Author Archives: terrestrian@gmail.com

About terrestrian@gmail.com

Dr A.V. Koshy is presently working as Assistant Professor in Dept. of English, Faculty of Arts for Women, Jazan University, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. He has authored or co-authored seven books of poetry and criticism. He is an editor. He is also a distinguished teacher of the English language and literature and a critic, with a Ph.D in modern poetry, specifically Samuel Beckett's poems in English. He is a Pushcart Prize nominee for poetry in 2012 and his book Art of Poetry was selected as Best Reads 2012 by Butterfly and the Bee. He has been editor's pick on Camel Saloon thrice and poet of the month once in Destiny Poets besides often having his poems appear in the highly selected category. Has other international awards and certificates to his credit too.

Abhinandan – A Tribute to a Soldier

We congratulate you
as your name deserves
for chasing the enemies
Your good Varthaman* (rumour)
has spread far and wide.
Though you were shot down
and had to eject to safety
and wounded, are now in custody
we know your bravery
is rewarded
by our anxiety
for your safe return
to us, and your loved ones.
For from the ground it is easy
for fools to strut around naked, dressed only in words, and digress
to talk war and defence, and offence, as strategy
but for you it is no social media joke
but grim reality.
May the Almighty 
bring you back safely
reward you fittingly
and give you fit recompence
while others speak of vengeance
and all such triviality.
May you be kept safe
and brought back to the bosom of your country
our home
motherland
well and hale
to tell the story
to our children
and grandchildren
that they may not be fooled
by civilian prating
but take to heart
that some things are worth defending
living for 
fighting for
dying for, if necessary
like our freedom
and long lasting
everlasting 
liberty.

*Abhinandan means to congratulate.
*Using it instead of Varthamanam here as its abbreviation

Angel of Death

Nobody should love me.
It is good that you don’t.
I carry the angel of death within me.
I see through history.
I see through time.
No memory soothes me, to help me make up my mind
to take sides with the/any enemy.
I come after Nietzsche
and do not gainsay for vainglory.
I may look helpless to you and your kind.
But know that a bitterfly’s wings
can start,
afar off
a tsunami.
That is quantum.
That is me.
When Christ comes back he does not come with peace
but with a winnowing fan
and a fire to burn
the chaff from the wheat
and gather his grain into the barn.
You think there is no destroyer in the trinity.
There is none because each has four faces.
Face of a man, a lion and a bear
& the face of an eagle.
Each knows how to create, sustain and destroy.
This is true, I swear.
Them wheels on fire, rocking, rolling, are all covered with eyes turning around in all directions,
flying straight through air.
Or the cherubim.
Or when the glory of the Shekinah shakes the thrones of the kings
so that even the priests and Levites cannot minister so thick is the smoke that fills the entire realm
This is mystic revolution.
And it does not come from the East.
The angels will their curses, vials, thunders and lightning.
Johnny Cash singing God gonna cut ’em down.
And speaking of Messianic Time, Walter Benajmin.

“pour Manuel Acuña”

 

Softly, softly, a breeze is blowing
across the salt lake, to resuscitate –

Gently, gently, that dear, young corpse
in the eddies, seems to bloat and mutate

Slowly, slowly, it sinks without knowing
Feed, fish and time, do not hesitate

Calmly, calmly, at twenty-four took he
his life. Death & Love to mutilate.

Quietly, quietly, the living eat his bread
Broken for us through his poetry

Sadly, sadly, his words swim like wine
In the blood of that Tragedy on which we now dine

Patiently, patiently, wait for me, kindred
The horns blow, the cattle lows

Coldly; coldly, the weather is gathering
to my demise too, though the storm’s still slow.

 

My poem “pour Manuel Acuña” translated by Deepti Singh – copyright belongs to respective authors

 

हौले हौले , बहती बयार
खारे तालाब के ऊपर से, पुनर्जीवित करने

हल्के हल्के , एक प्यारी, नौजवान देह भँवर में , फूल के त्राण पाने की ओर

धीमे धीमे, डूबती है, जाने बिना
कि भोग, मछली और समय, किसी का इंतज़ार नहीं करते

शांति, शांति से, चौबिस की वय में वो अपने ही प्राण हरता।मृत्यु और प्रेम विकृत करते हैं।

चुपके, चुपके, जिंदा खाते उसके हिस्से की रोटी
वे टुकड़े जो उसकी कविताएं तोड़ जाती हैं

अफसोस, अफसोस,उसके शब्द शराब-से तैरते हैं, उस त्रासदी के खून में , जिस पे हम अब भोज करते हैं

धैर्य धर, धैर्य धर, रुको मेरे लिए, मेरे अपनों
समय पुकारता है, मवेषियों का वृंद रंभाता है

धीरे, धीरे जमता सा, ये मौसम , जमता जा रहा मेरे अंत की ओर, बस अभी तूफान धीमे है ज़रा

 

The Flood in Aluva – A Glimpse

The water rose in our house
to the first floor

The water came suddenly
from the river
to where it had never come before
as the dam had been unleashed into it
and it had overflowed, even to the midst of the town
We left without further ado
An old man and an old woman
a daughter and her husband who both cannot speak or hear
and a granddaughter who could
the son being away
to the nearby house
of the old woman’s sister
We left like the five find outers and we too had with us a black dog
The house became Kirrin island

The phones died
The neighbours cried
Life does hide
We had to, our time, bide and abide

36 hours they waited
our other daughters
to hear from us
Our grand-daughter charged her phone from a neighbour’s car
somehow
(“Haven’t I told you to put a charger in the car?”)
The water kept rising
to the first floor in our house nearby
It was the old man’s birthday when it started receding
and they could go back to get him a shirt for a change

No calls got through
that the daughter’s husband made
from Bangalore
except to someone in Thrissur
and someone in Thiruvananthapuram
A Rebin who bothered to answer and listen patiently and even try to help at the son in law’s insistent pleas born of anxiety
All lines were bust, or busy
or phones switched off
Getting no news was like eating fire
No electricity, net, little water, less food

A cousin and her husband was trapped in a church with some fifty others
Their son abroad took to facebook to try and help
The children ate fire
Finally a boat came and rowed them all to safety

Water got into all the cars
but the old man’s was kept on a raised platform
and they were working on it
when the floods came
They left
It remained high, stranded
And all that was left was the sound of the water
lapping against the legs of the raised platform
but the car was saved

9000 people in UC College, Alwaye, in a hastily put together relief camp
run only by a few staunch volunteers
waiting anxiously for supplies of all sorts
medical, fiscal, clothing, food, water
and next day a 50000 waiting to register for aid to reconstruction
but an old student of the old man had mercy on him
took him to the front of the line
as he was too old to wait
and got him registered

Cleaning and restoring the house will take ages
How many more such stories
How many months and years
how many lives
and bruises
How much time and how many dangers
How many fights with insensitive vultures
Hear the message the waters left behind
Citizens
time and tide
wait for no one
and do not differentiate between the mad outsiders
not in danger who can say any shit they like
and the sad insiders
who had to face the battle and war
of sudden collapse
brought on by years of neglect to the warnings given
by nature and the wise
At the end remains the task of rebuilding
and remembering the dead
avoiding the poisonous
for there is only one sky on earth
and you will always have the water and the vipers with you
which and whom you have to live with
the next time too
& eat fire
and come out
unscathed, because you are just simple people and true.

Today I finally found you*

*Happy that my poem has been translated by the person I consider Turkey’s leading Laz poet of today, namely Serkan Engin

Today I finally found you
in between badly written poems
and well-written ones
I found you
like never before
my study in brown

Today
reading the sculpted images of cataclysm
running my hands over their troughs and crests
wishing they were grooves of wet paint
longing to traverse your mounds and valleys
of life, made still by my art
I found you
Today
in my mind, strapping on bombs
around our bodies
suicide lovers
terrorists of poetry, fiction and art
who wanted to die for it while climaxing
I found you

Over and over
I found you
wanted to love you
wanted to die and live for you
make a new religion of love for you
not out of water, but this insanity
mad with longing
hydrophobic
with no vaccination for rabies
I found you

You were not there Never there

You are not here

I found you in my words
of swearing
forever, those words of hyperbole
and in yours
promising
eternity, those words of meaning
in flesh melting
in centigrade
of high-voltage density
in the heat of this never-ending desert

and though I did not have you
had only words
images
memories
and feelings
Seared, I still feared

I feared that now having finally found you
yet not having got hold of you fully
I would lose you
before I had you
and wanted to die

You told me
that is love

It must be

If so, it is more powerful
that a Van Gogh painting
than an Apollinaire poem
than ISIS or saffron fascism
than sex slaves and selling of armaments
that it burns me down entirely
like World War Three
to ashes
and honey

Let me find you again like this tomorrow too
or there will be nothing left of me
for love to cordon off and turn away
behind its barbed wire fences of no entry
with nowhere to go back to
as its last refugee before the end comes
when all subsides

in washed up bodies of children on the shores in their blown up bodies on land

but not before
I meet you one last time
to take you with all my intensity
shuddering moments of entrance and exit
that you will never forget to remember

having found me
having loved me too
so that there’s a land of milk and plenty
and I tell you too

Do you know what that is?

You say no

I say apocalypse

Simply that you love me

So lost in that meeting and melting
we celebrate
the Advent
the agony and the ecstasy
the lust for life and more life
the long trek to a manger
and the …Nativity.

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED BY THE AUTHOR (c) KOSHY AV
ALL RIGHTS TO THE TRANSLATION RESERVED BY THE POET -TRANSLATOR

Bugün, Nihayet Buldum Seni

Bugün, nihayet buldum seni
berbat şiirler
ve has olanlar arasında dolanırken
Buldum seni
Daha önce hiç bu kadar
derin düşüncelere dalmamışken

Bugün
Felaketten yontulmuş imgeleri okurken
Ellerim çukurlarına ve zirvelerine inip çıkarken
Taze badana gibi ellerime bulaşmasını dilerken yivlerinin
Boydan boya katetmeyi özleyerek hayat dolu
tepeciklerini ve vadilerini, sanatımla sakinleştirdiğim
Buldum seni bugün
aklımın içinde, gövdemize
sarılmışken bombalar
intihar seviciler
şiirin, romanın ve sanatın teröristleri
doruğa ulaşmak için ölümü göze alanlar
Buldum seni

Tekrar tekrar
buldum seni
seni sevmek istedim
senin için ölmek ve senin için yaşamak istedim
aşktan yeni bir din icat etmek istedim senin için
ama “suyun dışında”* değil, ama bu cinnet
bu çıldırtıcı hasret
bu aşılanmamış kuduz gibi
sudan kaçar halim
Buldum seni

Sen orada değildin
Hiçbir zaman orada değildin

Burada da değil

Buldum seni sonsuzda
küfürlü sözlerimin içinde,
bu abartılı laflarımın arasında
ve seninkilerin de
sonsuzu vaat eden,
santigrat hesabıyla
tenimizi kavuran
yüksek voltajlı
sözlerinin içinde
bu bitmek bilmez çölün içinde

ve sana ulaşamamışken henüz
sadece sözcüklerim
imgelerim
anılarım varken
ve duygularım
kurumuşken, hâlâ korkuyorken

Korkarım sonunda buldum
seni
henüz seni tamamen ele geçirememişken
Seni kaybedeceğim
daha varamadan sana
ve senin için ölmeyi isteyemeden henüz

Dedin bana evet
aşktır bu

Olmalı

Şayet öyleyse, bir Van Gogh tablosundan
daha güçlü bu
bir Apollinarie şiirinden
IŞİD’ten ya da safran faşizminden
seks kölesi veya silah satmaktan
bu var ya bu aşk
Üçüncü Dünya Savaşı gibi
tepeden tırnağa yakıp kül etti beni

Ko bulayım seni yine
tıpkı bu sabahki gibi
yoksa benden geriye bir şey kalmayacak
aşkı kuşatabilmek ve başımdan savabilmek için
zinhar girilmez dikenli tellerin ardındayken aşk
geri dönüşü olmayan yollardan
son mültecisi de gelmiş gibiyken
her şey dibe çökmüşken

kıyılara sırılsıklam vurmuş çocuk bedenlerinde
karada parçalanmış bedenlerinde

ama seninle bir kez olsun bile
kavuşamadan değil
seni tüm gücümle
sarıp sarmalamadan önce değil
hatırlamayı asla unutmayacağın
zevkten titreten giriş-çıkış anlarından önce değil

beni buldun
sevdin de
sütlü bereketli bir diyar var diye
ve ben de sana anlattım işte

Bu nedir bilir misin peki?

Hayır mı diyorsun

Ben buna kısaca kıyamet derim

Beni seviyor olmana

Ve böylece biz, bu buluşmanın ve erimenin içinde kaybolup
Mesih’in gelişini kutladık
ızdırabı ve esrimeyi
yaşamak, daha çok yaşamak arzusu
ahırdaki yemliğe doğru uzun bir göç yolu
ve…Mesih’in dirilişi

Ampat Varghese Koshy
Türkçe’ye çeviren: Serkan Engin

• Philip Larkin

Dr A.V. Koshy, halihazırda Suudi Arabistan’daki Kazan Üniversitesi Kız Öğreciler Güzel Sanatlar Fakültesinde yardımcı doçent olarak görev yapmaktadır.

Images of a Poor Man

I cannot really write of snow,
of tall masts and sails of ships from
ancient worlds
or maces used in battle blows.

Can tell you of reddish-brown drops of resin
on the bark of jackfruit trees
and how they remind me of
childhood,
of the
smaller things of life;
sweat beads above your upper lip
where you have thin, fine hair
a little dragonfly that lifts itself a little stone
tortured by wanton boys and girls
like you and me from our hometown
and those that come out in droves to die when the lights are on.

Minimalists that poverty makes of us,
how can we ever stride like giant figures on the stage of life?

Can only strut on the streets of grime and dance
like painted leopards that need kerosene to take the
colours off that make them
briefly
for a few hours shine.

Everything Is Happening at This Very Instant!

somewhere a child is being born
somewhere someone is dying
somewhere a woman is getting raped
somewhere rapists are raping a woman
somewhere a child is being molested or abused
or doing child labour or getting ready to go to school or already in school
or having a holiday or playing alone or with other children or doinh homework or housework or sleeping or nothing
somewhere someone is killing someone else
and that someone else is getting killed
some people are killing others
and they are trying to kill them back too
somewhere a couple are making love
or many couples
in the night or in the day
in different parts of the world
someone is getting hitched
someone is getting unhitched
some become friends
some lose friends
somewhere someone is cooking
someone is reading the newspaper
i am writing this poem

people are happy too
celebrating dancing signing eating drinking
urinating defecating living
somewhere someone is collecting firewood
someone is meanwhile committing suicide
someone is travelling in a plane or train or by car or scooter or motorbike or autorickshaw or cycle rickshaw going through a riot hit area
someone is in a metro waiting to catch the commuter’s early morning arm in the shot
and lonely men and unemployed women or vice versa are circling jobs or matrimonials in magazines and papers or searching for them in the internet
some others are surfing porn
or watching videos or links or whatsapping or facebooking or twittering or g-plussing or something or the other
some are shopping
lovers are kissing
married people are bickering or too busy looking after daily chores to
somewhere there are natural disasters
and elsewhere there are private or personal disasters
some people are praying alone or singly
some are leading and some are being lead
it is all about human beings
families relatives and those others
somewhere in the west the sun is sinking
and in the east it is rising
though that is only a way of seeing
it is all about nature and the universe
men and empires will come and go
but will man go on forever?
life teems around us
and does not care for life or death
except for Life and Death
somewhere I am on the verge of completing the poem
and I do not know why I wrote it
or why anyone should read it
except that it contains this terrifying revelation
that no one will care if I die or live
except a few till they die too
that my life may be insignificant
this made Buddha search for immortality
and he found it in the way of alleviating suffering
and Jesus in doing good
and artists find it in the beauty of nature and in beauty
and hedonists in pleasure and some in the love of the beauty of women
some in alleviating the sufferings of the poor
but some find it in cruelty and excess
in the love of power and in other things like force
what do children find it in
in innocence and the sense of wonder?
trees plants animals birds insects micro-organisms that the eye cannot see
all exist simultaneously
as do other things that are words but have life
and inanimate things exist too
one goes on till one no longer does
on this p(r)etty sober philosophical note
let me end this poem and leave it too for others
to consider it rot or on it to dote
or gloat or ignore to prefer to look at a sun mote

So Secret Love

So secret love is a mistake in English
Gnosis; like saying breasts, nipples, ‘aureole’
So secret love

So secret love is when it drives you so badly
like crazy, so boldly, and you like the force
It is unreason
and
it’s irrational, my dove
So secret love

So secret love is when we care, always ready
we are ready to kill each other and die for each other
We are ready, we say, to commit suicide for each other
So secret love
when we eat and drink each other
So secret love
but we never see each other

So secret love is like heroin and cold turkey
like meditation, Kamasutra, locked door, turn the key
licked and lost stamps, torn, now like they have never been
So secret love –
numismatics that you hoard but forget to keep
& opened envelopes, for you I could surely steal
No crime is any longer heinous when it comes to oh, so secret but perfect and beautiful love that makes you happy!

So secret love makes you sell your soul and body too
but it is not to the devil, it is the unconscious leading you
Watch that, it is the kundalini rising
When it rides you and hits you in the brain
the thousand petalled lotus will unfold

So secret love is Ganesha
who looks like your brain
So secret love is praying that the sets of the universe
are music and maths
and chess
and fall into place
But so secret love is more than just all that!
It is the mystery
So secret love is the brain that does not
work properly
but reigns

I want you here tonight
your body and your spirit
I want to go mad
and want your madness and badness
I want you glad and sad
and I want you to say
you are my God
I worship you and your…
and I want to do the same
So secret love will lead us to The Temple and its depths
and where the idol sits
is only empty blue space
So secret love can fill that empty space
with white clouds and green grass
as if it is a drug
but so secret love is no crack or hash
It is not ecstasy or brown sugar
or cocaine or morphine
It is an empty-full place

So secret love is when you are ready to exchange
matter for energy and be insane
So secret love is obsession
but leaves you clear, no strain
So secret love is going to the place
of no return
for you
to spin gently like a dervish
till one loses sight of all differing views
to be sure of nothing
till everything’s rearranged

So secret love is when I will surely die for You.

Falling Flower

Written on August 18, 2012 – Thanks for re-finding it, Reena Prasad
The diary of leaving

Leaving is not leavings.
The landscape of a childhood with its plantain trees
yams and creeping bitter gourd vines
is the richest source for one’s future
discovered much later.
The language unlearned is a loss.
Living in books, printed pages and far away realms of the imagination is not enough, dear Breath
Looking at the ‘kaduvas’ from a distance
and not knowing what the others were up to,
not being sunk in native soil
as if they were oddments,
all of it was something that added up to and increased my losses.
Not that I don’t hate the culture terrorists
or the moral police and the religious fanatics
but the broadening, widening canvas of colours
also loses much specificity.
Search for essence makes one lose all sense of belonging.
The child now forever floats in an empty sky like those winged seeds,
tiny parachutes in which unseen fairies cuddle
my ‘appooppan’s thaadi’ with its silvery gossamer filaments
so ethereally beautiful, but searching desperately for crannies,
places to lodge, safe catchment areas, sheer and mere good ground
to call home and flourish
but all that’s left is the nature of the ‘udumbu’
Won’t you love me?
We are different and most of what you are or what I am
will never be known by each other
separated by languages and customs and rituals and rites
and a million other things of strangeness and differences.
Yet love me, please – sex is not a construct
and touch, taste and smell can create memories – a new his and herstory
that can overlay if assiduously pursued an eternity of palimpsests
and give us for a while or ever , if destined, a feeling of completeness
but even that is not real anymore in these new whorls
where the voice I hear is once removed from reality
as is the moving image I see,
the words are not material;
your hands made no paper want to make you blush
and the writing is deflected as if by the lack of calligraphy
that might have charmingly hid more than it revealed.
So, as in under the water experiments for seismic disturbance
from a great distance I hear the earthquake faults being plumbed
and if everything collapses like the new games
that thirst more for destruction than alleviation or value,
brownling, my Breath, let us close our eyes and return to our childhood gardens,
a little kanthari will spice up our poor man’s meal of kanji and salt
and a few button onions balance it off
while the swing awaits
and your ribboned pleats fly in the air already
in anticipation of the hands that will push you
up up up unreachable into the infinity of the blue sky
and the spinning green up there and the white clouds and sunlight
dazzling in the summer with crow pheasant calls and kuyil songs
the leaves falling down occasionally under the mango on your hair and blouse and skirt.
Still the heart beats with restless questions.
Who am I? Why born? When to die? What is life?
Like the pulse and breath and heartbeat, air, water, food
and the other unanswered because unasked question
Do you love me? Did you ever really love me? Will you, forever? Eternally?
Village girl, can’t you see
it was that in you that I loved and that imaginary imagined child that usurped my heart
leaving me and you helpless, bleeding silently
mutual this suffering but endless now my wandering leaving leaving leaving…
walking endless roads alone.
Is this leaving like leavings?
I refuse to acknowledge it.