Thursday, 24 July 2014

'Knowledge @ School'

Everyday a bloodbath
An existence filled with violence
Everyday a fear
Lacerating  in crimson hues
The spotless purity of school tunics
A lurking death dealer

Camouflaged against the white
White walls of a secured sanctity
CCTVs glint recording every moment
Their all-knowing black eyes
Unable to register the red passion
The lusty predator at large

Invading gleefully
The unfenced trust of a pure soul
The knowledge of a red fear
Comes in novel ways
The breach of trust
A deadly sin
Haunting the child heart
Marked adult forever
In a single red moment
Of brutal abuse

Sutapa Chaudhuri
A bilingual poet, translator and an academic, Sutapa Chaudhuri, PhD, teaches English at a college near Kolkata, IndiaShe has two poetry collections—Broken Rhapsodies (2011) and Touching Nadir (2014).

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

'Investigating Invisibility'

Scientists are investigating
transformational optics,
metamaterials that will
bend and twist light,
making things disappear.

Of course
there are simpler
more familiar ways of
becoming invisible.

You could sit cross-legged
on a pavement and
place in front of you
an old cloth cap.

You could sit
in a wheelchair;
you could be fat, old
ugly or nondescript female.

You could be a child
in Africa, your photo
reproduced on a leaflet
asking for clean water
food, education.

But scientists are occupied
by researching
the more esoteric
unfeelability cloaks

and the spacetime cloak
which can edit
out of reality
you really want to hide.

© Sue Norton

An artist’s impression of Tower Infinity in Seoul, South Korea. The skyscraper would be covered with banks of cameras and LEDs on the glass facade so that it could project itself into invisibility – albeit only ‘perfectly’ from a few select viewing locations.

Tuesday, 22 July 2014


Munitions fall
and a family disappears.
While another family
watches on TV
until they can watch no more
and turn it off in stunned silence.
A third family also watches
and cheers loudly,
maybe records the report
for a highlights DVD.
The fourth family watches
while the father
lectures them on what has happened
and explains that
you can't trust these people.
Look what happens,
you must always hate them
or make them fear you.
Their leaders talk of
political gains and
moral highground
and the right to
defend themselves
and how the others,
always the others,
have no legitimacy
and theirs is a
 fight for liberty.
While only the disappeared
truly have any freedom

Israel and Gaza will struggle to get tangible gains 
©Hamish Mack
Hamish is a co-editor of Poetry24 and has been writing poetry for some time now.

Monday, 21 July 2014

Crimson sleet

It began as a crimson sleet,
A flake of two of burnt skin.
Piloting a few limbs.
Then, it became a storm,
A reverse twister of mangled bodies,
Air to surface missiles of flesh.
Five charred legs fell
On an ox cart in Rozsypne.
They lay among the flower sacks
And pulsated still.
Fifty eyes fell on Hrabove.
They fell among the rebel tents
Dreams still frozen on them.
Ears, hands, fingertips
Fell in Russian land
On machine ploughed fields.
It rained ringing mobiles.
It rained ticking watches.
It rained charred passports.
It rained tourists.
It rained students.
It rained scientists.
As the flesh rain progressed,
Heaps of smoldering meat
Fell everywhere on everyone,
On soldiers, rebels, peasants,
Diplomats, poets, workers,
Singers, writers and street sweepers.
The sky darkened, debris fell,
Ash flew around, vultures appeared.
Slowly the land called Ukraine
And the land called Russia
Bore a carpet of chopped corpses
Over the green meadows
And the sunflower fields.
It rained for ages
Till ice from the Arctic
Made its first move.

Searchers comb sunflowers for plane debri

©Ra Sh

Ra Sh from India translates poems and stories from Indian languages to English published by Oxford University Press, Penguin India etc.  Original poems published in magazines and anthologies.

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Sunday Review

Some week, eh? Not much good news internationally or in New Zealand. I guess we have to take comfort where we can in such times. Poetry can provide some of that comfort. The poems we had this week were not all optimistic and cheerful but provide evidence of the power and need for good poems to help us through dark times. 
James Bessant's "Sacrifice" started  the week with a poem comparing the mentality behind historical figures and their sacrifices to our own mentality and finding that it's very similar.
And yet still we cannot resist
The immortality bestowed
Sacrificing our human credibility
Barbara Boyd-Anderson's poem "Beached" told the story of a whale stranding and it's successful resolution. I like the way that the tension builds as the fight goes on
Two tow ropes have snapped,
and despair's setting in.
But there's too much at stake
to give up this fight,
Joshua Baumgarten 's "Beaten to Death with an Olive Branch"   looks at the situation in Gaza but very skilfully puts it in context of the world and its wars. It is a seriously good poem.
In a world where you can get
More blood from one stone
Then one would expect

 Thursday showed the value of Poetry24 when Sue Norton and Abi Wyatt shared poems about the deaths of beloved pets. It's a small step but once we can appreciate the shared experiences that we have, we might get some more peace. Sue compared the situation with her dog and humans who have a terminal disease and Abi wrote about the heart-wrenching process. Both are very good poems.
"Waiting for Poetic Justice" by Chandramohan.S is a poem about Gaza and the damage that is being done to  people and the values that they hold. I like the way the poem deals with some of the history involved.
The dead should never speak again
stirring the hornet’s nest
I hope the coming week is better for us all. Keep safe.