‘100 Years of Silence’ – Poetry

By Ciéra Cree – plagued by her thoughts; an unfamiliar voice /
utters words of depreciation /
that permeate the silence…

By Ciéra Cree

In commemoration of ‘International Women’s Day’ 2021.

Disclaimer: This piece is not published with the intent of pushing any personal agenda.

plagued by her thoughts; an unfamiliar voice
utters words of depreciation
that permeate the silence
the depths of her mind etched out
in a cross of grey
smudging her opinion
& craftily painted lips
colour staining porcelain skin
is she worth more than this?
she holds a touch that’s feather-light
& sleek as a ballroom floor
a symbol of fragility
encased in a false serenity
adorning her heart on her sleeve
as she paces relentless streets
filled with dark corners &
societal mourners grouped in an
atypical fleet
protest leaks from the edges
of delicately pencilled eyes
fluttering from the lashes of
an unbound compromise

why should women have to disguise
& present themselves with a mask,
to be a walking “pop of colour” 
with a mind kept
sheltered in the dark?
one hundred years of silence
& a proudly retained composure
held together with a smile & the promise
of change creeping ever closer
she isn’t just an object
which is easy on the eye
she’s not merely a victim
failed by a system
that doesn’t try
to mediate opinion
& value individual worth
for this girl is wholly human
& that’s what should be put first

Image: Marina Khrapova on Unsplash


‘PAIN & PEOPLE’ – Visual Poetry

By Ciéra Cree – alas, it appears that you ripped my heart / and now it’s leaking / bleeding unevenly / down and down and down and down / here, this…

By Ciéra Cree

‘PAIN & PEOPLE’ is a piece of experimental visual poetry about the ability to feel human emotion. It was long-listed in the 2020 Streetcake Experimental Writing Prize (London).

Featured image: Jr Korpa on Unsplash

‘The Man In The Mirror’ – Poetry

By Anushka Dey – When I look into the mirror / I wonder how little it knows / How little of the man that is me it shows…

By Anushka Dey

When I look into the mirror 

I wonder how little it knows 

How little of the man that is me it shows

Does it know I limp not due to my old age?

Does it know l was never a bird to be kept in a cage?

That l was crazy about mountaineering 

And on one such unfortunate trek 

I fell and broke my leg. Thank heavens! Not my neck.

Oh! How much knowledge it does lack 

It doesn’t know the stories of the scars on my back

It is unaware that l was a wildlife photographer by profession

It wasn’t only ‘fill-bell’ occupation but my addiction & passion

Yes, it can show the wrinkles underneath my eyes 

But does it know the wisdom & experiences behind them lies?

Then all my thoughts were cut-off as the neighbourhood children come yelling 

“Grandpa! Grandpa! It’s time for storytelling.”

With one last look at the mirror l feel pity 

Not for the children, thinking they will too be crumbled of old age as they grow

But for the mirror for how little it knows

How little of the actuality it shows

Image: Alex Lopez on Unsplash

‘Tranquility’ – Poetry

By Ciéra Cree – people wonder why I spend the years / staring at the same old lake. / just the same man / paintbrush in hand / by the…

By Ciéra Cree

people wonder why I spend the years
staring at the same old lake.
just the same man,
paintbrush in hand,
by the bridge on his own again.

again (yes, again)
because I do this frequently.
you see, people like myself 
don’t really care for
small talk or
shallow company.

I’d much rather stand by the water.
a place, at least one to me,
that I feel could handle my depth.

Image: Berkeli Alashov on Unsplash

‘Perfect Storm’ – Poetry

By Soyeenka Mishra – The palpable, howling wind— one I hadn’t heard since years / Racked up in intensity this time; so strong, so cool, so vibrant…

By Soyeenka Mishra

The palpable, howling wind— one I hadn’t heard since years

Racked up in intensity this time; so strong, so cool, so vibrant

A barely concealed power rests within, 

Waiting to be unleashed, that can destroy everything in its wake

Still I love this storm… I wish it’d go on forever

Nothing has ever matched the mood of my heart so well, 

And made me feel lively thus!

The excessively heavy rain—

The noise a deafening melody, 

A serene symphony, veiling the preponderant potency—

Makes my glasses blurry with the spray, and my hair and clothes saturated,

My appearance that of a drowned rat

But never have I ever felt so refreshed, so alive

Out of reach of the dreary world— portentous, draining, and exhausting

The distant places impossible to see, the perspiration forms an opaque sheet

The wind roars with such vigour, making the water charge at me

My heart thuds in my ribcage,

But standing there immobile, I’ve never felt so alive 

The water flows down the streets like a river, 

The surface disturbed with a million raindrops

Broken trees lie on the roads, vehicles long abandoned

A minute precedent of what’s to come—

Unforeseen, unexpected, and intimidating

Not a single soul is to be found out here

But yours truly, who stares around with awe

The wind swirls and dances, 

Sending sheets of mist in all directions with a dull groan, an anguished lament

A catastrophe to some, a nuisance, a tragic calamity 

But to me, a fortuity, serendipity

Sure, I understand the physics behind it

But it’s not a time to be scientific, but poetic

Goosebumps cover my arms and legs

Due to the frigid temperature of the storm; I could be safe inside my home 

With a warm cup of coffee before the fireplace

But the tempest calls out to me, summons my very essence

I don’t want to get away from the cold, the wind, the rain, 

And the beauteous tranquility of the moment

Despite the chaos, the disquiet, it somehow calms my spirit 

I take my sweet time observing, 

And absorbing for content with my sweer, indolent gaze

This sight, this view, the scenery

Disastrously beautiful, or beautifully disastrous—

Majestically magnificent all the same

Nothing will ever be the same again

At last I take my glasses off

And embrace the wind, the rain, the storm

Everything’s a messy blur now; I can only feel the tiny pinpricks

Of the rain, and the wind slamming onto my skin

I close my eyes and feel ice spread through my veins

But nothing has ever encompassed

Such harmony, such inspiration before;

A terrifical, puissant beauty, meant to be

Image: Geetanjal Khanna on Unsplash

‘Down The Memory Lane’ – Poetry

By Soyeenka Mishra – Life has been so beautiful ever since / I met you that fateful day: five years ago / On a random afternoon of leisure…

By Soyeenka Mishra

29.01.20, 19:09

Trigger warning: this piece contains some detailed description of heartbreak & painful emotion.

A poem inspired by the series ‘Storm & Silence’ by Robert Thier. Read our review of this series by Anushka Dey here.

Life has been so beautiful ever since

I met you that fateful day: five years ago

On a random afternoon of leisure.

Sure, our path has always been

Riddled with obstacles endless,

But getting past them every time

Is task I’d never get tired of

I smile with bittersweet nostalgia

When I reminisce about those days

Aching for every Wednesday to arrive quickly

So that we could meet and pour our hearts out

And experience the happiness of a lifetime

Within those few hours; and when time ran out

It was always a cruel separation which would

Restart the agonising wait of a week all over again

These thoughts make me realise just how much

You changed the very being of who I was,

Turning a directionless, broken doll

Into someone full of animation and emotions.

You gave my life a purpose, something

To look forward to with resolution

Your hopes, your aspirations, your expectations

Made me want to live up to them, and

Fulfil every single one of your wishes.

I strived to see you smile that toothy grin of yours

Crooked on one end, that made my heart flutter and

Skip a beat every time I caught sight of it.

Under your love and affection,

I blossomed into a stronger, happier individual

Who no longer floated adrift without an aim

And who was now likeable to others

Who understood all perspectives of life

Calmly and acceptingly and tolerantly

You taught me how to live, how to laugh

How to love, how to breathe, how to treasure

You were my only comfort at all the times

I broke down, always getting me back on my feet

Wiping away my tears and stealing away my grief

In a trice, just like that

I always marvel at how close you grew to me in such

A small span of time, and then you stole my heart away

You became my muse, the only source

Of eternal joy in my sorrowful existence

I cherish those passed moments such dearly,

It makes my eyes well up to think that

I won’t have such moments anymore

Where you talk, I listen and I talk, you listen

When our souls resonate in perfect harmony

And life seems pleasant again

It’s undeniable and inevitable that

Our time together has run its course

And now it’s time to say goodbye

I knew it was coming for some time

Yet I refused to acknowledge the reality

As I wasn’t prepared (not that I am now)

I might never be ready for this disintegration

From a kindred spirit, the love of my life, my lifeline

But it was never meant to be forever, was it?

It was as if you were made just to make me

Live again, not just exist, and leave my life

Once it was as splendorous and extraordinary

As you believed I deserved to have

Now that you’re gone, I’m trying with all my might

To stay collected and not break into a million smithereens in woe

I promise you I’ll stay strong for you

I won’t return to that shell of a person that I used to be

Before you blessed my life with your existence

Sure, I let some tears flow at night when

I lay on the bed with a gaping void in my chest

Anguish in my heart and ice in my fingers

Painstakingly aware of your absence from my life

As my brain refuses to sleep and torments me endlessly

That’s when I miss you the most

When all kinds of thoughts pay a visit to my mind

And you’re not here to kick the intrusive ones out

But every morning I wake up with determination

And make an effort to adore the tiniest of felicity

Of the day, never losing hope

Walking with my head held high

I swear that I’ll never let you down

And I’ll make you proud that

I learnt to live life peacefully again without you

In it, but with your memories always in my heart

To guide me back to light in case I start fading away

Image: Laura Fuhrman on Unsplash

‘Mood Ring’ – Prose

By Anonymous – I bought a ring second hand; spur of the moment, I suppose, though more a spare moment for the glimpse that caught my eye…

By Anonymous

I bought a ring second hand; spur of the moment, I suppose, though more a spare moment for the glimpse that caught my eye.

It’d won my gaze, with dull shine and a haze and all the ways in which I’d never seen before; almost never before.

I asked for a price, a fair price I did pay. My curiosities enveloping, my satisfaction untamed, then just as that, I took it away.

I put the ring upon my finger, of course the ring did turn blue. My eyes didn’t brighten, my heart remain unlightened; because, I felt like it knew.

And then a thought did come to mind, had it worn that shade before? 

Second hand to me, and to them before that – does it know another feeling? Does it know love? Or its meaning?

Had it worn rage like vermilion or sapphire? Had it worn pain like an unfilled desire? 

And happiness, like a star far away; like saudade, a mind made, for the past that never stayed.

Sadness, anger, so many moods, but tell me mood ring;

How are you?

Image: The Creative Exchange on Unsplash

‘Last Lullaby – For Life’ – Poetry

By Anushka Dey – What kind of a miracle you are, oh ! Architect of my fate / It’s the greatest unsolved mystery to me till this date…

By Anushka Dey

What kind of a miracle you are, oh! Architect of my fate 

It’s the greatest unsolved mystery to me till this date 

Gallant you are my unsung warrior 

A shield from all ordeals, you are my saviour 

How do you mould your affection with your fortitude 

Would I be breathing, without your solicitude? 

Inspire me your words, “Pay no heed, society will frown 

you are unique my darling, l believe you will never let me down.”

Your amusement, your delight 

Better than a thousand suns shining bright 

Through the maze of life, you were my guide 

Darkness or light, you were by my side

You sank and drowned, but pushed me ashore 

Left me broken and alone to explore 

It is hard to part when you are so dear 

To my heart you are so near 

Arms to rest on so strong, yet so tender and kind 

Where else on earth would I ever be able to find? 

Your touch, your embrace so tight 

Better than a thousand suns shining bright 

You ask me to take it easy 

How can one do that, when it is driving them crazy? 

Force me not to see you depart

For it will tear my heart apart 

Bid me not farewell, sing me a lullaby 

Before you leave me or say me goodbye 

Your absence won’t be acknowledged in sleep 

The harsh reality through my veins will not seep

Your visage, when you kiss me goodnight 

Better than a thousand suns shining bright 

You cannot leave me behind, take me along 

Because you are the composer, I am the song 

Our bonding will stay forever this way 

It will just tighten today, tomorrow and everyday 

With your warmth and presence divine 

My world will again shimmer and shine 

Even beyond the grave, on your lap my head will lie 

Because love is eternal, it will never die 

Your smile, the seraphic sight 

Better than a thousand suns shining bright

Image: Jackson David on Unsplash

‘Our Most Significant’ – Poetry

By Anonymous – Always when we walk, / you would wander too far / into the dark; and always / I would follow you, / through gardens of grey…

By Anonymous

Always when we walk,
you would wander too far
into the dark; and always
I would follow you,
through gardens of grey,
with pages of stone
and black chalk.

I met you in a coffee shop up north.
We both drank tea,
you took sugar, of course.
I got confused because my coat
looked exactly like yours,
and we’d both gotten up at the same time
so when I returned I could have sworn
I’d drank more, and the seat
was unusually warm;
that was when I noticed
the ruby lipstick around the rim,
then you were standing over me
hazel hair with a fringe,
“look at you”
the first words you said to me –
the rest, poetry.

Dandelion dreams
blown away with the
husk of a seed.
You didn’t seem happy,
and for the longest time
I didn’t mind, you were mine
in your perfect misery.
At night we’d go to a lake
that looked across the sea.
There was where we’d bleed
out our bitter resentment for
all the things that weren’t to be.
To me, our most significant
moment was when you
pressed a fifty pence piece
to your lips and threw it so far
I swear the only star
in the sky called its chance.
Into the unknowing distance it fell
and just under the oceans screams,
you’d whisper quietly –

“do you hear how the waves
land softly upon the shore?
how the moon pulls them in,
to send them out again in force;
and the man made of sand
with his sword, ‘not one night more!’
disappearing as would dust,
into an ocean, the sweetest storm;
and as breaks the light of day
within the calm, he finds anew.
to look for hope, to look for love
vowed for victory, but never soon.”

If there was where we’d fall to sleep,
I’d wake with tales of kings and queens.
You’d touch my hand, but never speak,
for only the lonely know nothing of dreams.

Then came the day when we’d part ways.
I’d hardly processed that your hair
was no longer hazel before you spoke,
nothing notable. A subtle joke.
It didn’t seem right to smile but I did.
And as I did I became aware,
that this was likely the last time
you would make me laugh.
Your voice withered, and
thus replayed a montage
of our fondest moments.
I regret to say I don’t remember a goodbye.
We were there 4 minutes, maybe 5.
The sum of a lifetime swept away,
where I’d seen promise, you saw decay.

So recite did I, the kinder times.
Until nothing would remind
me of the memories you left me.
Until soon your face
fades from familiarity;
as have all the faces
of lovers whose names
have long since slipped my tongue.

Months, years would pass before I
find myself in the same place we’d met.
As I ordered my tea I noticed,
my jacket sat opposite another man.
No sachets of sugar next to the
lipstick stained cup emitting steam.

Struck with grief,
I ran to the lonely lake
and dived deep. As I arose
thousands of coins clinked
and slipped between my fingers
and blew through the wind
like sand into the sea.
Who was I to think of
only one star in the sky?
For tonight, they’re all in plain view;
and the words whispered,
they weren’t meant for me,
they were meant for you.

Always when we walk
you would wander too far
into the dark; and now
I stand idle by, as
it envelops you,
more fool me
and my lonely heart.

Image: Kenny Luo on Unsplash