Cold and Dark by Simran Tuteja
I shall wait for
The heat to abandon
The face of the Earth
For the cold breeze of
The winter to take over.
I shall wait for
The sun to set
For he only comes
Out in the dark.
His skin, embellished with
The stars that do no
Justice to the blue-black
Sky of the chilly night.
Oh how eclectic
Would it be to hold
His hand, to entangle
Our fingers and never let go.
For his skin would
glisten against the
Pale brown complexion
Of mine, but oh how
Mesmerising would it
Be to hold him under
The stars for he is my
Midnight sun and I
Another servile dancing in
cold and dark.
a winter love knot by Katarzyna Stefanicka
i sink into your jumper
the more i resist
tangle and twist
the deeper i run
Winter Love-Song by Parth Lakhani
Ours was a winter love bed covers pulled to the chin tumbling in and out of sheets on mint rose mornings The white satined night seems like a white ghost We spoke as if we were writing on foggy window panes a warm breath would erase make of that what you will The city yawned and stretched its arms towards towards us we stepped into its embrace we sat on the throne of ice in the chamber of its heart sweet and cold as plums We willed time to run backwards deeper and deeper into December the dog days would thaw our hibernating bear it chose to sleep and not to die The days are getting longer now our hands may yet uncurl let us step as if onto a train an arctic express heading gentle into the good night Let us breathe no more Let us freeze this moment still
November Embers by Yashasvi Gaur
“November’s a burn
And an ache.”
- Charles Wright
The month unfolds,
With the crunch of leaves
and metallic tresses of lemongrass blowing in the air.
It's delightful to see
this entangled bond;
And the human
And their shared anxieties Each year
the cold hotter
and humans distant.
Calendars run by
Time repeats itself.
People leaving the earth
People coming to earth
A fair share of play
The month unfolds
And life grows shorter
Let me smell your musk
For one day
We would be
Layering Clothes by Sagarika Chaudhary
My indolence doesn’t let me let go
And so this third cup of tea doesn’t heal me
Because I don’t have the money to by a new shawl,
neither the courage to wear my old one.
My mother worries as I sniffle under the blankets
But it’s okay because December always tricks
and lulls you into slumber as if that will stop you
From being slaughtered for the sake of your art.
It’s so much easier to fake love
than it is to fake a lack of it.
The songs I have left over from when you loved me
Rattle in my head like a stuck vinyl
It’s better to lose my voice than absent mindedly
Hum your favourite one sitting in the college sun.
My hands are cold, untouched and unkissed
And laced with a laugh, I wonder if
I touched your heart because they’re like it now
Not dead, but I think, asleep.
Do you think of me every time someone
kisses you between sharing cigarettes?
I cough a little louder this time, thinking that
Maybe I shouldn’t have smoked on the
bus stop where we kissed for the first time,
Because I cried subsequently after.
Ma got tired of me being reckless
“You need to layer up in winter” she said and
Wrapped my old shawl around me
It still smells like you.
Tell me, does vehement sobbing aggravate your cold too,
or have you stopped sharing your music?
Winter by Alia Sinha
I'll wait till winter
To kiss you because the cold
Makes warm berries of our lips
You feel like a winter night by Vikas Tripathi
Your presence feels like
an early winter night,
ever so slightly cold and gentle,
soothing the restless senses,
the calmness dissolves in the air
and pleases the jaded mind,
everything else is left behind,
my jovial side comes through,
you are the kind of cold
I tend to warm up to.
After The Move by Kartika Menon
I see you on the screen
Wrapped in your blanket, your fan is off
While mine whirs on noisily,
Spinning as I sweat
It is December
My birthday is round the corner,
Lights are up for Christmas,
And a new year is almost here
But none of it feels really real
And I think it’s because there is no winter here
No winter, no
Tea-kettle-vapour-billowing, freezing toes-freezing nose Dogs-lying-on-patch-of-sunlight, Cats-curled-on-car-tyres School-uniform-with-stockings, sizzling-corn-on-the-cob winter
No, there’s none of that
There’s a bit of rain, a lot of sun - just business as usual So of course, December doesn’t feel like December.
November did not feel like November.
Nor did October, or September, or really just - This whole year
Even in the most scorching heat,
summer didn’t feel like summer to me
And really, it's quite painfully obvious -
The main reason my life doesn’t feel true
Is not that this city doesn’t have winter
but that this city doesn’t have you.
Cold Distance by Saheen Rahman
Winter is here, and
Some 1800 miles away,
The evening lasts shorter;
You see the darkness
Before I do.
It is impossible to not think of you.
At night when I sleep,
My hands dangle from the edge of my bed;
I believe they are trying to hold you
In some alternate reality
Where you are not so much
Of an abstract idea.
I am irresistibly in love with you.
This hands, they are dangling,
Find them, before they set sail
To find you somewhere,
And return home, inconsolable and sad.
About the poets:
Simran Tuteja is a third-year UG student pursuing her Mathematics degree from the University of Delhi. She was the editor-in-chief of her college’s science society. She writes for The Teen Magazine, Unverbalise, and has a WordPress blog. Some of her poems have been published in poetry anthologies. You can find her on Instagram @simrantutejaa
Katarzyna Stefanicka is a psychologist with an interest in psychoanalysis and writing. Her poetry makes frequent use of short form and has appeared, among others, in Vita Brevis Press, Inklette and Rue Scribe. She lives and works in London.
Sagarika Chaudhary is a second year student at St. Stephen's College, Delhi, pursuing her bachelor's degree in English. She runs an Instagram page @sagar.ki.rika where she posts about books, music and photography.
Parth Lakhani (he/him) is a twenty year old poet, student and researcher (in that order). He likes bracket (clearly) and over-punctuates; he isn't entirely sure how to use a semi colon though. Parth runs a poetry organization called Qafiyah that organized open mics every month in Bangalore. If you want to find him, Parth frequently haunts the bookshelves of Blossoms Book House in Church Street, Bangalore. Grab his attention by reciting the first line of Ghalib couplet which he will undoubtedly complete. You can find him on Instagram @parthhlakhani and @qafiyahpoetry
Vikas Tripathi is a Pune based poet. When he doesn't have a pen in his hand he usually works on his laptop as a developer for a software company. A collection of poems written by Vikas is available on Amazon. You can follow him on Instagram @vikastripathi80
Alia Sinha is an illustrator, visual artist and theatre practitioner based in Delhi. She is deeply interested in collaborative art-making and obsessed with fungi, ghosts and bees. You can find her work on Instagram @minor_grace
Kartika is an aspiring historian, tea enthusiast, novice crocheter, and a poet (kind-of, sort-of). She usually writes about love and friendship, and is a firm believer in the magic of rhymes. You can read her published work here and here. For other sporadic attempts at writing, and many photos of flowers, head to @kartika.menon on Instagram.
Saheen wants her poetry to be a voice of rebellion, a sword for change, a lifeboat to save someone else from drowning. She often reiterates that art is her beginning and her end. She says, "Art is in everything, big and small, we only need the unavoidable and insatiable hunger to find it." Find her work on Instagram @saheenrahman_
Yashasvi is a research scholar at Jadavpur University, Kolkata. Although based in West Bengal currently, she yearns for a ‘home’ and a lost sense of belongingness. Literature and insanity keeps her sane while she remains deeply embossed in poetry, pain, and pleasure. She is among those people who linger for finding meaning in the little things. Writing is like breathing for her, which she explains 'sometimes come out in fragments, while sometimes like an incessant puddle of emotions after a long hefty morning run’. She writes about simple arenas of life and how it unfolds into myriad philosophies. Her writing contains a dialectic relationship between what we are and what we want to be. She has been a recipient of Rama Mehta Writing Grant 2021, and her works have been featured with publishers and journals like Half Baked Beans, Inverse from Kashmir, Narrow Road Journal, and Hakara.