We are delighted to present to you the Poetry Section of the inaugural Issue of Parcham. My sincere gratitude to Candice Louisa Daquin for the tireless work she put in to curate this issue and to Sumana Roy, whose invaluable inputs and insights were a guiding force. We have managed to provide a platform to poets both established and upcoming, and hope to feature tireless and fearless voices in the days to come. Till then, read on.
Sayan Aich Bhowmik ( Founding Editor, Parcham)
- Witness – Kashiana Singh
over the snow
a rainbow bruises
a naked moon
tea leaves tremble
in my cup
your presence lingers
freezing of weather
holding your hands
in my cold palms
the gravity of
a falling leaf
the bird falls
Kashiana Singh (http://www.kashianasingh.com/) calls herself a work practitioner and embodies the essence of her TEDx talk – Work as Worship into her everyday. She proudly serves as a Managing Editor for Poets Reading the News. Her newest full-length collection, Woman by the Door was released with Apprentice House Press in 2022. Kashiana lives in North Carolina and carries her various geopolitical homes within her poetry.
2. Vagrants in Spring– Ritoshree Chatterjee
it’s spring in the valley, and we
scamper with baby-feet
picking up bones and flowers in rubble
i’ve loved asters, but you say i
look like a nymph with daffodils
we cannot choose, so we realise
flowers, like pilgrims, are best left
to themselves –
till eyes meet, and we laugh –
forgetting that we’ve
forgotten who we used to be
gods sigh a little, and in
that one moment of daring –
we strip each other of
homes and cities –
sleeping nameless on the seams of spring
till winter arrives,
and frost makes us whole again.
Ritoshree Chatterjee pursues her undergraduate degree in English literature and struggles to locate herself through writing amidst the chaos. Her works have appeared in Café Dissensus (Issue 60), Madras Courier, The Punch Magazine (The Poetry Issue 2022), Outlook, The Chakkar, and the Joao Roque Review among others.
3. In The Fold of My Hands – Saranya Narayanan
It is in the fold of my hand,
I see the world shrink to dust.
The strains on the cold flesh of my palms
pulverises breaths to fumes,
clouds torn apart to foster rain of insanity.
The seeds that
wrapped up the sunlight,
moulds me into earthen pots carrying
memories dried up in the sun.
The moist air garnishes my neck,
beading pearls of sweat.
The tales I weave out of lifeless nights
surrenders the land to darkness,
sickening and maddening the souls.
I see the land crumble to ash.
Saranya Narayanan is a Post Graduate holder in English Language and Literature and she is a former teacher at a school in her native town of Trivandrum, Kerala. She is fond of reading and writing poetry and believes poetry is a companion to a passionate and a desperate soul. Her poems have earlier been published in MUSE INDIA
4. Spring – Shamayita Sen
Our balcony, a cascade.
The sun, pin-holed into little
radiant buds strewn asunder.
My child approaches the verandah,
arranges flowers in a bunch to gift
her teacher on the first day
of a new school year.
Shamayita Sen is a Delhi based poet and PhD research scholar (Department of English, University of Delhi). She is the author of For the Hope of Spring: hybrid poems and editor of Collegiality and Other Ballads: feminist poems by male and non-binary allies. Her poems and articles feature on various national and international avenues.
5. Stinking Privilege – Shruti Sareen
Every morning I spit
the phlegm away. Sometimes, I puke.
A man walks through my excreta.
I wash a bucket of clothes.
The water turns black. It is then rinsed
with running tap water. I am happy
with freshly minted clothes. The water I throw down
falls on a man’s head.
And he covers his body with my shit,
my vomit, my phlegm, my dirty, soapy water
while I create an uproar if the swimming pool water
is two days old. This stinking privilege
makes me want to puke more. This stinking privilege
makes me want to stop myself from shitting.
This stinking privilege covers me in shame,
in guilt from head to toe, each morning.
Shruti Sareen, graduated in English from Indraprastha College for Women, University of Delhi, she later earned a PhD from the same university, titled “Indian Feminisms in the 21st Century: Women’s Poetry in English” which is now forthcoming from Routledge (UK) as two monographs in 2022. She is currently seeking publishers for her novel, The Yellow Wall, and is working around a hybrid manuscript around lives of queer artists, on themes of queerness and mental health. Her debut poetry Collection, A Witch Like You, was published by Girls on Key Poetry (Australia) in April 2021. Having earlier taught in Dyal Singh College, University of Delhi, she currently teaches at Jamia Millia Islamia, another university in New Delhi.