Yes, we are late. But now there’s reason to celebrate. Read this:
that till so recently
to my doorstep
to find its way home
in the mist
I mourn the passing of lost shadows
It’s elegant; loss compresses loss to yield the beauty of glimmerings. It’s by Naveen Kishore. Poet, publisher of Seagull Books, literary activist, theatre lighting designer and director. Our guest editor who presents six poets, each with six poems.
Naveen Kishore and I have exchanged poems for years; our friendship is built on this. And on my avid reading of Seagull Books imprints, particularly their world poetry collection. Folks, go to their website and order the books. Treat yourself. To the pleasures of tactility, sight and smell of a handsome book of poetry before you dive into its covers and emerge somehow changed and perhaps with a nimbus softly pulsing around you until of course.
Seagull Books has always ridden against the market, and ridden out of the storm streaming silk. May its ilk increase.
The qualities I possibility most associate with Naveen Kishore are daring –literary and in other respects too. And the unexpected. True to form he enquired if he needs to comply to any ideal I’ve envisaged for the introduction. No, I replied, this is your folio for all eternity. Do what you want. He sent the unexpected: two provocations. Both birthed in hope in the midst of splinters of tar and congealed blood on which we walk.
Read three of his new poems here.
— Priya Sarukkai Chabria
I want to learn the art of concealment. Both the intuitive one. And the one that is full of purpose and intent. Deliberate. On call. At the tip of my tongue. My fingers. Like the laughter I hold back. Or the smile I hide behind my eyelids and whose only telltale signs are the crows-feet around my eyes!
How does one distract yet hold the attention of a reader while concealing one’s true purpose? One has to be true to both the writing that emerges and the reader who devours it. Making it a part of him. Or her. Or them. Readers from different cultures and even more complex, with different life experiences and abilities.
How does one create a bond that makes the reader seek the intention behind the words that are slowly taking over his consciousness? Teasing out meaning from the words that are not visible.
The unseen text that is so vital for the well-being, and dare I add, survival, of the ‘seen’ one!
I slipped a dream or two between pages 102 and 103 of the handsome volume of poems on my bedside table. Like you would a leaf. The one collected from the pile under the Oak’s shadow. In the autumn months. Or the remains of a flower. Often with a thin flat stem. Like a child’s drawing of a flower. You know the kind I mean. Bright pink outline of five petals. Either a yellow or green circle attached to an olive or brown stem. Using coloured pencils from the box marked rainbow. Or crayons half-broken like last nights sleep. The water colours having dried up like the land struck by famine. Spidery cracks that ravaged and threatened from East to West and North to South. Refusing to yield colour.
I needed time for the dream to take root. For the words to form. And grow. And come together as sentences. For language to be born.
There has been no rain for months
Poetry at Sangam is supported by art and cultural organisation Raza Foundation
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