Monday, October 1, 2018




“Missed perception of symphony’s fine tunes;
Playing its harmonious music, Can
Fill our world with blind misconceptions.
Open eyes seeing beyond what is learned.
Listen, variant tones- create connections;
Orchestrating an unseen light that burns;
Creation’s light of abounding beauty.”

(Stacia Lynn Reynolds)

It does not matter where a person dwells upon this Earth; we all witness the effects of calamities and war: A soldier on the frontlines, images that daily reel over media, first hand witness of bloodshed, terrorism, global warming, climatic catastrophes, heartache, pain; uncertainty with no gain. The wars between humanity began in the ancient times and has escalated in intensity into today’s world. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke of peace among mankind when he stated, “If we are to have peace on earth…Our loyalties must transcend our race, our tribe, our class, and our nation; And this means we must develop a world perspective.” Mankind needs to find a better position, create a new paradigm, and come to the forefront in the advancement of peace and prosperity; finding purpose within the world we live; looking beyond ourselves and into the eyes of the hurting and hungry.

All throughout history, man has fought fellow man. The position of ideals has had such strong roots, in every corner of the world, that the blood of man taints the soil in which we take our steps. Every country has faced its own civil wars and attacks, but in the perspective of the world, we have witnessed World War I, World War II, and it seems, in the 21st century in which we currently live, the world is marching into a third World War. The position of hate has overtaken the perspective of peace and prosperity. The sounds of harmony have gone flat, which causes many to cringe at its sour tones. The tainted music of hate plays daily over a loud speaker, which is heard all over the world. We must revert our ideals into a world perspective and create a new paradigm of hope.

Humanity must find its purpose and create a new paradigm before we destroy one another. We need to find a better model to follow. There is no doubt that some people in the world are just plain evil; roaming the earth, polluting it with each blackened step. Their only intent is to destroy anything or anyone who is against their stained ideals. Wherever you may dwell, we all face this type of evil, and the unknown fills humanity with fear. But those of us who yearn for freedom of hate, to witness unity consume the hearts of man, and want to take a stand against the war against humanity, need to come to the forefront; planting our feet upon a greater intent.

We, the residents of this world, must come to the forefront, positioning ourselves in the advancement of peace. I have found this position of significant importance in my life; unifying writers, poets and readers from each corner of the world. I desire to see the beautiful tapestry of this world expand for all to see and appreciate. Every inhabitant upon Earth, must innovate new methods, in its course, uniting and exposing freedom of words in our modern age. A common philosophy of peace needs to be central to the paradigm in which we continually create and model in our lives. We need to continue advancing our march in the view of hope and prosperity for all mankind. My greatest desire is for all to come to the forefront; the forefront of today’s inspiring poets and writers around the world. We, as writers, and humanity, must find its purpose; the reason for existence.

How do we, humanity, and each person individually, define purpose? In our day to day steps, from dawn until dusk, do we strive only in self-motivation, or a combination of self and others? What is are our personal resolve or intention in life? Do we calculate our design and dreams beyond personal goals and development? Does the bigger picture extend to the world, or is it constrained to only the four walls in which we reside? In a world in which times are difficult: economically, with constant threats of terror and hate; climatic weather, drowning our land, the spreading of wild fires; famine and pestilence, leave many with a fear of the unknown. A fear which draws one personally into one’s own world, resulting in selfish gain and visions of personal achievement. Life’s purpose has resolved itself into the instinct to survive, varying in the result of positive or negative personal actions. All of humanity must grasp a vision of oneness, moving beyond personal gain and into the purpose of visualizing the bigger picture in the world in which we live.

Finding the purpose of peace and prosperity will allow many avenues to converge into one common road. With a common purpose, visualizing, mankind can move beyond prejudice and focus on the well-being of others. Coming together with one common purpose is not an intended statement for everyone to be the same but finding a common goal to heal and move beyond our fears to feed the hungry, cloth the poor, step in and resolve unfairness. There are many cultures, ethnic groups and beliefs that make up our world called Earth. Each group and individual, as a human being, needs to be respected as a fellow human being. Not every human being is bad, feeding into the fears of others. Not every human being is selfish, robbing mankind. Not every human being is full of evil and hate. There are those, who have been left in the rubble of constant fear that do not know which avenue to pursue, due to fear of being robbed monetarily or robbed of life. The love of many have run cold; some are mean and/or ruthless, while others do not want to extend compassion, because compassion has not been evident in their surroundings. So where does that leave mankind, in a pursuit of purpose, to aid in the well-being of others?

Love overcomes evil, even when the fruit of love is not received by the intended. Connecting the avenues which make up mankind, and meeting on the road, with an intended purpose to pursue peace and unity, mankind may find the light at the end of the dark tunnel in which we walk day to day. If we chose to walk away from any avenue that promotes peace, we are walking in a blackened cloud of dissent.

When a person falls deep into the emotional darkness of hatred, bitterness, and coldness, it begins to consume their heart and soul. The black hues that surround hate will grow into gruesome feelings that well-up/build-up within the heart and mind. Hatred holds others in contempt for a wrong that may or may not have been done; intentional or not. Hatred causes others to hold grudges and have hard feelings. It is malice and hostile. When a person is armed in a bitter conflict with another person or race, it only results in a static relationship; meaning the strife will go nowhere. The conflict will be stationary, with no change. That is where we get the term "butting heads." If a person is pushing and striking against another with hatred and rage in their heart, the relationship has no chance of peace; the world becomes dark; swallowing itself in despair.

The pursuit of negative personal gain has tightened its vice, squeezing the life out of many. People are continually driven by greed, fueled by pride and self-glory. Narcissism, leaves compassion for others in the coldest of winter rains, blowing its frozen intentions across the world. The ideals of self, consume the world, setting ablaze hatred toward others. Self-love, with no consideration for mankind has turned the world into a dark place. The candle of hope can be relit when we visualize the bigger picture for mankind; lighting the candle of peace.

Let us not sit in the background, but continue to lead, with focused attention, with our influential words that inspire, encourage and impel others; kindling the flame of hope, peace and prosperity for all mankind. May our words provoke positive emotion, redirecting feelings of hate. May we also continue to mold ourselves into the perspective of unity, contributing to the paradigm of peace in which we model, and come stand on the forefronts, and promote positive innovations in our purpose and position of greatness.

Dear readers, here we are again with this present number of ‘Our Poetry Archive: OCTOBER 2018 Volume Four Number Seven.' This is a general issue and we are glad to introduce eleven new poets to our regular readers in this number. We hope readers will also enjoy their talents along with others' poems. This month our Poet of the Month is poet LILY SWARN of INDIA. Readers will find her interview with our editorial panel much interesting. Our heartfelt thank goes to the poetess for her acceptance to our invitation.

We would also like to request our readers and poets alike, to introduce Our Poetry Archive to their friends and relatives who love the music of poetry.  Anyone who wants to showcase his or her literary talents internationally is also most welcome to OPA. Any talented poet can send at least 3 poems and one current profile picture along with the explicit confirmation of their permission to publish his or her copyrighted materials in OPA. Our mail address is
Thank you.
From The Editorial Desk



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ALICJA KUBERSKA: What does poetry mean to you?

LILY SWARN: Poetry, to me is a perception or a feeling that has crossed the realm of ordinariness and moved ahead to a finer, more evolved experience, which finds a new shape in the folds and waves of words. The ostensible and prosaic meaning is elevated to a different level altogether with the means of symbolism, metre and metaphors. It's the release of so much that lies buried beneath my being. It comes out in a rush of honest creativity; all shackles broken, all dams cracked. Poetry is also my sustenance.

ALICJA KUBERSKA: What’s according to you the meaning of poetry in the contemporary world?

LILY SWARN: It’s the oasis in a desert, an evergreen cedar in a wasteland. Poetry is the refinement of the soul, caressing aching hearts with muslin fronds. Poetry let’s you get intimate with the reader without actually fondling them. In the contemporary world, motion poems, animated poems, poems put to music, pictorial poems shake or shock the reader into reading. It’s soul food for desensitized humanoids of technology. According to me poetry is an indulgence and a catharsis rolled into one, in this fast paced world of geeks and machines.

ALICJA KUBERSKA:  Can you describe your creative process while writing a new poem?

LILY SWARN: A poem germinates in my mind in a flash at no given moment. It begs to be written. It beckons and beseeches till I soak the screen on my ageing iPhone with its perfume. It simply doesn’t let me be. It nudges, it prods and playfully punches me into writing it. It’s a surreal journey from beginning to end for I (the poetess) seem to take a back seat. The poem takes charge. It becomes the master of ceremonies of its own creation. Words tumble out helter-skelter, tripping over each other in their haste to be written. I rarely if ever go back and forth with its editing for I firmly believe that the first thought or emotion is the perfect one for it has come out distilled and aromatic. I am possessive and protective of the first draft. I think it is haloed turf.

ALICJA KUBERSKA:  Did it happen to you that a poem was just your dream?

LILY SWARN: Oh yes! Many poems are hidden desires cutting off from their doggy leash and breaking free. These unfulfilled dreams tug at the reins and gallop out like stallions in the shape of powerful poems. They carry in their words the yearnings of a million throbbing hearts. 

ALICJA KUBERSKA: Tell us about your inspiration. What’re the most important subjects to you?

LILY SWARN: The apparent injustice, stalking life, forces me to write against it repeatedly. War troubles me and the shrieks of widows, orphans and refugees angers me. Nature’s wondrous healing ways endear me to the Creator. Sufi philosophy and spiritualism often adorn my poetic garments. The innocent charm of a hill maiden makes me write just as much as the wailing sound of a flute or a “sarangi”. I am referred to as the poet of everyday life. I see the miraculous in the mundane. I am enamoured by Love and enslaved by hearts that love. Real human sagas jostle my creativity awake. I visualise a world without borders of any genre.

MARIA MIRAGLIA:  Which were the emotions that inspired your first verses?

LILY SWARN: Rib tearing grief oozed out as verses, the untimely death of my young son smudged my poetry with tearful streaks. Calf love and infatuation had made me a poet much before that in my early teens. The changing vista of seasons constantly inspires me and I am secretly proud of the praise that I garner for my nature poems. An autumn leaf whispers its tales to me and a snowflake teases me.

MARIA MIRAGLIA:  Was your aspiration to become a poet or did all happen by chance?

LILY SWARN: Since I was very young I had been scribbling in the margins of books and behind flyers dropped in the letter box. The written word was my first real pal. I read it, wrote it, hummed it, enacted it and sang it. Folk songs and Sikh Holy Scriptures had me hooked for life. Pain and loss accelerated my foray into the domain of poetry. It definitely was part of Dame Destiny’s master plan for me .The vast ocean that is the internet expedited my quest.

MARIA MIRAGLIA:  Who is the first person you read your poems to and why?

LILY SWARN: I think I read them to the Red Silk Cotton tree that grew outside my school. On a serious note, I hid under the staircase at home and wrote them in a diary. I never showed my first, rather exquisite though moony poems, written about puppy love and adoration, to anyone. They shall go with me to my grave and never see the light of day. The first self-composed poem that I recited was about the mystery shrouding death and life. It won me various awards in Panjab University Youth Festivals while I was still in college and it was heard by a huge audience.

MARIA MIRAGLIA:  Have you published any poetic anthology, if so what did you feel the first time you got it in your hands?

LILY SWARN: Yes, I have published a poetic anthology titled, A Trellis of Ecstasy. It has Prize winning poems as well as different sections Ike Conversations with my soul, Nature poems, Love poems, Portraits, Alliteration etc. It was a supremely fulfilling moment in my life to hold it in my hands, almost akin to giving birth to a child. I gazed lovingly at it with a startlingly similar fondness. I stroked it repeatedly and held it close. A Trellis of Ecstasy went on to get rave reviews with five stars. In fact a book about the nature of my poetry is being planned by an erudite scholar, even as I answer these queries .It was also applauded by the Chief Minister of Punjab.

MARIA MIRAGLIA:  Who are the poets you prefer reading? Do you get inspiration from them?

LILY SWARN: I love reading the Romantic Poets like Keats, Shelly, Byron. John Donne and Yeats are inspirational as well. I like to keep abreast of modern poetic trends though I don’t follow them. I prefer to be as original as my own thinking lets me. Women poets like Maya Angelou move me. Robert Frost, Neruda and our very own Tagore inspire and awaken. The images and metaphors stir new sensations.

APRILIA ZANK:  How important is accessibility of meaning to you? Do you challenge the readers to work hard to decipher your poems, or do you prefer transparency of meaning?

LILY SWARN: Accessibility of meaning is most important to me. Poetry that cannot be understood at some level by most people who read it, can never qualify for greatness. The love and positive feedback in the form of devoted readers is my strength. I am grateful for the reach of my verses. International acclaim came to me because I am told my words touch chords. There has to be an instant connect with the reader even though, some poems tantalize you with their layers and images.

APRILIA ZANK:  What kind of poems do you write mostly? Do you have recurring themes, or are all your poems unique?

LILY SWARN: I write about anything. A drop of dew holds a poem in its fickle heart as well as the gruesome gang rape of a baby girl. If it moves me, it needs to be written about. The downtrodden, the underdog, abused women and children walk through my verses with the same ease as lilies of the valley and red breast robins. The mystical allure of metaphysics creeps into my verses as do the wonders of hand written letters. My poems speak of nostalgia but look ahead with strong hearts though misty eyes. I feel that my poems are all unique due to their varied metaphors and images .I always think out of the proverbial box.

APRILIA ZANK:  Do you think your poetry is typically feminine / masculine? If yes, in what way?

LILY SWARN: In the literal as well as literary sense, a feminine rhyme is a double rhyme with verses with feminine endings like willow and billow. It has one stressed syllable followed by an unstressed syllable like landing, standing. A masculine rhyme has only one stressed syllable like mine, thine. I prefer writing in blank words. If raising my voice about the dismal plight of women in some situations or ethnicity is feminine then perhaps my poetry is feminine. If writing about the healing and uplifting powers of nature is feminine then it is. I believe that mine is a powerful, genderless world voice, read and understood as sheer poetry globally. It has been translated into over 12 languages.

APRILIA ZANK:  Do you write mostly about yourself, or do you also have an open eye /ear for the issues of the world?

LILY SWARN: I feel honoured to share with you that I have been conferred with the title of Global Icon of Peace by World Institute of Peace, Nigeria and Global Poet Encomium of Peace and Universal Love by World Union of Poets. I write about world issues with a fervent passion. My poem on the plight of refugees, titled "His Sister's Scarf, "figures in the multilingual anthology, Colours of Refuge and is widely appreciated. Besides my peace poems which are in various global anthologies, I must mention my poem on the situation in Palestine in the anthology which features powerful poets of the world. Titled “Treacherous Breaths”, it is highly applauded. I write about Humanitarian issues constantly. Women's empowerment poems by me have been translated into various languages too. This does not mean that I have not peppered my poetry with chunks of my own being. I do that as well. 

APRILIA ZANK:  In what way is your poetry different from that of other poets?

LILY SWARN: I may not be the best person to answer this one for I write instinctively and spontaneously about anything that moves me at that particular time. I think I write without guile and pretence as do many other poets. What sets me apart could well be the colloquial flavour that creeps and crawls unabashedly into my verses. Words and images with a Donne like metaphysical conceit also make occasional appearances. My readers who live abroad tell me that they can easily conjure up a vision of the poem through the local references. I think my pride in my heritage seeps through. My Sikh roots also colour my all-encompassing love for humanity, regardless of creed and race which oozes out repeatedly in my work. There is ample use of alliteration in my poetry too. My poems hanker for a better world. Personification is used quite often, rather effectively as well. As a technique, I sometimes use mythical collation and syncretism as a technique to universalise the theme of love and nature which in Bakhtin's sense implies that Being has a common origin. Portraits of real suffering like those of an overworked preteen maid servant or a child bride sold to a rich old man spill out with brutal honesty.

LEYLA IŞIK:  What are the main factors to make poetry real poetry?

LILY SWARN: For me real poetry should immediately create an impact on your feelings as well as intellect. The sheer truth must gaze out candidly from the substance as well as the diction and style of the words. There must be an instant bond created with the reader or listener. Poetry must do what weapons can never achieve. Poetry is real if it haunts you again and again.

LEYLA IŞIK:  Do you think imagery is important in poetry? Where does the importance of imagery begin in a poem, where does it end?

LILY SWARN: For me effective imagery is the Circulatory system of a poem. It sustains it’s Life breath. The reader gets a vivid mental snapshot at once. Literature is replete with examples proving that imagery is akin to the foundation of a building. It provides the sensory aspect to the written word. It’s importance lies in prodding the imagination awake. It should not draw away from the poet’s line of thought completely. It is natural that our stream of consciousness wanders off along with the imagery in a poem. Imagery and conflation are very important as is obvious in Sylvia Plath’s poems. Vital imagery is much more than word pictures .It may trigger an almost physical response!

LEYLA IŞIK:  What are the most used types of poetry in your country?

LILY SWARN: My country India, contributes to the vast azure of world literature with diverse and rich genres of poetry. This is due to its unusual diversity and ancient heritage. Besides being classified according to the language or the region, the most prevalent genres of Indian poetry are, (1) Devotional, as the holy Hindu or Sikh scriptures, (2) Epic, like The Ramayana and the Mahabharata which are two of the longest poems written in the world, (3) Couplets called Dohas, in which an entire poem could be in couplets , (4) Ghazal, generally written in Urdu originally about passionate love for a woman or for the country, is a unique form, (5) Bhajan, devotional verses set to music, (6) Folk songs, usually passed down by word of mouth, representing varied customs, traditions and culture of my uniquely diverse country . 

LEYLA IŞIK:  What’s important to be a good poet? To write good poems!

LILY SWARN: A desire to share your own understanding of the truth. When compelling ideas and flawless diction merge into any chosen form of poetry a masterpiece emerges. The reader must be moved emotionally. When someone tells you "I cried when I read it", it means your poem has reached hearts. Poetry should stir the intellect. It should remain with the reader long after it is read. A lingering mental reaction that longs to be deciphered. An almost evasive but suggestive poem that is layered and intriguing stays forever as a classic. The similes, images, metaphors should be powerful enough to be memorable and distinctive. The choice of words must be precise and exact. A treasure trove of refreshing vocabulary is the raw material for a literary bonanza.

LEYLA IŞIK:   Who are the most important poets and their main properties nowadays?

LILY SWARN: I believe in powerful voices that shake the very roots of ethnicity. There is angst in the poetry of the war torn world, a ripping apart of walls and veils. A tear soaked valley has its own wailing sound. I find it hard to name a few. African and Latin American poets move my sensibility and shake me awake. Blood oozes out of much verse and substance abuse has triggered unusual poems. In this fast paced world smaller rhymes and two liners are being read by humans on the run. I am guilty of not having read most of the names that are doing the rounds like Fatimah Asghar, Warsaw Shire, Hieu Minh Nguyen, Terrance Hayes, Sarah Kay, Rupi Kaur. Though tiny bullets and capsules of punch lines seem to be the order of the day, I still swear by a poem that is fulfilling like a meal with a dessert thrown in for good measure. 

DEBORAH  BROOKS  LANGFORD:  Understanding poetry begins with visualizing the central images in the poem. What do you see, taste, smell, hear, and feel? What is the imagery of your poetry?

LILY SWARN: Sights, sounds, pictures, smells of flowers, of spring and autumn, hills, mountains, yogis, dervishes, the Sikh Gurus, Kali, Durga, Aphrodite, astronomy, architecture, geographical phenomena, medico physiological terms find a place in my verses. Passion runs like a nuanced undercurrent in my love poems but my nature poems are choc a bloc with vivid and vibrant visual and sensual images. My poetry reflects life and often becomes sad and morbid as I talk of death, gore, bloodshed, deprivation, poverty and exploitation with explicit word images. Donne and Dickinson type of similarity in obviously dissimilar things can be often perceived in my poetry. A host of incongruities and ironical and paradoxical juxtapositions that embody psychic and social antagonisms are revealed.

DEBORAH  BROOKS  LANGFORD:  What is the mood of your poetry? (Or How does it make you feel?)

LILY SWARN: Since I write about a vast variety of subjects, there is no single mood that I can fairly pin point. My readers have written in their reviews that my work reflects Wordsworth's popular definition of "spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings, taking its origin from emotions recollected in tranquillity, "as well as T S Eliot's" not a turning loose of emotion but an escape from emotion, not an expression of personality but an escape from personality". I feel that my writing is a release and a catharsis for me. It has given me solace in my grief and showed me reserves inside me that I was unaware of. It heals me and strengthens me. Atmosphere often becomes the content of my poetry.

DEBORAH  BROOKS  LANGFORD:  In your poetry who is the speaker of the poem? Are you speaking to yourself or to others?

LILY SWARN: There is no specific speaker in my poems. There are times when I speak in the first person. Those poems are bound to have autobiographical elements. There are poems in which I personify the object as in a tree that stands watch over me. I hardly ever speak to myself though. The verses are generally addressed to others.

DEBORAH  BROOKS  LANGFORD:  What is the message of your poetry?  What messages do your poetry convey?

LILY SWARN: There is always the all-pervasive message of love, rather an appeal to shun hate, greed, ego, war and opt for love each and every time. A spiritual strain conveying the transitory nature of human life is predominant, due primarily to my personal loss. The passing away of my young son has made this message paramount for me. Embrace each other just as we are is the plea in my poetry. 

DEBORAH  BROOKS  LANGFORD:   Does the internet and social media contribute to the success of your poetry? Is this the reason you write for?

LILY SWARN: Oh yes, definitely! The internet has been the most important vehicle for providing a global reach to my writings. I have international recognition, awards and titles because people all over the world read me. Literary organisations invite me abroad to felicitate and honour me. I am indebted to the man who created the concept of social media. I write because I get instant response. It is the virtual version of a stage performance!

NILAVRONILL SHOOVRO:  Thank you so much dear poet for the interview. We would like to know your personal experience with OPA as a literary web journal. Would you like to share anything more with our readers?

LILY SWARN: Thank you for featuring me here. I am grateful for this opportunity. I feel honoured to be part of Our Poetry Archive!!! 

LILY SWARN, poet, writer and columnist, won the Reuel International Prize for Poetry 2016 and was recognised as "Global Poet of Peace and Universal Love "by World Union of Poets .The World Institute of Peace awarded "World Icon of Peace "title in Nigeria . The administration of her city Chandigarh gave her the Icon Award .She has been decorated with a "Woman of Substance "trophy .Lily was awarded the Elizabeth Barrett Browning Award in the World Poetry Festival and the Sarojini Naidu Award for Excellence in Poetic Recitation and composition .Lily 's book of verse ,A Trellis of Ecstasy is  highly appreciated by the Chief Minister ,Punjab and by India Today .Her book Lilies of the Valley which  is a collection of essays has got rave reviews .Lily's columns in international web magazines are widely read . She writes with a poignant touch in English , Hindi , Urdu and Punjabi .Lily has been a radio show host and believes in world friendship and loves all humanity regardless of colour or creed.Her novel , The Gypsy Trail , is due for a launch any day . Lily feels that the spirit of her late son watches over her.




The fragrance was overpowering
Gunpowder blending artfully with incense from the Mazaar (grave)

An air of desolation hanging like teardrops on a rag-picker's grimy cheeks

Vultures playing dead -dead on the biting winds up high
Kissing the azure with blank stares
Wooden, beady eyes ajar

The guns belched and broke wind
Traumatizing and terrorizing
The toddler with his hands on his ears

War was the evil witch that would take away his sisters
War was the elephant's foot that would trample his toy car
War was the step mom that snatched away his bowl of gruel

The piteous sound of muffled sobs shook the hut
Rain splattered through the torn canvas roof
As his best friend's head was blown off
Making a bloody pattern on the ground

Bees buzzed around delightedly and the world went about its business as usual
The rickety clock groaned out the time
War bared its fangs and smiled its sinister smile.
Copyright Lily Swarn 20.10.2017


Love hope betrayal
Betrayal is an anguished word
It reeks of rancid emotions and dead feelings
It's an abomination on the pure alpine grove of love
A vanquished prince
A cowardly warrior
A wayward son
Betrayal is the scar that no tears can wash
It's Lady Macbeth's little hand that could never be clean again
It is hot with the fresh blood on Caesar's heart
Yelping in pain at Brutus' unkind cut
Betrayal bangs its battered skull on Iago's chest
Betrayal beats its breast

Hope is the cactus flower that blooms unseen and un serenaded in the desert sand
Hope hides in the last corner of your throbbing heart
Singing songs like "we shall overcome one day "
Hope is the lone Koel that calls for it’s mate on the blossoming mango branch
Hope is the questioning look on your mother's face when you come home from your
first assignment
Hope hums melodies

Love is lonesome
It crawls into crevices of longing
And waits for the sound of music
Love lets itself go to hell in return for
A taste of heaven
Love shimmers on your beauteous visage
Inebriated with the incense of divinity
Love is the intense yearning in umpteen dreams of lyrical laments
Love is life.
Copyright Lily Swarn 15.4.2017


I think the tree that I gaze at
From my kitchen window each morning
Is perhaps my closest confidante
It sees my slumber dazed eyes
Open up languorously to clasp
The first glass of water for the day
I smile indulgently at its seductive blooms
Perking up my mundane existence with
Their brash brilliance
The green is comforting
Mossy and cool like the stream that flowed in the quaint red roofed village in the hills
The long brown pods that are its fruit
Dangle deliriously in the scorching breeze
I wish I could shin up its inviting branches as I did
On the mango tree in my mother's house
Surreptitiously peeping into the neighbour's garden

Girlhood is far behind
My knees might creak in protest
I am sure I will get breathless
Besides its not the same tree
This Gulmohar is my friend
It knows me by name
It hears my heartbeats
It tells me tales!
Of loves long lost
Of promises unkept
Of lives unloved
Of buds that wilted before
They could blossom!
It bids me goodnight
At unearthly hours
How comforting is its
constant presence in a world
Of make believe!
Copyright Lily Swarn 23.5.2016


Kamal, Neeraj, Pankaj, Saroj, Jalaj
With your puffed lotus seeds the Phool makhaane
Your delicious stem the kamal kakdi
Loved by Kashmir as Nadru
You exotic flower rising above the lakes and ponds
Beauteous as a divine painting
Symbol of feminine beauty
The eyes like kamal nayan
Bewitching all who gaze enraptured

O ye Seshen of ancient Egypt
Symbolic of Sun and rebirth
Blossoming as the sun rises and closing at dusk
Aren’t you the magical lotus that can be transformed from a dead man
Charmed with spells and resurrected?
The blue lotus in hieroglyphics with papyrus
Priest Nebsini with the flower

Rising above the muddy waters of desires and attachments
Symbolic of spiritual enlightenment, O Padma
From darkness to wisdom
With your roots in slush and filth
You are the Buddhist's icon
Head held high
Pure and undefiled in the sun
Most exalted state of humans

Visualize within yourself a lotus
Centered right within your heart say the Hindu scriptures
Prajapati, from the divine cosmic waters
Evolved a thousand -petalled golden lotus
A doorway of the womb of the universe
The Cosmic lotus, first product of the creative principle

A fully blossomed pink lotus
The seat of Goddess Lakshmi of wealth and fortune
Who holds a lotus in her right hand
Mahabharata narrates the origin of Lakhshmi
From a lotus growing in the forehead of Lord Vishnu
A garland of 108 lotus seeds used to worship the deity

White Lotus is for goddess of wisdom Saraswati
A garland of lotus by Varuna for adorning goddess of Power, Durga
Legend has Lotus arising from the Navel of lord Vishnu
With Brahma the creator in its centre

Do you want to reach the highest levels of consciousness?
Sit in padmasana, the lotus position
Find it in the thousand petalled lotus Chakra on the top of your head

Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita
As lotus flower and leaf remaining dry despite living in miry waters
Smutty swamps of ignorance cannot touch this symbol of purity and enlightenment

Earliest reference in Rig Veda
Padma pink lotus, Kamala red,
Pundarika white lotus, Utpala blue
The star of Sanskrit, Hindu scriptures
Perform Dharma without attachment o Ye folks

Dragged by Odysseus
to the ship, the wailing lotus eaters
Inebriated by the flowers and seeds of the lotus
You hypnotize me o Lotus!
Copyright Lily Swarn 15.1.2018


Hail Aphrodite
Alluring Venus of April
Bunches of cherry blossoms
Secretly shielding sensational sensuality
Hypnotism  oozing from your
Voluptuous curves
Married off to Hephaestus
Myrtle, doves,
Horses and swans you adore
Pleasure and procreation follow in your wake
You beloved of Adonis

The hills are alive to the music of the daisies
Fields of dancing poppies, scarlet red,
Dot the creamy butter cup yellow of the narcissus
Moss green meadows whisper to the winds
Their ardent desires to capture Spring
And never let it go!
The sweet pea embraces the tall grass in a vice like grip
Darting furtive glances like a suspicious wife
The trees sprout tender tendrils of lemon green
Satiny leaves open their hearts like ardent lovers
Waiting for the blissful April showers!

The corn flower blue of the yearning sky beckons a darting sea gull
She swoops down to kiss the foam
Of the gushing seductive ocean
Flamingoes preen and strut around
Parading their flamboyant attire
Woodpeckers knock perseveringly
For Spring's treasure trove to open
Come Aphrodite with your magnetic
Powers of attraction
Take us to realms of peace and love
Where no life however small, suffers!

Copyright 24.7.2016

LILY SWARN, poet, writer and columnist, won the Reuel International Prize for Poetry 2016 and was recognised as "Global Poet of Peace and Universal Love "by World Union of Poets .The World Institute of Peace awarded "World Icon of Peace "title in Nigeria . The administration of her city Chandigarh gave her the Icon Award .She has been decorated with a "Woman of Substance "trophy .Lily was awarded the Elizabeth Barrett Browning Award in the World Poetry Festival and the Sarojini Naidu Award for Excellence in Poetic Recitation and composition .Lily 's book of verse ,A Trellis of Ecstasy is  highly appreciated by the Chief Minister ,Punjab and by India Today .Her book Lilies of the Valley which  is a collection of essays has got rave reviews .Lily's columns in international web magazines are widely read . She writes with a poignant touch in English , Hindi , Urdu and Punjabi .Lily has been a radio show host and believes in world friendship and loves all humanity regardless of colour or creed.Her novel , The Gypsy Trail , is due for a launch any day . Lily feels that the spirit of her late son watches over her.