Death is a white man with alabaster skin,
pretty blonde hair,
and eyes grey as a monsoon sky.
I met him just last week
In a dream where old friends became strangers
and god was nowhere to be found.
Death was a man
and there was no fire, no streets paved in gold,
nothing waiting for me-
just a polite gentleman with a black Cadillac
ready to take me on my last ride.
He opened the door to the back and led me in,
whispering secrets I could not comprehend and
answering the questions that were running amuck in my mind.
Then he closed my coffin shut and all I knew was darkness.
There I lay,
as I felt the car move at blinding speeds on a curved road
much like the ones back home.
I wondered why my last ride was so miserable,
But then I heard him say it was for the best.
It was better for me to feel and not see
The life I passed by.
So that when we reached,
my heart would be free
to turn to dust and
return to nothingness.
For suddenly I remembered all the people I loved
And all ones I hated
And in that moment, I did not care anymore.
I became free.
Free to approach annihilation.
Free to die.
You see, Love is strange. But, death is stranger.(more…)
Narratives are often exaggerated
for fear of unaroused laughter and silent
mockers. There are those that wear diamonds
in their ears and walk around with side swept hair
and burnt broccoli in the pockets of their white collared shirts.
They do not care for comical stories of unrealized
imaginations and dreams of blemished rejects,
dark skinned and unlike their distant loves.
The world may talk of new beauty beyond sizes
and colors. I know white creams and botox
still make the most money.
Because he loved me the least and he hurt me the most.
Because somewhere I got tired of still waters.
I fell for tsunami waves, crashing on my shore
destroying every little piece of me. I hated him in the beginning.
I hated him in the end, but somewhere in between
I fell in love with the idea that the roar in his waters was meant for me.
He screamed and cried, and I cried too. And somewhere there
I began to see the words and melody that formed on my lips. It was
magic. But the painful kind. (more…)
It’s ironic and almost hilarious that I once sent some poems to a literary magazine and assumed that I was rejected and not published without actually checking the magazine. I went through Thumb Print magazine just now to find that I was actually published in it. Special thanks to Dr Ananya S Guha for his kind words and for giving me a platform to showcase my creativity. It melts my heart that I am noticed, even if it is in the slightest way. It gives me hope that dreams do come through and one day, it’ll be even more than this.
POETRY EDITOR ANANYA GUHA’s NOTE:
Bethamehi Joy Syiem’s poems delight for their honest, ineffable utterances. This is poetry of the heart. Ancestry, relationship, history and love are the promontories of her poetry. There is a narrative power in her poetry, story within a story. She is not overtly didactic, the moral question is in limbo, it is left to the reader to discover it. The first poem interprets ‘blood’ variously- remarkable for a person of her age. Here is a very young poet confronted by the vastness of life. Her technique has finesse, she comprehends the craft remarkably well.
Click on the link below to check out the website for Thumb Print Magazine
Battles can be long and the fallout may be ambiguous as the yellow man’s stand on the white man’s issues.
Three weeks and three days of working with a repulsive character is tiring; but in the end, when a hundred beautiful souls line up just to listen to the sound of your beating heart, the battle is worth it and that battle, I will fight. The brutal release of bullet sentences are worth it.
Harbouring hate is playing Russian roulette. I choose love.
An invisible friend’s hand is on the achievement of my day. This battle has been long but ask me any day, I’ll fight it again. (more…)
Where the birds of steel land and take off all day
Where seagulls glide on the wings of salty breeze
Where sailboats of blaring techno drift on waters
Of ancient history and few respond to the call to prayer
Beer and laughter are not enough to set the slaves free
And the cries of sexual pleasure are soon followed
By screams of fleeing friends drowning before the eyes
Of their mad captors who had made much already
On buses of air-conditioned relief ride men with faces
Determined to earn a living and skimpy women with hair
Bleached into blondes and sunglasses like tentative butterflies
From sidewalks of cafes and retail headscarf mothers window shop
And talk with string-topped adolescent daughters
From parks on cliffs wrinkled men with walking sticks watch
A sun dipping into the ocean of the other side of the world
On the fringe of the city lives a dying community
Where the drug peddler grows his marijuana
On a terrace and buys a second hand car
Where the wounds of a diabetic man are not healing
And the fingers of his arthritic wife are crooked
Where the good hearted foreigner goes to help
And he takes his friends with him and they wash
The children’s hair and give them chocolates
From America and try to speak their language
Beyond the haze where water ends and mountains begin
Between verdant ranges where cotton-clouds waft lazy
Shepherds with their virgin sheep feed on healthy earth
They tread the paths of yesteryears and know a little
Of life across the sea where buildings and parks
Men and women from countries that have lost hope
Supermarkets of yoghurt, lamb and things processed
Cobblestoned streets of trinket sellers and ruined churches
Breathe like a middle-aged man knowing half his life has gone
This is a guest post by Almond Syiem. He is passionate about poetry, songwriting, jazz and Jesus whom he has been following for two decades in weakness, mostly. His works have appeared in several journals and magazines including Indian Literature, The New Welsh Review and Poetry India’s Soulful Whispers. He recently brought out an e-book, Sleepless which showcases a few of his poems set to stunning photography by Tim Wallis. He is married to Bameri and has two teenage children, Beth and Hamesan. Originally from one of the creative hubs of the country, Shillong in north east India, he now lives in West Bengal. (more…)
Your eyes say things your heart does not know and in your mouth, I see a smile so beautifully crooked that it is now lost as I whisper truth in your ears. There is a life you do not know and I am a song your strings and cymbals can never play.
Your green jacket and yellow monogram, your glasses and mustache, your cash and cards – even your strings and cymbals – say you love me. And I should hold on to you, they say. I should love you back.
But I know the dreams you have been having. I know your fears. I know your truth. (more…)