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Poems from NaPoWriMo'23: Set One
I am one of Plath’s protagonists sitting under a green fig tree, manuevering master plans to love like a man, to love without falling...
It's a wrap from National Poetry Writing Month 2023, a month-long celebration of poetic creativity and expression. Throughout the event, we were fortunate to receive an overwhelming number of poetry submissions, each one a unique attempt that left us in awe. The level of talent and passion showcased by participants was truly inspiring. We will be sharing some of the featured poems with you via this newsletter, delivering them in sets to fully appreciate the diversity and richness of voices. Here is the first set of poems:
To be a woman and to be in love is exhausting - Antara Vashistha
To be a woman and to be in love is exhausting So imagine when the two elements combine, You become a coalescence Of dreams and disappointments perusing through dictionaries and the World Wide Web to craft a language in which you will love- It cannot be like your mother- A presence not so discerning, You would not settle for Mere remarks or grunts of annoyance Or cut fruits in form of apologies, No, You will not be your father, Who at sixty still barely communicates, You will not be a teacher Sweeping up fetishes or fantasies, It is not your job to educate On the verses of kindness and support, You would not be a child, Nor parent or a colleague, Rather a friend Forever wondering How should I presume. As a Woman in love, I often Become the old lady Who lives round the neighborhood, Bold in her stance and voice Yet forever desolate Unbeknownst To the apparition of her own existence. Often, I am one of Plath’s protagonists Sitting under a green fig tree, Manuevering master plans To love like a man, To love without falling Or surrendering my potential Scheming ways to Love as I am, While being what I can Often I surrender my senses Picking up lessons on love From those who sustain me, As a woman in love, I love like my city, Tracing histories and geographies, I love like a bookmark Marking memories to come back to, I love like the air, Encompassing in my presence, I love like the color lavender, I love like a sunflower, A storyteller, And a stalker, My language becomes fraught With Self-built metaphors and somewhat cliched ideas, I borrow and steal phrases From those who loved me before And those who will Love me someday, As a woman in love, I love like a warrior And I love like a worrier, I love in gratitude and cognizance, Demanding nothing less, Perhaps a little bit more. Prayers that remain unanswered - Disha Mod
the prayers that remain unheard often go and bitch about god to the prayers that remain unanswered, while the prayers that find their ultimate destiny brag about their victory. only to find that the people who made them don't even remember them anymore. god is up there making a pros and cons list of all the prayers that reach his ears. all your red flags are accounted for in the court of faith and they say, the goodness of heart is the tie-breaker to most of them. an 8-year-old in some part of the world is currently praying for an earthquake to avoid a math test. will his prayers be heard sooner compared to a man solely praying out of greed? you see, the child doesn't want anyone to get hurt. he is just bad at math. and how we just silently thanked god for being able to differentiate between a good heart and stupidity. god isn't deaf to our prayers, you know? but sometimes the wishes we surrender to are often the nightmares we would pay to get out of. your wish to reconnect with your inner child is a nightmare for a girl living in America who hasn't aged a day since she was four years old. puberty is a nosy neighbor who peeks in through the balcony opposite to hers but never dares to walk in. while you sit on your couch complaining about pain being your biggest teacher, a girl out there is incapable of feeling it. a while ago, she scratched her right eye out in an attempt to feel something. just anything. pain is a group of cool kids and the nerd in her keeps staring from a distance. And while you pray to skip a few years of your life in an attempt to make it all easy, a man woke up from a coma, 19 years later only to find him closer to the verge of committing suicide. but god works in mysterious ways you see, in some parts of Minnesota, there's a church that cured the cancer of a man whose doctors advised his family to plan his funeral. while you make a wish for your life to end faster, god listens to the hunger of those craving for one more second. after all, the prayers that remain unanswered are often the ones walking in high heels in an attempt to reach god faster. Oranges / Almost unholy to touch by Medha Arora
something about oranges lately nestled tight in crates sun-bright from a distance almost unholy to touch to peel, to pluck wedges, the act of stripping white threads, an infraction coaxing me with its subtle supple sweet scent gracefully incensed by the colour it gave to fire even with its winter light my hands give in singed with sourness scraped rind under my fingernails making a bad habit out of an aftertaste soothing a thirst seeded in my mind squeezed slices soundlessly dripping down my elbows my tongue a citrus mesh of not holding back sin lately something about oranges makes me savor the pulp I used to strain from its juice sun-bright even from up close. Until the mo(u)ring flickers in an oil lamp again - Shailja Bahety The red silk light escapes the oil lamp and settles in the sky while the night shatters inside its glass and the dawn flies away with colours for yet another mo(u)ring. The world is what it doesn't seem to be. It is a pool ball on God's billiard table, who wears a linen maxi dress and is never drunk on prayers because she prefers her mid-morning slumber while the words die punctually till dusk. Quietly, the universe bathes in melancholy. A dead thing is not always excused from breaths it sometimes becomes a numb, solitary and looking-away affair. Like the pale eyes of a child, who realises at an early age, that doorknobs tell reality more than doorways can. That at the dining table, the world seems happy, while in the bedroom, it becomes a bruise. It seems like grief tiptoed outside the graveyard only to settle in his eyes. A dead thing is like the borrowed hope of an old parent, who stands by the window alone, with the sun falling on his sunken cheeks and coconut-like heart. In the daylight, his world calmly reduces to one of the beads of his rosary while at midnight, it cradles with impatience and rains coconut water. His loneliness doesn't reflect on his face, it just grows into his wrinkles- an obvious, usual and prosaic thing of an old age to others. A dead thing resembles the saintly love of a widow, that seared itself by leaping into the burning woods and ending its holy existence, and what remains at the end- the smoke, the ashes and an identical twin of sorrow. One hand of her world cups the face of misery and the other smothers its hollow mouth that yearns deeply for its lover's breath. Every dead thing needs more mourning so that people realise it was once alive because the world tends to forget quickly. People walk by, leaves dry away, the brittle sun gets smudged in the near sky and the air that blow becomes nothing but a wave of memory. And the world keeps its memories like sandcastles on the shore, for the ocean to gently eat them away.
If you've reached this point and still have an appetite for reading, we have a delightful treat in store for you: a captivating essay written by Srilekha. This essay delves into the brilliance of Martin McDonagh's masterpiece, "The Banshees of Inisherin." With thought-provoking analysis, it explores how the film metaphorically reflects the turbulent times in Irish history, skillfully conveyed through the lens of a fractured friendship.
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