an on-line poetry magazine
for the 21st century

WINTER 2021-22

 

SPECIAL SECTION: TAMIL POETRY

Three translations and a poem by Sriramgokul Chinnasamy

G Vasanthakumaran

CONTRAST

       Tr Sriramgokul Chinnasamy

On the day

I left my umbrella home,

it’s raining

There’s a fly

in the cup of tea

I’m having

While waiting

to travel east,

buses towards west

go passing me

On reaching a salon

for a haircut,

its doors mock me

with a ‘Closed on Tuesdays’ sign

A gorgeous lady

asks for the time

when my watch isn’t working

The lift that I wait for

is always held up,

and arrives

once I start taking the stairs

My wife sends off

the man who came to return his debt,

telling him I’m asleep

I seek an astrologer

from the nearby town

to find some remedy

Heard that

lightning has struck him

and he is no more.

Vazhippokkan

LITTLE JESSIE

       Tr. Sriramgokul Chinnasamy

Spot the six differences!

says the back cover of a weekly magazine

with pictures of a dense forest

Handed it to little Jessie,

asking if she could find them

But she threw it straight away,

judging it to be inaccurate

Stunned,

and questioned her

She with her childish finger

pointing at the man in picture,

answers jungle is for birds and animals,

and not humans

At the same instance,

an unknown bird in the illustration

came to life,

spreading its wings

for a flight into the woods.

The illusion about forest in me

starts to get shattered

Little Jessie

resembles a goddess of the forest

to my eyes, for a reason!

 

 

Francis Kiruba

THAT’S ALL

       Tr. Sriramgokul Chinnasamy

With a spark of light

from the shot of your handgun

in the dark,

you

could finish reading

my entire poetry

Till then

I

shall defy death

holding on for dear life

 

Sriramgokul Chinnasamy

CITY WITH BURDEN OF THE PAST

 

Why unwelcome the Other

like they are

from a thousand light years away

and

trespassing in their own land?

The central souvenir statue

is hurt in her forehead and blindfolded.

Are all material records manipulated!

Did any painters, poets and historians try to be realists?

Tightly zipped secrets

thought to be erased

are murmured only within the families

of a few closed homes within the city walls.

 

G Vasanthakumaran has had six poetry collections published in Tamil, the first one in 1986 and the latest in 2020. English translations of his poems have appeared in Indian Literature, India’s oldest journal. Madras Christian College, Chennai has made his collection Manidan Enbadhu Punai Peyar as a part of their curriculum for Tamil studies. His interviews with many Tamil poets have appeared as a series in the Tamil weekly, Kumudam.

 

Vazhippokkan (the poet’s pen name) is from Kanchipuram, India. He is widely published, and is the author of five poetry collections in Tamil. He is working on a novel, and is also a photographer and interior designer.

 

Francis Kiruba is a Tamil poet and lyricist. He is from Tirunelveli district in Tamil Nadu, India. Having finished only middle school, he left home to Mumbai, where he began writing poems for Tamil magazines. Later, he returned to Tamil Nadu and went on to publish six notable poetry collections. He has contributed lyrics for many well-knonw Tamil movie songs. His passing recently (September, 2021) is a great loss to Tamil poetry.

Sriramgokul Chinnasamy lives in Chennai, India and has MA in Creative Writing from Teesside University, UK. His poems have appeared in magazines and anthologies in the UK (Envoi, Live from Worktown, The Ash), Ireland (Blue Nib), Singapore (Kitaab Online), Canada (The Muse) and India (Muse India, Taj Mahal Review, Bengaluru Review).