In this period of lockdown due to COVID-19, the Chair Poetry Evenings presents its special podcast series #chairpoetryverses, broadcasted on Facebook, twitter and Instagram.
This initiative brings together a series of video poems, videos songs composed by poets featuring poets, poems penned in times of Corona and Visual-Poetry artwork from around the globe that can provide us hope in times of crisis.
Video by: Brian Turner
Brian Turner, the author of two poetry collections--Here, Bullet and Phantom Noise—and a memoir--My Life as a Foreign Country explores loves in times of corona through a video composed by him.
Video by Márcio-André de Sousa Haz :
Márcio-André de Sousa Haz is an award-winning filmmaker, poet, performer, and visual artist born in Rio de Janeiro and currently living in Budapest.
Sara F. Costa is a Portuguese writer and translator. She holds a master degree in mandarin and is currently living in Beijing working with the arts collective “Spittoon”.
Robert Prosser, born 1983 in Alpbach, Tyrol, lives there and in Vienna. He studied Comparative Literature and Anthropology, travelled widly from Asia to Africa and is a Performer as well as an Writer. For more: www.robertprosser.at
Saima Afreen is an Indian poet who works as a journalist. She was awarded Villa Sarkia Writers Residency (Finland) for autumn 2017 where she completed the manuscript of her first poetry book Sin of Semantics. She's the recipient of Charles Wallace Fellowship in Creative Writing, the University of Kent, UK (2019).
Poems by Sarabjeet Garcha
Aimless, he carries
like a compass,
the home darkness
living inside a locked flat
in an abandoned building
the shoe darkness
his toes and insteps
know so intimately
the matchbox darkness
that trapped jewel bugs
wore while steeped
in leaf dreams
the pocket darkness
in which hands dip as if
in a night river’s whirlpool
the cinema darkness
drunk on the leftovers
of sound and colour,
the stars all gone.
from home to shoe
but his darknesses weave
a night so long
that he, eyes wide open,
keeps dreaming a dream
in which the Exit sign
A darkness beats inside us all the time.
It’s not the love of light that’s our crime
but the ticking hope that if we approach
an embrace, the equator will align
itself to our hungry, outstretched arms
and our longing for latitudes will find
that one place where nothing is ever late
as long as you remember what the chimes
of even stopped clocks made you feel about
the light that loves you, the light that grinds
the darkness beating inside all the time.
Notes from the festival directors - Chair Poetry Evenings.
Verses in Times of Corona by Sonnet Mondal
Where roads do not unfurl
the need for limits
breathes through dry tears.
Where Solitude takes wing
for the falling Sun
amnesia shrouds a generation.
Caged, wingless, a bird waits
for the last dusk
as a forsaken boatman
rows for food in the twilight.
Stories of loneliness stay
warm inside my blanket, get
replaced without a sound.
Arms raised, a leafless tree
prays for it’s death.
I wish I understood those bird-songs
struggling to break free from the branches.
The windswept mirages of April
are starving the city-memories.
Occasionally, they simmer
to bathe in the Nor'westers.
The balconies and windows
of my house bring in impulses -
Sounds of TV serials, some news debates,
a distant music, a raucous quarrel,
a mixed smell of dinner ...
Inside, the snoring of my dog plays
with the tireless squeaking of the ceiling fan.
A pen scratches on paper
while the songs of insects try
to lift the mist
settling lazily over the city.
On the horizon, permeating the night -
a symphony of the quiet.
The Nameless Man
He is scooping milk from the road
to moisten the drought inside.
In these white flooded paths,
there are no bends for discourses.
They empty kaleidoscopic dreams
into queues of migrants.
The uncombed gentleman who used to
sit outside our house everyday
is missing without a mention in my diary.
Nameless, defying the lockdown
he has left a whole story unfinished.
Poem by Tushar Dhawal Singh
A BIRD ON MY PALM
A bird has alighted
in the palm of my hand
Clasping a kite in her beak
and scratching her cloud-smeared wings
the dithering thing has come
from somewhere and is twittering
Her eyes enclose the kamini flower
that budded on the body
of a dead yesterday
Her body carries deep scars
from dried-up wounds
She came on and now nestles in my palm
as if she’s had faith in me
from who knows when
whereas I am a sheer stranger
Bearing countless cages
I flit about in my own cage
Thrusting my fingers through the bars
I grope about
Touching a cloud the long-dried bough
rings with consciousness and bursts into bloom
Peacocks break into dance
in my primal forest
The tired river in the veins
rises with a resounding rush
A city long drowned
in the surge of a turbulent ocean
languidly raises its head through the surface
Come perch on my shoulder
The world burdens
the crumbling plaster of my body
Onuses dangling like rattles
keep drumming against the thighs
Just today a grass has grown
in the dust that fell from the elbow
The sewn tongue groaned
with the desire to speak
When the time came
words felt lacking
I kept walking on constellations
and remained quiet
Be muffled in my cluster
Wander in my wilderness
Thunder in my explosion
Dance on my forehead
Twitter on my tongue
so no words sprout
no line gets born no colours mingle
such that this union of language and prana
doesn’t bear a name
The Chair Poetry Evenings
‘Chair Poetry Evenings -Kolkata’s International Poetry Festival’ is an annual international festival of poetry in the city of Kolkata featuring poets from India and Abroad. From poetry readings in several heritage places of Kolkata to the ending event on a cruise over river Ganges, Chair Poetry Evenings is considered to be one of the most important poetry festivals of Asia and is the biggest poetry event of India.