Six Acrostic Poems


These poems were first published in The Thumb Print – A Magazine From The East

Acrostic is a composition in which the initial or final letter of each line taken in order form the title of the verse or tells about the subject.

This is my first attempt in writing Acrostics. Enjoy! and please leave your views.

This what the poetry editor Ananya Guha had to say about these poems, “Tikuli Dogra’s poems are etched with line, colour and music. Somewhere they are nostalgic, and small memories are lit up in a quiet but clear  voice. Not overtly emotional, they rake up pathos and, sensibility of the times. They are evocative of landscape, rural places, the river and ghats. They have history and landscape running through the veins. They are beautiful poems, placed here, for the reader to saturate in their quiet melody, poise and appealing imagery, capturing moments, in transition and at cross roads of time.”

 

JOURNEY

January night, grim and desolate

on a lonely moonlit highway

unfurling quietly, frostilly still,

rugged mountains scratching the dark,

nocturnal creatures calling the moon,

even the leafless trees whisper,

yesterday is gone, tomorrow is asleep

~

 

SILHOUETTE

 

solitary against the evening sky

in a land no longer hers she stands

leaning against an ancient tree

haunting–like a shadow of herself

overhead the branches braid the sky

uncanny limbs laid bare and stark

empty of all offerings

time stands still–like her heart

the sun has died a crimson death

easing her transition into night

~

 

RIVER – SONG

 

Reverberating with echoes of the past

iridescent against the silver of the sky

veering west along the fringes of the forests

embracing the contours of stony outcrops

roll the haunted waters in a deepening gloom

singing a requiem for things that are lost

of the people who are no more

nestled at its bank sorrow grieves

growing green with the slightest rain

~

 

PHANTASM

poised between the known and unknown

hidden in the depth of night’s shadows

an ancient dream lingers barely alive

nebulous, an ethereal remnant of desire

tangled in the endless skeins of time

a spectre of so many memories

sorrow fills my heart as I see it fade

merging effortlessly into the morning light

~

 

TOPOGRAPHY

 

That mole in the hollow of your back is a secret place

obscure till my tongue traces your spine’s trajectory

painting an intimate landscape, vast and varied

often the feral scent of sex clings to my skin

growing as you move to uncharted places

reclaiming territories old and new

and spaces filled with the weight of love

pressed together our bodies are a terra incognita where

heat lines radiate like the contours of the earth

your mole a primeval star leading me homewards

~

 

FUNERAL PYRE

 

fire licked corpses are the first thing you witness,

upstream the hot air carries the stench of death,

near the foul water mixing with the black ash

each body, covered in brightly spangled shrouds,

rests on a bier before being taken to a pyre

alongside the ghats that lead down to the river,

looking peaceful, but tainted with misery and sin,

pyres blaze, smoke rises, flames flash sunwards

you hear the cracking of bones, the crackle of logs

recently you were consumed in that searing heat

eyes closed dreaming, melting, floating, yielding

*Ghats – stone steps that lead to the  holy river Ganges in Banaras.

 

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Poetry News – A thing of beauty is a joy forever


Good news has a way to find its path in the middle of all the chaos life throws at you. A few weeks ago two of my poems were published in the fabulous Peacock Journal. Little did I know that one of them will find home in their inaugural print anthology.  When I received Kate’s email informing about the selection I was over the moon. This is big leap for me as a poet/writer.

The Peacock Journal Anthology :Beauty First  has both poetry and fiction by some very talented writers and it is an honour for me to be a part of such prestigious collection.  I thank Bill and Kate Lantry for the opportunity.

This online journal of beauty and art is just an year old and their first anthology published by Little Red Tree Publishing (Michael Linnard) is already flying off the shelves. It was at amazon #1 in Hot New Releases a few days ago.

You can buy this first edition of the anthology from amazon.com  or amazon.in .

Do visit the journal’s website and their FB pages for more beautiful work. You can follow them on twitter too.

Another very exiting news came from The Thumb Print – A  magazine from the East. Poetry editor Ananya. S.Guha informed that my six acrostics got accepted for the February issue of the magazine and were live now. This is my first attempt at acrostics and I am stoked to see the positive response to them.

Thank you editors for including my work in this wonderful magazine.

 

Sketch credit and copyright Aditya Dogra

 

Here is an excerpt from one of the poems:

 

“TOPOGRAPHY

That mole in the hollow of your back is a secret place

obscure till my tongue traces your spine’s trajectory

painting an intimate landscape, vast and varied

often the feral scent of sex clings to my skin

growing as you move to uncharted places

reclaiming territories old and new

and spaces filled with the weight of love……Conti. reading

There is a typo in the title of poem 2 and I hope the editors correct it soon.

Some more news is awaited and a few poetry lovers are reading my book. I am nervously waiting for their reviews.

I thank all of you for being so patient with me. I am at a threshold once again and trying to find direction.  Do forgive me for not being so regular in posting here. I will try to do so more often. Till then, go with the flow.

 

Four Poems


That feeling when you have one foot at the edge of the void and the other on a loose stone. Times have changed and I am trying to cope with the current challenges. Challenges in terms of health, finances and relationships. I know the universe is benevolent and listening so here’s to that and writing more.

 

1.

My shadow, dressed in handed down rags,

and smelling of hunger and weed,

melts in the margins, stains them

an invisible red, revealing itself only

in the warm skin of your fingertip.

2.

Carelessly thrown over a chair,

the shirt is the first thing I noticed

as I enter my house,

your fragrance, playing with the night,

settles in the folds of my skin,

seared with grief my heart flutters,

I’m glad you left the shirt, not the key.

(Two more poems published in Peregrine Muse)

  1. Reminiscence

Reminiscing, I roam the paths with him,
my loss hangs heavy in the air,
the landscape as parched as my heart,
you a shadow, a ghost, a dream unfulfilled.

Sometimes I hear you… soft  whispers
riffled by the warm summer breeze,
your smile lights a dew drop,
I catch your scent from the fragrant trees.

Aromas of food and sleep are in the air
the house is flushed with warmth.
in my loneliness I call your name,
feel your misty breath on my face.

Your face is reflected in the window
you call out, but I don’t hear…
my face is in the raindrops of your tears,
you live in me… it’s you I know

My body holds the shadows of your love,
you are no more, you left me all alone,
my body a graffiti of your fingerprints,
like those you left on everything you touched.

Time is just the blur of your shadow.
I won’t forget you, I won’t forget you…
or the soft tread of your feet
and your music echoing in my dreams.

Long years have passed since you left,
my sorrow failed to become songs of love,
the invisible remained invisible…
I miss you… I miss you… first love of my life.

(first published in learning and creativity magazine)

 

  1. Parting

on the table at dawn
scattered breadcrumbs
unfinished coffee
and a few parting words
pinned to a page
beautiful but dead
everything was beautiful
until familiarity and ego
cast their long shadows
across this winter morning
veiled in mist and rain
I mourn the love killed
and struggle to cope
with this ending
so ruthlessly imposed on me
and I wonder if he won
or if I lost.

( A new one 🙂 )

Travel Poems


I wish all my readers a very happy Diwali. May the light of your heart lead you home.

 

These days I don’t travel as much as I would love to but there is a constant pull to escape into the mountains. I long to be by the side of a river, in some nondescript village up in the hills or wandering among the trails that lead nowhere in particular. I miss the roadside dhabas, the little tea shops, the locals with their smiling face, the solitude and the coming home to myself.

I have been writing some travel poems lately and these two are part of that exercise. These were recently published in a fantastic bi-monthly online international nonprofit literary journal called ‘The Bombay Review‘ founded by Kaartikeya Bajpai and his team. Apart from publishing, The Bombay Review conducts literary events across cities in India and abroad.

This is what Rochelle Potkar, the poetry editor had to say about my poems in her acceptance mail, ” We enjoyed your poem ‘Two trails’ – a diptych of togetherness that manages to join hands and threads on the unfolding tapestry of the poetic visions.”

I appreciate editors who take out time to write to the contributors about the submitted work. This was the first for me and made me extremely happy.

Thank you Rochelle.

Here is an excerpt from one of the poems:

“I often walk on lonely trails

sometimes mist fills the jungle

it drifts like a sad song

sometimes it rains

then my only companions

are the silence inside me

           and the longing in my heart….”

The link to my poems TWO TRAILS

While you are on their website do browse through other content and support the journal by donating generously. Now, I usually do not put up such requests but this is an exception. These young students are doing a fabulous job in running the journal and the events / workshops etc and they are doing all this out of their pocket. Right now the journal is urgent need of funds. So please do your bit by clicking on the Donate button on the down left corner of the website or from this campaign link on Milap (for Indian readers). Help them keep alive their cause of spreading literature .

 

 

 

 

Mountain Train Poems


Four short poems about the narrow / meter gauge railway. The memories of mountain railways in the quint towns of the Himalayas. .

The sky was stained with the blue of berries

on that peppery winter noon,

when we sat on that small wooden bench,

outside the teashop overlooking the valley, 

watching the toy train slowly trundle past 

the pines, conifers, and flaming rhododendrons,

the hot masala chai melts all our inner strife

in a fragrant rhapsody for the time being.

2

The narrow gauge waits among the shadows

and lattices of light like a poem uncoiling

into oblivion, spell bound.

In the soundlessness of the falling snow

I listen for a heartbeat no longer there,

the silence too strong for me,

just like the tea from the old teashop. 

3

The edge of the rain slices the ruddy sun 

with delicate knife like precision,

and turns one side of the valley grey,

on the sunlit side the shivering green

tries to cling to the fading light,

the wind snores, shifts, snarls,

 rain filled clouds clamber up 

towards the mountain peaks,

in the valley below, a lone train crawls through 

the dappled grey whistling its old song. 

4

A wayward brushstroke, 

on a spring-like pallet, 

the little mountain train,

is homeward; 

along the wandering waters,

Past purple Jacarandas,

into the  valley of yellow and gold,

and then you see a little town,

pastel painted,

tumbling down the forested hill,

there and gone again,

losing its way 

in the mountain’s mist 

and the steam from my tea. 

 

 

Fist Published in Knot, a biannual web based magazine published by Kristen Scott from Marmaris, Turkiye .

Some New Poems


I took a much needed break to the mountains and promptly fell sick after returning to the killing heat of Delhi. The city and I have a love hate relationship.

I have not really posted much on the blog too which I shall correct now. There is a three part travelogue coming up soon along with some other surprises.

Just another day in the beautiful town of Ranikhet

Meanwhile you can enjoy some of the poems that recently got published in two prestigious online magazines.

A set of four toy train poems found home in biannual web based magazine Knot. Knot is the brainchild of poet, writer Kristen Scott. The magazine is published from Turkey.

You can read the poems here – 

TOY TRAIN POEMS  

Do check out other content in this fabulous magazine.

Another set of five poems were published in Poets International’s The Peregrine Muse (Art / Humanities website)  Do check out this journal for some excellent poetry from across the world.

Find my poems by clicking on this link :

FIVE REMEMBERANCES

I am thankful to Kristen Scott and Imene Bennani (poetry editor) of  Knot magazine & Ananya Guha and Scott Thomas Outlar of The Peregrine Muse for including my poetry.

It is always a good feeling when your work is appreciated and accepted for publication.

I am working on my second book of poems and hope to bring it out by early next year.

Keep visiting the blog and do leave your views in the comment section.

Fractals


Image Copyright – Tikuli

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ

there is still

a hint of autumn

in the breeze

fragile as a whisper

a quiet reminder

of something fleeting

***********

    winter pruning

            I nip a thought in the bud

                 **************

“What happens to a dream deferred? Does it dry up Like a raisin in the sun? Or fester like a sore– And then run? Does it stink like rotten meat? Or crust and sugar over– like a syrupy sweet? Maybe it just sags like a heavy load. Or does it explode?” Langston Hughes

what happens to the dream deferred? does it become wafer thin? Does it perforate? Does it encrust and fall off like scabs? Does it smell of moth balls? Does it spawn a warped double? Does it trickle away and dry up?.

 

                    ***************

I said, “I have been put in the box before death.”

He said, “but you are a Hindu, you go up in flames when dead.”

I said, “I go up in flames every moment of living too.”

 

**************

the motionless day

grows dark inside the room,

the winter breeze

slithers through the window,

a spider dangles on a single

strand of web, thin branches

tremble and weep, but you,

on such winter days, are

the scent of lemongrass

not wanting to leave

the teapot

**********

The parting isn’t hard really ,

it is the wretched sense of abandon

in unfinished conversations,

in lost fragrances, in heart’s great void of silence,

in places that have a putrid sense of familiarity-

coffee shops, cheap hotel rooms, bars,

in old telephone diaries, in hunger

that food cannot lay to rest, in words

frozen mid air, in the crumpled pieces

of paper filled with gibberish, in the taste

of your skin, that’s hard to let go.

The constant abandoning

in that abject indifference, the obscure silences

that tie my stomach in a hangman’s noose, wherever I go,

whatever I do, whoever I am with. It’s always there,

 morphed into everything familiar and unfamiliar, and

when I look into the mirror, I see it in my eyes.. looking

at me with the same look of abandonment I saw in your eyes

when we last kissed before the distance between us stretched like melted cheese

Scratchings – New Poems


image copyright- tikuli

sky, the colour of solitude,
earth, its shadow,
poet, a wabi-sabi.

sitting on the slender wedge
of the moment, all day, the poet
devolves towards or evolves from
nothingness

back and forth, back and forth,
sways the old door dying on its hinges,
the lullaby comforts the baby

cryptic, edgy, scrawls crawl across the wall,
each line has a different tale to tell,
or offers a different puzzle needing to be solved,
inebriated words written by groping fingers,
searching for the light switch

Still heart
Empty nest
Bare branch
In the quiet,
the things I forgot
to say, rustle in the
wind.

I buried the me that loved you

and from it many universes

branched towards infinity,

revealing themselves from beyond

the veil of the visible universe,

echoing with the songs of nothingness

I became a star tree,

my  leaves glowing with celestial crimson,

each blossom filled with scents of you,

Four Short Poems


She watched the red streak of the moon

trail over the lake and disappear, never to return,

leaving behind a looming shadow on the tainted waters.

Unrequited love is an orphan of silence, abandoned

to fend for itself, during the endless days

and never-ending nights.

******* xxxxx*******

Old photographs.

Faded with time.

A life in monochrome.

Another time. Another world.

Conversations tied in neat bundles.

Each word pulsating with life.

**********xxxxxxxx**********

In the quantum multiverse

we would be lovers,

but here, separated

by the universes,

we are nothing but

a very complex

solitaire mystery,

thrown together

with a sprinkling of star-dust.

 **********************xxxxxxx******************

An invitation

 the sun is a lie,

the moon, an illusion,

the earth, a landscape

 of destruction

let us hire a spaceship,

take a flight on a

suborbital airlines,

the sky calls to us,

let us emerge from

our inner shadows,

spread our darkness

over the dark of the

unknown, let us move

to Pluto, winterized in its

spring, cold, dark and quiet

but then didn’t we always

loved winter? we could rent

a cozy little love nest for cheap,

gaze at the neatly nested orbits

of its five moons, feel the music

of  spheres, coalesces our hearts,

let us fall in love in the most

all-consuming way,

love is a slave to existence

Earth is no place for lovers

(cocreated with a special friend)

***********xxxxxxxxxxxxx**********

You And Me – Hush


I lost you over time.

We had so much to say

but nothing was said.

Mail stopped coming,

online chats gradually ceased.

Phone conversations

became impersonal words,

filling in between silences

that we struggled to break.

Your laughter became forced,

you were always elsewhere,

even when with me.

Memories of our meeting

began to fade, until you

were like a vanishing mirage.

You tossed what we shared

into the waves as you crossed

the ocean between us.

It was simple.

A brief encounter became

an imaginary sojourn.

I didn’t know any better,

I was in love with a lover

I had imagined.

Now, you’re only a faded painting

on solitary afternoons,

a monochrome photograph

during my solitary nights.

—————————–