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Abhay K

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Abhay K


Returning home
empty handed without fish
they say in Tetun
—the sea is big

the Cristo Rei stands
atop a distorted globe
above the cape (Fatucamas)
looking away in distance

at a heap of abandoned vehicles
after a thirteen years long peace mission
the children kick soccer ball
at the esplanade dotted with new embassies

women weave intricate tais
in bright, blazing colours
fishermen walk with their spears
effortlessly into the ocean.

Tetun A local language spoken in East Timor
Tais A traditional bright patterned cloth woven with intricate design by
the locals


Cryptus Portus, Amithoscuta
the crown of the strait of Hormuz
strong scented rare musk

a delicious date
spread over mountains and mosques
its street filled with rolling tongues

Alladin’s lamp, wish and
a waiter runs out like a genie
carrying shawarma, sambosas, falafel

women in shylas
each uniquely wrapped
some around face, others simply tucked in the tail

girls in white button-down
boys in dishdashaand kummah
at two opposite ends of the town

a child walks alone towards the city centre
to buy popsicles, chips and candies
while adults watch movies subtitled in Arabic.


Between the hills of Kgale and Oodi
laid out like a glass of brandy

a city tries to fit in badly
along with its Naledi

Precious Ramotswe solves mysteries
In Mmegi and the Botswana Gazette

while the culprits flee to jungles of Mokolodi
in wagons, sledges and bakkies

the three Dikgosiclose their eyes
and a tired Gaborone lets out silent cries.

Naledi Stars and a suburb of Gaborone
Mmegi A leading newspaper
Dikgosi A Chief


‘Between parallels 15 and 20,
around a lake which shall be formed;
A great civilization will thrive,
and that will be the Promised Land.’
— Don Bosco

Brasilia is mostly white
Brasilia is red laterite
Brasilia is diaphanous gossamer filled with light

Brasilia is a string of shining pearls at night
Brasilia is an exotic Turkish delight
Brasilia is a coiled serpent ready to bite

Brasilia is a village passing as a city
Brasilia is an expression in supernatural geometry
Brasilia is Italo Calvino’s invisible city

Brasilia is a prophecy of Don (Bosco)
Brasilia is a poem carved in stone
Brasilia is a song of Carlos Drummond (de Andrade)

Brasilia is a diamond in the crown
Brasilia is a giant airplane on the ground
Brasilia is an Amauri village drowned

Brasilia is Clarice Lispector sleep-walking on water
Brasilia is black Acai palm dissert
Brasilia is perfection in brick and mortar

Brasilia is a piece of space cake
Brasilia is a fantasy island in the lake
Brasilia is a Dominican night shake

Brasilia is the last utopia
Brasilia is Sylvia Plath’s dystopia
Brasilia is a landscape ectopia

Brasilia is an oasis of migratory birds
Brasilia is an oracle’s prophetic words
Brasilia is a page from the Harry Potter

Brasilia is a shifting mirage in the desert
Brasilia is a vision gone pale, blurred
Brasilia is a nail yet to be hammered.


When sun rays fall on colonial facades,
the Inca temples and pre-Columbian ruins
along the Costa Verde
let’s climb the crumbling cliffs
then descend down the Malecon
to surf the waves of the Pacific

let’s listen to solemn chants of Peru
and its sublime poetry
or submerge into its history
let’s meet at the MuseoLarco,
Chimú, Chancay, Chincha,
Nazca and Inca

let’s cross the bridge of sighs in Barranco
and go to crowded nightclubs
to dance to the tropical beats
and when we get tired
and we will, let’s find our way
through Lima’s messy streets

let’s go to Puruchuco
all tied up in ropes—head to toe
and lie with a mummy
and then to Pachacamac
to bow to the Earth Maker
to climb the pyramids

then let’s head to the love park
to smell the rose blooming in the desert
and look at the Lima Bay
let’s climb the HuacaPucllana
and taste ChichaMorada and Pisco sour
on banks of the river Rimac

let’s enter the abode of last Inca on the San Cristobal Hill
get inside Lima’s old train station—a time machine
and see it metamorphose into an extraordinary thing
let’s look at intricately carved wooden balconies
at the Plaza de Armas and steal a glimpse
of the Gran Hotel Bolivar at the San Martin

let’s see the masked dancers dancing Chonquinada
and pigeons hovering over the San Francisco cathedral—
the flying spirits of those buried underneath in the labyrinth
of catacombs, and then let’s go to Larcomar
to watch the sun set over the Pacific, and to end it all
let our spirit soar with a thousand fountains at the aqua park.


Feature–Contemporary Indian English Poetry

    Editorial: GJV Prasad

    Abhay K
    Aishwarya Iyer
    Akhil Katyal
    Amlanjyoti Goswami
    Ananya S Guha
    Arup K Chatterjee
    CS Bhagya
    Debasish Lahiri
    Devdan Chaudhuri
    Dhananjay Singh
    Gertrude Lamare
    Goirick Brahmachari
    Joie Bose
    Maaz bin Bilal
    Malsawmi Jacob
    Meera Sagar
    Nabina Das
    Nitoo Das
    Priya Sarukkai-Chabria
    Rajesh Kumar
    Ranu Uniyal
    rizio yohannan raj
    Rochelle Potkar
    Saima Afreen
    Sanjeev Sethi
    Semeen Ali
    Shelly Bhoil
    Smeetha Bhoumik
    Srilata K
    Sudeep Sen
    Sukrita Paul Kumar
    Sumana Roy
    Tabish Khair
    Taseer Gujral
    Uddipana Goswami
    Usha Akella
    Uttaran Das Gupta
    Vivek Narayanan
    Linda Ashok

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