Poems: Third Issue

We, at Parcham, have been overwhelmed with the submissions that have come in for the Poetry Section for this particular issue. As Founding Editor, I would like to thank Bhaswati Ghosh, Candice Louisa Daquin and Sumana Roy, for helping me curate this section. My apologies to the contributors for the delay in publication. But I hope the readers will enjoy reading as much we have enjoyed preparing this.

Thanking you,

Sayan Aich Bhowmik (Founding Editor, Parcham )

  1. We Remember When There Was Only The Rain— Huzaifa Pandit
  2. Soiled Salvation— Tamara Fricke
  4. Cave-dweller— Allan Lake
  5. Colours That Vanish— Nishi Pulugurtha
  6. Survivors— Kavita Ratna
  7. Afterfall— Lynn White
  8. Least Likely—Dee Allen
  9. Naturally— Aldo Quagliotti
  10. A Strange Life—Louis Faber
  11. Eucalyptus Soliloquy— Martin Agee
  12. Birches— Marianne Tefft
  13. A Lesson By the Sea— Sonali Pattnaik
  14. Ruminations of A Guilty Tourist— Nabanita Sengupta
  15. The Saga of the Bodhi Tree—Sarah Das Gupta
  16. Bethel Beach, Spring High Tide—Molly O’ Dell
  17. Loneliness— Lynn Aprill
  18. Of Ancient Greek Sleep and Minnesota Autumn— Sharon Hilberer
  19. Crazy Legs—Afsar Mohammad
Artwork by Pratyusha Chakraborty

We Remember When There Was Only The RainHuzaifa Pandit

We remember when there was only the rain, nothing

but the rain. The rain chain stitched itself to our hearts

 till our hearts hung out their crimson shadows

 to dry in the famished sun. We too remember when there was only

the silence, nothing but silence. We lent silence a language

but nobody came to console us. Only the birds born out of our rubble

wept in our ruins and time hurried past us

with our yesterdays in its luggage.

We forgot when we tumbled out of tomorrow with

the gauze of bleeding clouds flung over our

slumped shoulders. Our destinies were shattered on

the pavements, and the soldiers picked up pieces of

to use as looking mirrors and stroke their guns

with the pride of careless death.

We remember when there were only the shadows, nothing

but the shadows. We cremated our names on water

to reach the other side where you stood waiting with open

arms in the land of your siege and my siege,

the perfume of ripe wheat in your moist eyes. Be

our shadow between the two wars on our glass maps. Take

us to your gardens laden with cherry blossom, sprinkle us

with rose-water and comb our wheat in the prisons of

your names. What was the point of your waiting, who do we

await in the long winter? Did the poets not warn us to lock

our sleep weary doors, as all promises stood broken. Nobody came,

the shikara wala laments, and I complete the verse:

Nobody will now come here, nobody.

Our poem is in your manacled hands and can comb

its fingers through our forgotten songs sung

when we return dead from destiny’s road. We

kiss the poem, surrender our hearts and ask: Who are you? Who are we?

Dr Huzaifa Pandit is an Assistant Professor of English in the Higher Education Department, J&K. For his PhD he worked on establishing a comparison between Faiz Ahmed Faiz, Agha Shahid Ali and Mahmoud Darwish under the rubric of ‘Poetics of Resistance’ at University of Kashmir. His first book – Green is the Colour of Memory’ (Hawakal Publishers) was published as the winning manuscript of Rhythm Divine Poets Chapbook Contest 2017. His poems, translations, interviews, essays and papers have been published in various journals like Post-Colonial Studies, Indian Literature, PaperCuts, Life and Legends, Jaggery Lit, JLA India, Outlook and Poetry at Sangam.

Soiled SalvationTamara Fricke

My knees are dirty again,

not from the usual gutters,

flower gardens and vegetable rows

are the pews at which I now kneel.

Both harlot and high priestess

to earthly yields, I bend to

pay my yearly tithe.

Mud seeps through denim

desperate for my skin.

Welcoming its touch, I sink further

into compost’s embrace,

grateful for cool complicity.

The heady smell of rich soil

spins me as another hole is dug

ungloved, to feel the silk of

the earth move through me.

Clothing is no match for lusty designs,

loam will always have its way.

Clay stains brow, arms and toes,

marking me a dirty supplicant,

and breathless, I pray-

for longer seasons, a bigger plot,

one more plant to fulfill a wanton


Having paid in blood and sweat,

my bed is made, need is sated.

As I retire in filth, thankful for

a day’s honest labor, I bow to

the land, honoring love.

Tamara Fricke’s work can be found in journals including Meat for Tea, Poeming Pigeon, and Whisper and the Roar, and her chapbooks Our Requiem and Exit Means Eden are available online. Tamara is a graduate of Mount Holyoke College and currently works as a grant writer in the Pioneer Valley.

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