Monthly Archives: March 2016

Gulshan-i-Iqbal Park by Hafsah Aneela Bashir Mua

I am not a silent poet

Yesterday in Sardar mandi, next to the sabzi valas wooden handcart
You opened my passenger side door and took a seat
Decreased the front of your brown starched kameez over your knees
Like, maybe, your father used to
And demanded I drive you to Anarkali as if you knew me

I wonder now how many protests you stifled
At the sight of a lapel, peeled back
To reveal tightly assembled explosives strapped
To upper torso like an iron swaddle
Before my car became your vehicle of choice

We drove to three different locations
My croaked touch-paper pleas unable
to cool the flame of your eyes
Your face – a scream
When you couldn’t decide
Where to deliver your hatred

You slammed my car door as you left

Today the swings in Gulshan-Iqbal Park are cracked red
The chains, charred and redundant
The overturned choo choo train simmers
Like, maybe …

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Stigma by Chella Courington

I am not a silent poet


are beaten—

sometimes to death—

writing poetry.

A husband

maybe brother

reads her emotion

spilling on the page

sees passion

for a hidden lover.

Her burqa not enough

to shield her

for being

raven tresses

green eyes

able to weaken

almost any man


what moves beneath

the red parahaan.

Just out of reach

she rubs against silk and satin

turning inward to speak

of loneliness.

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Marakata by Chella Courington

I am not a silent poet

No longer riding

rock drills

Burhan pours rice

in boiling water

pulls naan

out of a cloth bag.

His kidneys failing

he’s breathed

too much.

Red cough

black cracks

in his nails.

Waiting for miners


the Hindu Kush Mountains

he spreads dough

around the tandoor’s

hot sides.


like the earth’s chambers.

Chisels & hammers

slash walls

gash the land

for an emerald

to lay

in a piggish palm.

Brief Biography: Chella Courington is a writer and teacher. With a Ph.D. in American and British Literature and an MFA in Poetry, she is the author of four poetry and three flash fiction chapbooks. Her poetry and stories appear in numerous anthologies and journals including SmokeLong Quarterly, Nano Fiction, The Los Angeles Review, and The Collagist. Her recent novella, The Somewhat Sad Tale of the Pitcher and the Crow, is available at Amazon. Reared in the Appalachian South, she now lives…

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Floating Coffins by Karlo Sevilla

I am not a silent poet

(On the 2015 Rohingya Refugee Crisis, Lest We Forget)


Because there are more atheists in heaven, a religious mob drove

both sinners and saints to the mercy of the sea. Stateless, they drifted

on land allegedly not their own. Landless, they drift on disputed

waters everyone claims to own. (If they can fly, not necessarily

on airplanes, they would, and risk getting shot down for not identifying

themselves properly upon entering an Air Defense Identification Zone.

Stateless, so no passports in their hands or pockets while wings flap

and bleed from their backs.)

Boats, floating detention centers of mothers cramped and cradling their babies

whom they can’t rock to sleep for lack of elbow room.

Boats, wooden vessels as unremarkable as their passengers are unsuspecting

of being deliveries of live meat to expecting brothels.


And even among their own, dreamers not of mansions and luxury cars but of

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Hands by Richard Green

I am not a silent poet

My grandfather’s hands lived for sixty odd years.
They had no forced smile behind which to hide their pain.
Cracked, calloused and stained with blood and tears.
Black, coal dust roadmaps replacing sunken veins.
I held his weathered hand just once in my childhood years,
reflecting on the residue of soot and tobacco stains.
Black-brown arcs of earth behind each broken fingernail.

I hold out my upturned hands and stare, steadfast,
at where once- hardened skin now smooth and pale.
They hide all evidence of a different, distant past.
Their privileged surface tells another tale.
No coal to scrape or iron-work to be cast.
No splintered placards on picket lines to sail.
These pampered hands belie a bloodied past.


Richard Green – Yorkshireman, Poet, Writer and Spoken Wordsmith.

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Allowing is Unauthorized by May Spring

I am not a silent poet

From now on,
smelling the scent of women
choosing the color of clothes
wearing long boots and leggings
just like short sleeves for men
are unauthorized

Delighting of a music
feeling good of a dance
watching a romance movie
with no permission and competence
are unauthorized

Peacock dancing on the shore
hawk hovering on the wind
fish swimming in the sea
crows croaking on trees
are unauthorized

Thinking and doubting
asking and understanding
changing and informing
beside human sciences
are unauthorized

I am telling you,
from now on,
allowing is unauthorized

You are most welcome
to the realm of the big egos
just breathing here is unauthorized

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Lahore, Sunday, March 27, 2016 by Debasis Mukhopadhyay

I am not a silent poet

The quiet hour 1

Away from us a koel calls.
I lift my head from the pillow & figure under his wings there ain’t enough sun.
This means my young son will sleep for a few more hours before he becomes himself.
Peace. I breathe him till the bare day comes and becomes what it may become.
Yesterday’s baby soap has not faded yet.

The quiet hour 2

The bloodied walls rise into the quicklime of the sky burning.
The empty swings crackle remembering
The cuckoos that sang out over the park.
The flesh strewn across the ground rethinks
The bodies that flew overtaking thousands suns.
I think I have found him.
It’s almost him.
I breathe him when settles the cloak of dust.
Yesterday’s baby soap has not faded yet.

Debasis Mukhopadhyay lives and writes in Montreal, Canada. He can be found online at

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Easter 2016 by Cath Blackfeather

I am not a silent poet

So, they still come,
Tramping in their thousands
Around the edges of your civilization.

You say HE came among us
And suffered for our sins.
HE died so we may live forever. You sing your hymns and thank your God.

You, standing behind your razor wire,
Did you notice, as they stumble past your jeers,
The crown of thorns that sends
A dark trickle down the sweat of that man’s face?
Did you see, under the bulky
Charity-given coat,
The wound in that woman’s side?
This child, who sleeps under a tree in the freezing rain,
Outflung arms and small body twisted
In a familiar pose.

You still want them to die
So we may live forever.

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My Lungs by Jay Hulme

I am not a silent poet

I do not have the space in my lungs
To combat these words you have said,
My lung tissue is probably dead
But I keep on breathing.


My chest capacity
Is somehow smaller
Than the grave that’s
Already been dug for me,
This symmetry,
Between the giver of life
And my ending,
Is bending time
And leading me back

To where it all began.

I’d say I ran,
But lately
I’ve no capacity
For breathing heavily,
So honestly,
I just walked a little quickly
But he followed me,
And the words that rolled off his tongue
Were an opposing symphony,
An amalgam of “Lesbo!”
And “Gayboy!” and “Tranny!”
I think he was unsure
Of which type of bigotry
Would be fitting to shout at me,
So he just used a bit of L, G, B, and T
And hoped that it would offend me,
But seriously, mate,

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