink of becoming
extinct. I blink the bleak milk back, lachrymose
to the core, at the thought of being
this ocular cave hole, last recourse
of Apis Mellifera, as a dying planet
toxic from sweltering belly to melting poles
runs the last lap in its course.
About the poet
Sophia Naz is a bilingual poet, essayist, author, editor and translator. She has been nominated twice for the Pushcart Prize, in 2016 for creative nonfiction and in 2018 for poetry. Her work features in numerous literary journals and anthologies, including Poetry International Rotterdam, The Adirondack Review, The Wire, Chicago Quarterly Review, Blaze Vox, Scroll, The Daily O, Cafe Dissensus, Guftugu, Pratik, Gallerie International, Coldnoon, VAYAVYA, The Bangalore Review, Madras Courier, etc Her poetry collections are Peripheries (2015), Pointillism (2017) and Date Palms (2017). Shehnaz, a biography of her mother, was published from Penguin Random House in November 2019. Her site is SophiaNaz.com.