A Tale of Stories by Ankur Animesh Surin


Artwork by Max Pechstein

History arrived at the shore Soon sheaves of paper covered lands Pens prospected, outlined, outcasted When they ran out of ink,  They drew blood from new-found vessels  Our stories personal, familial, tribal,  Armed with only a vertical ambition Comfortable on stone slabs and in speech Never stood a chance  Never bring the s-word to a pen fight Evangelists were smart that way Ascribed creation to the word  Wrote it down, monopolised Built a temple around it and locked the door When the blight came,  Custodians of the word were safe Drinking from springs that welled up within the walls Trees that grew tall and made men taller They claimed it all Drought became us Turned us into grains of sand The blithe breeze that poets sung of  Weren’t that kind to us When they were done caressing their faces  And having their way with the locks of women’s hair, They turned a new leaf for a new story And threw ours out of bounds Our stories spectre-like haunt forests Perfected grammar in the babble of streams Practised our argument against jaded hills Amplified dissent with the rustle of leaves But we can’t be too careful, now, Off late we’ve been frequented by wildfires

Ankur is an editor based out of Delhi, India. When he is not editing financial reports and newsletters, he spends most of his spare time reading books, watching Asian cinema and creating humorous fake book titles. Apart from writing poems, Ankur is passionate about photography and filmmaking — all three are bound by his love for images. Ankur occasionally posts his poems and photos on his blog.