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Shanta Acharya
Shanta Acharya

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Selecting her own society, my soul
surrounds herself with truth and beauty –
garlands of exquisite memories
that wear their fragrance like gods and lovers
lost in an unimaginable shower
of grace, alight with the unbearable
pleasure of being here, steadying me
with the thought that whatever happens,
nothing is forever. Everything changes
when one has lived a long time alone.
Whether we appreciate it or not,
we do not own the fruits of our actions.
We are as separate from our actions
as a decanter from the wine sparkling in it.
If we accept the world as a gift,
not take the gifts of the world for granted,
we may still learn to cherish what we have,
thankful for things we never had, never needed.
Grace received is according to our measure,
a steadfast prayer inside one’s own singing.
Persistence resonating purpose, passion
reminding us of beings without form –
the unmistakable signature, drum roll
tattoo of bill, beating against bark in rhythm.
Yet nowhere is the wryneck to be seen,
camouflaged in the trees. I am not the only one
walking in Highgate Wood with my face upturned,
eyes scanning branches of trees, April bare,
giddy with birds’ nests swaying in the wind
perched precariously high up in the air,
caught in crotches of sturdiest oak and hornbeam.
As the frenzied pecking of the woodpecker fades,
we spot robins, jays, wagtails, starlings
with many a thought that did not come flying.
The sky-calling, whistling, twittering,
cheeping and chirping, cawing and chattering,
the screeching, hooting and trilling –
bird chorus celebrates all that is hidden.
Bluebells sleep buried in earthworks,
dreaming of things tired eyes cannot see.
In the distance a fleeting vision of zygodactyl feet,
profile of a dappled great spotted disappearing.
(From What Survives Is The Singing by Shanta Acharya)


Issue 100 (Nov-Dec 2021)

  • Editorial
    • Semeen Ali: Editorial Note
  • Poems
    • Apurba Bhuyan
    • Bishnu Sankar Verma
    • Chittaranjan Mishra
    • Christian Ward
    • Isha Sharma
    • K V Tirumalesh
    • Kumar Luv
    • Poorva Trikha
    • Sagar Mal Gupta
    • Seema Bashir
    • Shanta Acharya
    • Shuvam Dewanjee
    • Sudeep Sen
    • Susri Bhattacharya
    • Tamoghna Mukherjee
    • Tathagata Banerjee
    • Viji Narayan