Tag Archives: poem


You told me once that you have not seen war
you did not know how war smelt:
the dust of disgust accumulated,
hardened layers of dirty hatred 
that formed the bedrock of frivolous minds. 

You told me once that you have not read about war
glorified sordid stories of power retold
Stolen moments of heroes and villains
Pointless anecdotes of their pains and pleasures
that you and I fail to feel. 

Long after the war was over
and the guns grew still
wounded minds refused to heal
leaving behind the impression of futility 
and vehement lamentation of languid souls. 

Long after the war was over
and the world outside grew smaller 
you heard your shadow’s visceral voices as truth
and it was hard to see the point sometimes 
when you were at war with yourself. 

Who are You?

When you ask me, “who are you”
Do you want to know a bit more of the sand
That spread in me from the backyard
After the river overflew to hug me
but later retracted with a bit of my soul?

When you ask me, “who are you”
Do you want to know a bit more of the song
Infused in me from the coucal’s trill
After the jackals barked in the dark
Shooing the birdie with a bit of my spirit?

When you ask me, “who are you”
Do you want to know a bit more of the sky
That draped me with the endless horizon
After the grass beneath and the stars above
swelled the vastness of my cracked heart?

To fathom me is to sway with my shadow
Feel the breath of my spring, frost of my winter
get drenched in my torrential rains,
taste the nectar of my fuzzy newness
and forever be lit by the ash of my burning star.

Game of Life

On many of those winter nights
I wish to see your breath on the stained glass
imagining the warmth of ease, instead
I get the familiar instant message
explaining the shades of your chase.

Sometimes you surprise me, when
you occasionally hold my palm
that reassures the existence of a bond
and a scent of cigar enters my dream
altering the plot, for good.

Between the reality of the bright day
and the romantic dream after dark
our life sails defying the rubrics
There is no pause to this play, even
to frame a well-captured moment.


Something about this air makes me poignant
Or perhaps too familiar to be endured…
Those decades-old hollow eyes still stare at me
Elapsed past that smell of stingy rags,
Blood stains and cold logs of human bodies
Reflecting chilling horrors of the holocaust.

Something about this air smells like my home
I may be a gypsy, Jew, gay or communist
I hear marching steps pounding, looming
Mounting tension, loud weak heart throbs
Ghastly commands in the greyish-blue vicinity
And black clouds ready to bomb.

Something about this air creates the autumn of 1943
Leaves fall yellow, brown, dreary and dry
The cries of the camp prisoners go silent
My parched pink lips unable to pray
Wonder where the God fled, allowing
To wipe a nation’s history, hearts and hope.

Something about this air near the ashen memorial
Cries out loud the unheard stories of the souls of sorrow
Of my wounded homeland and shattered dreams.
As I let myself blend with the background
The church bells ring in melancholic unison
Orchestrating the slides of a miserable memoir.
Setting: An autumn of 1943, during holocaust in Germany.


Wait, before you turn my blood blue,
I hear him…
Or was that you gently rubbing your slithery skin on my silk?
Black beauty! Bite into my bleak body
Through my skin, my shadow, my spirit, my soul!
The wild dance has begun!
Your chilliness against my warmth
The entangled helix, tightening
Mysterious madness sweeping my skin
Flashing deep pain
Brightness… Blindness…
I lose myself…
I set my thoughts free
from those existential clutches
I shade my dreams with lively hues
I hear your heart;
I hear secrets;
I hear questions;
My life is the answer!


© Suma K Gopal

Amber Eyes

Amber Eyes

You told me once that my eyes pierced your heart
I didn’t wait to ask you how deep
I didn’t know that it cut and bled
But on a dark cloudy evening
When I lay naked with an unfulfilled dull ache
I noticed the bruise on my bust
Distinctly spread like your face.
Are you still there where I left…?
When the way of the world was weird!
You didn’t ask me why
Nor did I see the lovelight in your eyes
When your kisses caressed my hair
The breeze under the banyan tree misled me
Tapping gently on my nape
Thoughts about you make me less composed
And this obscure bruise and unhealed wounds
Make me pale under the blood red moon
Will you kiss my famishing torso?
And turn me sanguine in a trice
I would then lie in lulling languor
Weaving whimsical stained glass dreams
I keep my fane emptied and open
Fragrant fumes of incense inviting
When all are gone that now linger
And the only slaver is the delicate dust
Will you come as a respiting embrace?
To kindle my timorous lips with a song
Sung by the secret prophet of time
For, age hasn’t doused my amber eyes
Nor the flames of my soul!

© Suma K Gopal

A whiff of the past…

Some aromas give you
A whiff of the past;
And you breathe in,
A part of your own yesterdays,
Like forgotten melodies rippling away
To faded pages
Of a yellowed diary.

Last day, the scent of turmeric
Took me with absolute ease-
To a pampered childhood-
Of healed bruises-
It showed me a serene face
With a sparkling nosepin
And a purple kumkum
And wrinkled palms with rough fingers-
Adept at hardwork-
Tending to my wounds.

I reminded myself that the earth, in fact, had gulped down her soul-
And I wondered if she had left parts of herself here with me-
Probably her best ones.

It is so charming and a true delight
To feel mostly the mosquitoes bite.
When the sluggish sun breaks its own crust,
wind can teach you how to smoke some dust.

When the air smells of somnolent bliss,
Any bee can give you a sweet kiss.
When you are bored and you stifle yawns,
Spunky crickets trigger songs on the lawn.

If you go for a refreshing swim,
Jellyfish come beneath the surface dim.
Maybe at home, the things can turn out cool,
But your car stops because it’s out of fuel.


Poem by Marieta Maglas

Welcome Home

There is fire of gold
in the sunflower, hidden
in its veins.
It stands
turning towards the sun
all the time
in greed to suck
more gold.

I thought the sun
begets a million suns
inside its veins
and I tried to find
a way to open
the veins in vain,
to scoop a few
to put in my veins.

It is good that I
couldn’t do it,
for, after a while
the flames of the fire
soar high and high
and burn the whole gold
to brown earth
in its petals, and
then the petals bend
towards the earth.

The earth smiles
through many tiny
flowers in her lap and waves
its green hands of grass
saying “Welcome Home”

You and my poem

Today, I would have you in my dream
Walking between the lines of my poem
In the wee hours of this rainy day
It must be an unusual dark night
Light from your eyes must lit it
Fragrance of Elanji flowers must arise from-
Your footprints knocking lines on both sides
Your hands should be moving above the lines
Patting letters assuming their roles among others
I will sharp my ears to hear the silent words
You utter in reflex in each single step of yours
I will twine them with a delicate thread of light
And will hang the garland by the eastern-window
To adorn the new day. For, that kind of a poem
Can’t be written for eyes; but just be left silent.
Today, I would have you in my dream
Walking between the lines of my poem