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November 2022

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A writer, painter and a retired adjudicator, Suparna Ghosh has published three books of poetry and two musical CDs based on her poems. Her latest collection, Occasionally, features poems in free verse and ghazals in classical Indo-Persian style, one of which has been translated into Urdu and set to music. She was one of the founding members of the Art Bar, the longest-running poetry series in Canada. Suparna was short-listed for the Montreal International Poetry Prize and published in their Global Poetry Anthology. A grand prize winning poem was choreographed and staged in California Palace of the Legion of Honor, San Francisco. Her words are often integrated into her visuals. Suparna’s paintings were chosen for the Canadian Art of Imagination featuring international artists and the Arts and Letters Club painting competition, NEXT! 2015, and their National show, N3XT! 2020. She has exhibited her paintings in Toronto, New York, San Francisco, Seoul, Mumbai and New Delhi. Please visit her website and watch the ghazal video:

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wrapping the sprawl of a city
around wrinkled shoulders for warmth
against Himalayan winds

sitting under a banyan tree
a respite from an earth heaving
in the scorching sun

singing to a mynah bird
smelling wild white jasmines
smiling at a stranger in the rain

your fingers like slender petioles
gently strumming the strings
of a melody in the womb

reading Lord Byron on the balcony
humming a song
feeling your hands in unexpected places

a conversation with your eyes
a blink to say yes
a flutter to say no

pit stops
for a heart
which does not stop

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Night Shivers

over and beneath the gorges
dancing and shivering fruit and flower trees
moonlit forests, desert snakes.

Giant moon emerges

at times
from crevices of clouds
submerged in ebony.

Earth coughs.

Above, in the gut of the skies,
wild geese chase the wind,
free and flying,
wings of silver,
hunted and haunted by hunters

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it was all part
of a long gone summer.

Their passion
that heaved and expanded
and spread
over them like a canopy,
became a lump in the throat
melting slowly away
like sugar in hot liquid.

Their tightly woven fingers
as moisture stole
into the crevices,
and the kaleidoscopic patterns
dancing in their eyes
like some vague,
over-washed design
on a used garment.

Rising from their languor
the man and the woman,
no longer members
of joint emotions,
into the freedom
that lay
only half way across the ocean.

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t’s all part of a grand design.

If you never know what time it is,
then time does not exist,
time need not exist.
You are,
but time isn’t.

In the corridor time slides,
in the kitchen, time simmers.
In one bedroom, time lurks,
in the other bedroom, it slumbers,
in the dining room, time talks.

It’s all part of the grand design.

But no one knows what time does
when there are no rooms
there is no kitchen,
when the only corridor is the one
that leads

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A thought
conceived in her heart
born in her belly.

Then disappeared
vapor in a cloud
fragmented in life
truncated by death
a thought
in her heart
stillborn in her belly.

Grief so large
that not all the drawers
of her majestic mahogany desk
could contain the fragments.

Grief so wet
it seeped through
the crevices
as she polished
her majestic mahogany desk.

And all the while
she caressed
the fine edges
of the gleaming mahogany desk
she hummed.

The days came
and the humming grew louder
and the humming grew louder.

Some days never came
But the humming grew louder
and she heard the words bubbling
and she saw her limbs swaying
and she felt her gaze wandering
her limpid eyes staring.

This was her magnum opus
her secret song
her song
the song

borne by the belly of the
majestic mahogany desk.

Seventy five years ago.

And then you found
the grief
you found the hum
you found the words
you found the poem
and wove it in your heart
and in your gut
and in your voice.

And one day
the song
sang to me.

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It’s a monolith, thought the gull
alighting on her shoulder

a monument, mused the spirit
whistling through her walls

a pillar, whispered the wind
twirling ‘round her limbs

a village, revealed the crier
surveying her space

a forest, roared the storm
swirling about her hair

a poem, sang the song
hearing a lute in her hum

a damask, decided the novel
etching a tale on her skin

with the sky in one eye
and the ocean in the other

she decides she’s
the gut of the earth

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Be still.
Be alive.

Through the bricks
through the walls
through the stills
through the stalls.

Create shadows
on the floors
on the walls
on the stills
on the stalls
with giant steps
giant wings
of bronze
of gold

Be still.

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