Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Life Force

Sunil Sharma of Kalyan-West, India
(Photos courtesy of Sunil Sharma)


Pressed between two limestone slabs
In a slight gap caused by erosion
A blooming wild flower
Odd relief
In that massive rampart
Of a garrison fort
Of a colonial power,
Now history.
It grows stubbornly
In that niche slapped
By the fierce winds
Rising off the sea.
The little flower
Cheers a lonesome heart
Missing love in the ruins.



Three men
Chatting in the drizzle,
Country lane,
Swaying palms,
Of true friends;
Three teens
Periphery of the
Tobacco shop,
Chatting on
Costly cell-phones,



The tall and thin man
Wearing a faded cap,
In old chappals,
Rummages through
The stinking garbage,
With a hook held in
The bare gnarled hands,
Searching for rags, plastic
And paper and other tid-bits
In that urban waste piling up
In the open
Beside the passive street
At six in the morning,
Looking like a silent ghost
In the thick Delhi fog,
Moving around knee-deep
In the revolting slush.
His life revolves around
Those putrid wet garbage mounds
That supply him and others
Of his ilk,
His frugal lunch
And perhaps—dinner,
If he is lucky to scavenge
Some rags, glass or bottles
Before others arrive at the
Dismal Third-World scene
That Victor Hugo had seen
In his impoverished Paris,
Much earlier.



A hobo thin
Under a lone tree,
On a ground full of debris,
The green tree
Open to elements,
His only bare home,
A cur black
With white spots
On its thin back,
And rib-cage visible
Out of sagging skin,
Often spurned;
His only loving companion,
This hated street-dog,
In a megapolis.



She sits alone,
Matted hair pinned down
With a blue band,
Three cheap plastic bags nearby,
Her face placed on the bent knees,
And she goes instantly asleep,
This babbling woman, on the steps
Of a closed shop
Along a busy suburban street;
Ejected from her sweet home
As human trash by her very own,
Wandering constantly
Like a drifting jettison,
The wasted human,
Once a kind mother/sister/daughter
To some, now
In search of a safe shelter from the
Hungry wolves on the hunt;
The front steps, closed shops,
Dilapidated structures,
Bus-bays, trees,
Dumping grounds,
Her new homes.



That cold morning
She wore an old sweater
Handed over by her mother
Years ago to her
And felt connected with a dead mother.
Now nobody to think of my cold
Or other discomforts!
The woolen fit snugly,
Caressing her
As Ma did earlier.



A squirrel singing on a high note,
While perched precariously on a 
Curved branch of a blossoming tree;
The natural tenor drowned out in the
Ear-splitting sounds of traffic
Of a bustling Asian metro;
The cheerful song unheard
Even by the school kids
Buried in books, before exams,
Standing near that tree.



A vast sheet
Of shining grass
Unfurled across
The plains and glens,
Buttoned with
Yellow, red, white
Wild flowers
In the morning light;
Plucked from
The night-sky
On the
Silky grass!



The three male MBA students,
Fresh-faced, shy,
After clearing the tough
Accounts exam together,
Felt so elated and de-stressed
That they danced spontaneously
To a small rock band on the icy stage,
And played in the
Aarhus snow, lit-up by
A smiling sun,
On a tranquil afternoon.
Almost unwatched,
The three would-be managers,
Letting their guard down and
Sending snow balls gleefully
At each other as harmless missiles:
A Chinese,
An Indian,
And a Dane,
Their laughter, identically same
Despite the skin difference,
The dulcet sounds
Echoing and amplified
In the silent nearby courtyards;
The three adults, otherwise
Working very hard,
Forgetting even the Time
At that precise moment of
Great abandon and merriment,
Away from international campus,
And demanding text-books,
Re-claiming collectively
Through such a simple but
Universal gesture
Of throwing snow at the other
A precious
Always buried in books,
And most important,
Them re-discovering a common
Bond and Humanity
In that playful activity,
Staged impromptu
On that white, tempting expanse. 

 Birds at Kalyan-Bhiwandi Bridge

Today’s LittleNip:


Wings tiny, wide-spread
Against a crimson sky.
Dark body dipping in/out
Fluid dots spiraling out
In a wavy series.
A flight of pigeons going separately.
The bird, joyous.
Time to return home
For the kids of the sky!


Sunil Sharma, Principal of Bharat College of Arts and Commerce in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region of India, is a widely-published Indian writer.  He studied at New York University and has a PhD from the University of Chicago, with areas of expertise in Persian and Indian literatures.  He has published 14 books: four collections of poetry, two of short fiction, one novel, and a critical study of the novel, and he has co-edited six anthologies on prose, poetry and criticism.  His six short stories and the novel, Minotaur, were recently prescribed for the undergraduate classes in Post-colonial Studies, Clayton University, in the state of Georgia (USA).  He is a recipient of the UK-based Destiny Poets’ inaugural Poet of the Year award for 2012.  Recently his poems were published in the UN project, Happiness: The Delight-Tree.  He also edits on online journal, Episteme, for Bharat College (  Read more about him at or or —or visit him on Facebook.

Welcome to the Kitchen, Sunil Sharma, and don’t be a stranger!


—Medusa, reminding you that this week's Seed of the Week comes with a prize—send poems, artwork and/or photos about Silence to before midnight this Sunday and receive a free copy of the newest WTF!

 Sharma and his wife, also a college teacher,
in Venice