Inner eye by Siddhartha Menon (Issue 6)
obey the counsels
of the inner eye
Zbigniew Herbert ‘Another Look’
I cannot quite tell what you mean
by the inner eye
whose counsels must be obeyed.
Protected from dust from tears
and free of all expression:
is that what you have in mind?
I wouldn’t trade for it the outer ones
though I know they’re vulnerable short-sighted
in servitude to the naive heart
to redness and going blind.
The eye of imagination
only blends what it has seen
so I cannot imagine
an eye that sees so differently
that it surfs the rollers of death
and tides us over necessity.
If you mean the tenderness that stings
your eyes like a sea wind
let’s call it that.
Who knows why it stays impervious
as you make your way through briars
and traffic snarls to a vacancy
at the heart of a continent
but as you watch reflections
sky and overhanging stems
that ripple each other on this risen pond
strangely it is here
in a depth of possibilities
attentive and at your call compelling the lighthouse sweep of your attention.
For the Grandfathers by Saksham Khosla (Issue 5)
To peel them from their confusion
with newspapers, their stubborn politics,
is a crime akin to subtracting
the muezzin's call
slipped in black envelopes,
sealed with bone
from the blue bled dawns
that dismantle a baser God
Their tongues are ribbons?
slit open on wills,
knotted into wrinkled gasps.
I am split across their spectacles
swung askew from ears
and I will never know
the smoothness of minarets.
The hole in the earth by Vijay Nambisan (Issue 6)
There is a hole through to the earth’s bowels,
I glimpsed it yesterday, outside the gate,
A view of voided ground yielding voiceless vowels,
Saying without speaking; and through what ways
Winding, through what beatitude, what hate,
What hope of sanctity I do not know
It goes because last night I knew my place
Was not to know. Then waking in my sleep
I felt by day my fate and I could go
Down unwalkable roads beyond all name
Of nothingness, discover what they keep
Below of us without knowledge of day.
So I prepared; but today the workmen came,
Replaced the manhole cover, and went away.
Earth by Eunice de Souza (Issue 6)
The earth is restless tonight,
beyond our power to assuage.
Our knowledge comes too late.
She is victim, judge and jury.
She is the avenging angel.
Pray that our deaths
be quick and merciful.
Untitled by Bharat Iyer (Issue 2)
Cast out into the night thus
remain hungry in the pale lights on the streets
the shadows of the buildings in narrow alleys
moving, head hunched, through the dreary damp
the eyes in their hollows searching
now closing with exhaustion
hearing the ballads of the evening
floating in the head, all together all around
and the river with its dark, silent course
underneath like a vicious beast biding its time
reach out to the prayers of dawn
fingers wrapped around their hollow glow
they slowly drip down in mute treachery
spurred on by the promise of a new song
in the end only old ballads
and the memory of a distant prayer
Nether is a non-profit literary collective of writers looking to spread out and build a plexus of more writers/ artists in India and across. It is a quarterly magazine focused on all the potential variations in the sphere of contemporary writings. These poems were curated by Rohini Kejriwal of The Alipore Post.