Sunday, May 1, 2022



It Is The Season Of Darkness


It is the worst of times. It is the age of foolishness. It is the epoch of hypocrisy. It is the season of Darkness. It was the winter of despair when it all started. We have nothing before us to reclaim our sanity. We are all going direct towards destruction. We are not ashamed of renouncing our liberty. We are not ashamed of abandoning the truth. We are enjoying the media lies. We are enjoying our idiocy. Institutions are demanding obedience. Rulers are demanding blind faith. And the corporates are setting the rules of the games. The leaders are playing the games according to those rules. The media is driving the mass crazy. And we, the idiots, are blindly following the media. It is the era of hysteria. It is the world of hypocrites.

Sadly enough, it is time to confess that all our poetry and literary activities are the products of this mass hysteria and inherent hypocrisy. Yes, I'm talking about the reactions of the world literary fraternity since 24th February. The day the Russian army started specific military intervention in Ukraine to liberate Donbas and demilitarize and de-nazify Ukraine. Since then, the Russophobia has become more dangerously infectious than the Covid -19. And Europe has become its epicenter. Fascism is on the rise all over Europe. Nationalism is being encouraged to foment anti-Russian sentiment. Fake news fabricated by the western-media and endorsed by Washington-DC. has engulfed the entire European conscience. People and poets alike behave just like puppets programmed with some specific purposes. Only to execute, a definitive plan, the conspirators are driving the mass frenzy not to denounce wars and the military-industrial complex, but to denounce Putin and Russia. 

Almost everyone, especially in Europe, is supporting their governments, fueling the flame by sending more arms and warheads to Ukraine so that we can have a prolonged and devastating war in Ukraine. Unfortunately, none is aware of the facts and causes of the Ukraine crisis. Nobody wants to know the history of Ukraine. None has had any clue what is going on in Ukraine since February 2014. Everyone seems to be blatantly satisfied with the propaganda machinery of the west, believing it is only Putin, one fine morning decided to invade and conquer Ukraine. It is indeed the darkest period of human history, especially in Europe. Politically, financially, and even in defense, the Europeans have surrendered their sovereignty, independence, and liberty to the USA. Europe has made itself a colony of the United States of America. Each European nation has bulldozed its national interests to the interests of the USA. What is more pathetic is the fact that the Europeans have lost their sanity to realize this tragedy. 

No, nobody wants to end this war soon. Everyone is interested in prolonging this war by sending more and more arms to Ukraine. None is interested in safeguarding international peace and helping the Ukrainians trapped in this conflict in the war zone. Europe is dancing to the tune playing from Washington-DC to introduce more sanctions on Russia to cripple the world economy. Europe is not worried about the devastating economic effects that, are looming large on the poverty-stricken nations of Asia and Africa. Europe has gone to such an extent of insanity that it is not even thinking of its self-interests. All it is doing is parading in obedience to Pentagon. 

So, this very Russophobia is at the heart of our thought processes. The rulers of the game have successfully installed this hatred in our mindset. People or poets are uttering and writing their words and concerns, not against the war or even the war machinery that rules the world. Their cries and agonies are based only on false emotions and sympathies, guided by hysterias and hypocrisies. Yes, the Ukraine crisis has exposed us all around. Unfortunately, as a poet, if our literary conscience is lost the truth itself, then whatever we write or produce as literature or poetry will end up as trash. 

Too many poetry anthologies have been published on the topic 'Ukraine' without even interpreting the crisis of the Ukrainians. Without even finding the truth, historical, political, and socio-economical. Those participating in these anthologies with their emotional expressions hardly know the actual truth. None are even interested to know the in-depth crisis and its cause. Nobody has any clue about the enemies of Ukraine. All their emotions and sympathies for Ukraine have been monitored and constantly guided by media lies and fake news fabricated under the direct orders of Washington DC and its allies. Yes, it is the worst of times. It is the age of foolishness. It is the epoch of hypocrisy. It is the season of Darkness.

Poetry, devoid of truth, will never sustain the test of time. Poetry of false emotions and sympathies will never sustain the test of human dignity. Poetry based on fake news will never find any place in literature. Poetry without the purpose of fighting evil will never find its true meaning in humanity. And poets with blind faiths and installed hatred are driven by media lies guided by mass hysteria and racial hypocrisy, will be forgotten, even before their death.History has proven it time and time again. History will prove it again in time. 

NilavroNill Shoovro

From The Editorial Desk













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MAY 2022

APRILIA ZANK:According to the American poet Robert Frost, “Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words.”

Can, in your opinion, all thoughts be 'translated' into words?

SUNIL KAUSHAL: At the outset I would like to thank this prestigious group “Our Poetry Archive” for having chosen me as the Poet of The Month.  Aprilia, it is such an honour to join you for this interview. Now, to answer your question about Robert Frost’s quote, as I understand the word, ‘a thought’ is a collection of words that express an emotion or feeling. But can every emotion or feeling be expressed in words? Can we describe in words that ecstatic feeling a mother feels on the first glimpse of her new born, can we describe the sensation we feel when passing zephyr caresses our cheeks, the smell of summer’s first petrichor, a word to describe the delight of passing by a bakers shop, where freshly baked bread suffuses the surroundings with that heavenly smell? So many feelings, emotions, sensations cry for a word that describes them aptly. I was fascinated when I saw the title of a friend’s book, a collection of some of the most engaging short stories, by Samir Satam. It is called “Litost”. He told me it was a Czech word that means a state of agony and torment created by the sudden sight of one’s own misery. Other languages do not have an equivalent, so how is this feeling to be understood or expressed in those languages? Seems, I happen to disagree with the great poet!...Ha!Ha!


APRILIA ZANK:The English romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelleyonce wrote: “Poetry lifts the veil from the hidden beauty of the world, and makes familiar objects be as if they were not familiar.”

Can you explain how poetry unveils the hidden beauty of the world?

SUNIL KAUSHAL: Being a diehard romantic myself, I tend to agree with what the great romantic poet Shelley has to say in the above quote. Don’t the everyday mundane things of life around us acquire an aura of new found beauty, when described in poetic language, decorated with metaphors, similes or other poetic tools? Even the importance or utility of certain humble articles like a hairpin can be poetically described and glorified.

I had once written a poem in jest, “On Pins And needles”.

I quote a few lines:

When a clogged gas stove needs unclogging

out comes my tool

even if my flowing tresses

cascade down in a pool

the pin in my bun is my friend indeed

this sharp little one, for many odd jobs,

is always there, in times of need.

While the famous odes by poets like Keat’s, “Ode to the Grecian Urn”, and Shelley’s, “Ode to the West Wind”, and others, are classic examples, the contemporary scene has an “Ode to Autocorrect”, by Martha Silano, and as the poem proceeds, she uses it as a tool to discuss the dangers of gun violence in America. Sometimes some things need to be lent meaning or paid attention to, or honoured, as is seen in Angel Nafis’, “Ode to Shea Butter”.  She begins in the first person, “I have known you well,” and then moves on to describe the speaker’s body rather than a description of Shea butter. A deeply physical intimate relationship is shown between all parts of the speaker’s body and the object being praised, “Every single day and night too”. In the end it turns into a celebration of self and selfhood. Even a shopping list can tell a story! Snatches from poems like, “You kitchen, where rice was burned”, and “& whiskey spilled” describes an old house, much loved, where certain incidents occurred, and also about the coming of age. There’s always something worth celebrating!


APRILIA ZANK:The American poet of English origin W. H. Auden was convinced that, “A poet is, before anything else, a person who is passionately in love with language.”

Do you think that poetic language should always be refined and cultivated, or may it also be rough and raw if necessary?

SUNIL KAUSHAL: While W. H Auden maybe right from his perspective, my belief is that before anything else, a poet is a person who is passionately in love with life.  Being in love with love, is the next essential, and although a deep passion for language is helpful in honing one’s craft of poetry writing, it is not necessarily what we study in schools and universities or halls of fame. Mystics and Sufi saints have been singing of the Divine, without having any formal knowledge of the language. They sang their poems composed in simple everyday spoken language, rough and raw as it is spoken in villages and amongst country folk, without the embellishments that techniques of poetry writing resort to, though these do enhance the beauty of poetry. If poetic language was to always be refined and cultivated, we would only be writing about sweet nothings and a perfect world where life was beautiful and smooth sailing. But life is not only about moonlit nights, and fragrances of jasmines and roses, friendships and love. Life is not always hunky-dory! Poetry is rebellion and poets are notorious rebels. My favourite poet, Pablo Neruda said, “We poets hate hatred and make war on war.”  How does one do this in refined and cultivated language? How do I write about war, rape, violence, death suffering, poverty, pestilence, cruelty, or betrayal in refined words? How do I write what a prostitute feels, or a how a marginalised one meets life’s challenges, without his or her blood boiling. A gory description of bloodshed on the battlefield is required to incite an uprising, to arouse patriotism.

In my poem, “Because I am Transgender” I have these lines :-


Exiled from the mainstream of life in this phallocentric world

I would do anything to buy genitals

anything to experience the ecstasy

of a night that satiates the throbbing in my groins

douse the fire that rages inside me....

Some may find this too explicit or raw, although it is neither erotic nor pornographic.


APRILIA ZANK:Please consider the following statement of the English scholar and poet A. E. Housman: “Even when poetry has a meaning, as it usually has, it may be inadvisable to draw it out... Perfect understanding will sometimes almost extinguish pleasure.”

Do you write or prefer explicit poetry with an obvious meaning or message, or rather more cryptic, challenging poetry?

SUNIL KAUSHAL: Aprilia, my canvas for poetry writing is spread over the whole cerulean blue of the skies and oceans and measures the girth of the earth, skirting around it. I have always been passionately in love with love and life, and have a deep reverence for all forms of life. So I find inspiration from the smallest blade of grass to spiritual truths in the depths of my core. My poetic language varies according to the theme or subject I am writing about, and also what my muse dictates. Since I am a medical doctor, I have not studied literature. When I started writing in my younger days, my knowledge of the language and vocabulary was limited to everyday language, or what little I could glean from the few books I tried to snatch time for, out of my busy practice. But even in simple words, one can create a thousand pictures as in haiku and its variations, in the Japanese form of poetry writing. I find it very fascinating, with so much beauty packed into brevity.

A simple, short contest winning poem of mine in 12 words:

First breath in

last breath out

a story over

between two bookends.

However reading more books did expand my vocabulary. The modern trend of writing poems with a collection of words, phrases, or far-fetched metaphors, dug out through the search engine, strung together or rather clumped together, are not my cup of tea, or something I can decipher.  Neither do I not want my readers to run to a dictionary while reading my poetry. At the same time, open ended poems do have a mystique about them, and make the readers a part of the poet’s writing journey, as they keep processing the different possible meanings that the poet wishes to express. There is a certain attraction and mystique in the unspoken. Like a message sent and then deleted on your phone, but it still shows up as deleted and you wonder what the other person wanted to say and didn’t!! My style keeps changing according to the subject and my frame of mind. I am open to experimenting with different techniques, a work in progress I would say. There’s nothing to lose and much to gain in flexibility. I write because I wish to write and have a long life’s experiences to share with the world. I wish to be a learner till my last breath.


APRILIA ZANK:“Poetry heals the wounds inflicted by reason.”, is a famous quote by the German romanticist and philosopher Novalis.

To what extent can poetry have a therapeutic effect?

SUNIL KAUSHAL: I wholeheartedly support the thought of the German romanticist philosopher, Novalis, that poetry has a great healing effect over wounds which our minds invite upon ourselves due to  rational thinking. Paradoxically, imagined or real wounds also hurt our sensibilities, often for a lifetime. Poetry with messages of hope salves those wounds with soothing words, inspiring courage and confidence. The written word has a great impact on the human mind. Confessional poetry channelizes feelings of hurt, disillusionment, bereavement, betrayal, guilt, regret, anger, and other negative feelings and emotions, which one does not want to, or is hesitant to share with others. Having poured them out into words, rather verses, one gets rid of emotional baggage that has become the proverbial albatross hanging around our neck. Amanda Gorman, the 2017 National Youth Poet Laureate, the youngest poet to recite a poem at a presidential inauguration, spoke these powerful words at the 2020 presidential inauguration from the dais of the United States Capital where just weeks earlier, a violent insurrection had erupted.

“Let the globe, if nothing else, say this is true

That even as we grieved, we grew

That even as we hurt, we hoped

That even as we tired, we tried

That we’ll forever be tied together, victorious”

For millions of virtual viewers, amidst a raging pandemic and tumultuous political upheaval, her words provided healing and solace. It was a testament to the power of poetry. Medical research shows that reading, writing, speaking it, can help support mental health, especially in times of need, stress, trauma, grief. It gives a closure to gaping wounds.


APRILIA ZANK: According to Salvatore Quasimodo, an Italian poet and literary critic, “Poetry is the revelation of a feeling that the poet believes to be interior and personal which the reader recognizes as his own.”

Is, in your opinion, the poet primarily a personal voice, or rather the echo of his fellow beings?

SUNIL KAUSHAL: While the poet primarily writes for her/himself, and has a great sense of satisfaction and achievement, when he finally finishes writing, it adds to his happiness manifold when others also read and appreciate it. Basically one writes to vent out or express one’s own feelings. Human beings all being similar, have the same emotions and feelings. So, often others identify themselves with what the poet is expressing. In fact, a poet feels validated and rewarded if others identify themselves with his thoughts. At other times, poets write for others, say during sickness or on the death of someone dear to the person who commissions the poem. During war poets write patriotic poetry to inspire hope and courage. The response of the other person decides how the writer feels. All writers expect the other person to pay attention.


APRILIA ZANK:The American literary critic M. H. Abrams asserted that, “If you read quickly to get through a poem to what it means, you have missed the body of the poem.”

Do you also think readers need to be educated as to how to go through a poem? If 'yes', in which way?

SUNIL KAUSHAL: Not everybody gets a chance to be educated enough to understand certain forms of poetry. But those who are naturally gifted, and get an opportunity to study the appreciation of poetry as well, certainly find more meaning in it, especially the type of modern poetry in blank verse being written today. Very often reader’s find it daunting to understand what the poet is trying to say. Understanding the value of metaphors, similes and other tools used in poetry, certainly help a reader to understand better. While readers interpret a poet’s work in their own way, it also varies according to their own capability, experiences, knowledge or understanding of the arts, as well as the mental and emotional state in which they are at that moment in life. Reading the critical appraisals by others can open new ways of perception for the uninitiated. Attending workshops, seminars, open mic poetry sessions are also ways to learning to appreciate poetry. Reading, reading, and more reading of different types of poetry leads to a better understanding. Open ended writing is interesting because of the possibility of seeing it many different ways. However, no reader can truly identify with the poet’s emotions completely.


APRILIA ZANK: Let us now considerthe words of the Americansongwriter and poet Jim Morisson:“If my poetry aims to achieve anything, it's to deliver people from the limited ways in which they see and feel.”

Can you please tell us how poetry can be/become educational?

SUNIL KAUSHAL: Today there is an image problem with poetry, when we stay stuck with classical poetry of olden days being taught to young people, who live in a world of hash tags and tweets.  While Wordsworth, Shelley, Keats and all the other worthy poets, have their own place in the world of literature, there are remarkable contemporary poets like Kate Tempest, the musician poet who reflect the millennial experience. The new generation identifies with the new. Rap songs, slam poetry, open mic readings are all encouraging signs of young people enjoying poetry. Teaching poetry in schools, or otherwise learning to appreciate poetry, enriches by opening up new perspectives of viewing life, its ramifications, feelings, emotions, appreciating nature and beauty.  With the world available to us at the click of a button, one learns so much about life and people living all over the globe, which develops understanding of different cultures, empathy, and love, which is most needed in today’s world of divisiveness. Learning about other cultures, promotes a desire to travel, boosts tourism, exchange of educative programs, trade, sharing of ideas about everything under the sun, certainly adds to a richer life experience. It helps us understand ourselves, understand others, express our thoughts. One learns to appreciate words and their usage, develops a sense of rhyme and rhythm. Poetry has a great healing effect on both the writer and the reader. The entertainment it provides is invaluable. I cannot even imagine a drab life shorn of poetry!


APRILIA ZANK:The British-American poet T. S. Eliot claimed that,“Genuine poetry can communicate before it is understood.”

Do you sometimes/often experience 'love at first sight' for poems that you have not understood immediately/completely?

SUNIL KAUSHAL: T. S. Eliot has said this about poetry, but I feel it is true of all forms of art.  Like love, I don’t even know when poetry ‘happened’ to me. One does not write it, it happens. The blessed or cursed ones are chosen to become artists. Blessed, because being an artist, one appreciates the finer aspects of life, beauty, love, books, people, nature, all in all a far richer life experience than others.  Artists are cursed because surviving in a materialistic world is a tough journey for one who lives in a world of his own. Being sensitive, one is vulnerable, repeatedly getting hurt because of heightened sensitivity and very often not retaliating back. Penury dogs the artist for there are no patrons of art nowadays, and art rarely fetches its worth.  Yet, there is no escaping one’s destiny! In spite of all these discouraging factors, poets fall in love with poetry. Yes, very often I have been magnetised by a poem for the sheer beauty of the words, perhaps a different format or the striking visual it conjures, without really understanding the poem fully at first sight. Seeing beauty in art is not for the head. The way to the divine is through the heart!


APRILIA ZANK:Paul Valéry, a French poet, essayist, and philosopher, said: “A poem is never finished, only abandoned.”

Do you also think that the final 'embodiment' of a poem happens in the mind of the reader?

SUNIL KAUSHAL: I absolutely agree with Paul Valery that the final embodiment of a poem happens in the mind of the reader. After poets finish writing the last draft of a poem, most of them put it away for a few days and go back to it later. Re-reading it gives a detached view and many more edits and tweaks later, a final draft is thought to have emerged. Lo and behold! When you see it after a long gap, you wonder why you didn’t add this or delete that...Ha Ha! But you leave it alone, for tampering with it now will not give it the same flavour as then. You were a different person when you birthed it. Once a poem is written and published, it is out there, out of your hands, it becomes public property, for each reader to interpret it in his own way. So, there will be many more versions of it, in many more reader’s minds. And if you happen to become famous, it will be analysed, critiqued, appreciated and lauded and perhaps even plagiarised by changing a word or two, or a sentence here and there!


APRILIA ZANK:The famous British-Indian writer Salman Rushdie believes that, “A poet's work is to name the unnameable, to point at frauds, to take sides, start arguments, shape the world, and stop it going to sleep.”

Should, in your opinion, poetry have a strong social and/or militant component?

SUNIL KAUSHAL: I do not subscribe fully to Salman Rushdie’s above statement, since I feel many of his thoughts are sensational and of shock value. How is it a poet’s ‘work’?  Being a poet is not a 9-5 job where you ‘work’ under a boss and must do certain tasks! What if one is a romantic poet, a nature lover, a writer of soul poetry or rhymes and riddles for little children? If a rebel poet, politically inclined and aware of the games, governments and countries play, writes revolutionary poetry, it will be convincing and may even stir rebellions and protests. It might even shake the world out of slumber and ‘stop it going to sleep’. Taking sides and starting arguments will certainly not help ‘shape the world’ into a better place. In fact it will create further conflicts and chaos. At least I don’t know of any poet who could do that. Those who did, people like Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Mother Teresa and a handful more were not poets brandishing firearms and weapons. Poetry with a strong social component is a potent weapon, since it creates awareness about social maladies among the masses, influencing the mindset of people.   Exposing curses like human trafficking, sexual abuse, gender bias, caste discrimination, colour bias, ethnic cleansing, genocide, environmental pollution and hazards, besides other social corrupt practises are subjects which poets do strongly feel about and write about. But a militant posture is not what most poets are cut out for. 


APRILIA ZANK:The poetic credo of the highly influential American poet Maya Angelou was the following:“The poetry you read has been written for you, each of you - black, white, Hispanic, man, woman, gay, straight.”

Do you also think that your poetry addresses a large and varied audience?


SUNIL KAUSHAL: Maya Angelou is one of my most favourite poets, whom I greatly admire as a brave woman of grit, courage and one who inspired millions of women around the globe. Her poetry and her views are too tall for me to touch or comment upon even.  In my very humble role as a poet, still in the making, I feel deeply for the underdog, social outcastes, the underprivileged, especially women and children in general, and the differently-abled. At the same time I write romantic, sensuous, nature poems, revolutionary, spiritual poetry, limericks, and humorous poems as well. In fact, I am part of an editorial team, curating and editing a humour anthology these days. Off and on I write in my mother tongue, Punjabi, and Hindi also. I hope my poems will find a home in the hearts of some readers of different types. Thank you so much for this wonderful Q-A session Aprilia! It did stimulate my grey cells as I had to ponder over some of the questions. It was a delight doing this! Thanks a lot NilavrooNill and OPA!


SUNIL KAUSHAL: Awarded author Dr. Sunil Kaushal, studied in schools all over India, her father having been an army officer. Her nomadic life visiting and living in new towns every 2 years has been very interestingly chronicled in her debut book of memoirs, Gypsy Wanderings& Random Reflections, which was awarded the Nissim Award by the prestigious International poetry group, The Significant League, in the non-fiction category for ‘exquisite prose’. She attended college at one of the most prestigious colleges, Isabella Thoburn College, Lucknow, India. Later she went on to doing her medical studies at Govt. Medical College, Amritsar, India, followed by 40 years of practice in Obstetrics-Gynaecology at Jalandhar, Punjab. Although she has been writing sporadically since her childhood, her writings were carefully tucked away from the public eye. At age 70 she learnt to use a computer and started writing full time, sharing her poetry and prose online. She is pleasantly surprised to discover the poet and writer within her being recognized, every time she wins a contest or award. This trilingual writer writes in English, Hindi and her mother tongue Punjabi, which she has never studied but is self-taught. Published in a number of National and International anthologies and magazines, some of her poems have been translated into French, German and Greek. Her writing is mostly woman-centric, romantic, sensuous, poems about marginalized people. She also writes philosophical, spiritual, besides humorous poetry.

Dr. APRILIA ZANK is an educationist, freelance lecturer for Creative Writing and Translation Theory, as well as a multilingual poet, translator, editor from Munich, Germany and an Author of the Poetry book BAREFOOT TO ARCADIA. Born in Romania, she studied English and French Literature and Linguistics at the University of Bucharest, and then moved to Munich, Germany where she received her PhD degree in Literature and Psycholinguistics for her thesis, THE WORD IN THE WORD Literary Text Reception and Linguistic Relativity, from the Ludwig Maximilian University, where she started her teaching career. The research for her PhD thesis was done in collaboration with six universities from Europe, and as a visiting lecturer at Alberta University of Edmonton, Canada. Dr Aprilia writes verses in English and German, French and Romanian and was awarded a distinction at the “Vera Piller” Poetry Contest in Zurich. Her poetry collection, TERMINUS ARCADIA, was 2nd Place Winner at the Twowolvz Press Poetry Chapbook Contest 2013. In 2018, she was awarded the title “Dr. Aprilia Zank – Germany Beat Poet Laureate”, by the National Beat Poetry Foundation (USA). She has been an acclaimed guest at cultural events in Germany, Great Britain, Canada, Turkey, Singapore and Romania, where she read her poems, delivered lectures on various topics. Her poems and articles are published in many ezines and Anthologies of different countries.



Earth’s Last Day & Also Mine


I started dying and rebirthing the moment I was born,

every moment, every day, every morn

for what is sleep if not death?

Mother Earth’s bowels too tremble and are torn

each birth giving life, life giving birth, or passing away

for am I not her, she is me, you and they?


The mother, the poet, the artist she

master crafter of all I am, or can be

her songs on zephyr lips dance on flower hips

birthing and nurturing too

teach me to be there for my brood

having lived through children’s lisps and slips

rewind my own childhood, resting tired limbs.


A mother never dies, she plants a plant

of abundant love’s seed in each little heart

Love carries on giving hope, new life

in the  darkest night, in days of strife.


Mother, you carry me in the womb nine long months

manna from heaven pouring through full breasts

as soon as you bring me into the world, your life 

an age of never ending days, sleepless nights.

Mothers never die,

just pass on, leaving sepia bits and pieces behind.


Gaia, skilled at rebirth, whatever happened since times eternal

you bounced back with babbling brooks, spring songs,

flowery fragrances, frothy green grass, winds so strong.


If comes a day and you die, I’ll be gone with you

or when it’s my time to leave, the mortal frame

having learnt and all done for what I came.


All who love me or even shun

one last time I want to hug

forgive myself, and them for any hurts and pain.

beg to be forgiven for all wrongs done

Thank each one for helping me become

a better version of myself every day

often stumbling, wounding myself on the way.


After my organs are harvested, if of any use

whatever remains, remember my sins, faults,

bitterness, wounds inflicted knowingly, unknowingly,

harsh words, ill will towards my fellow men,

to burn along.


If you still wish to keep my memory alive

please try to do all of the above,

celebrate a life well lived

wear happy colours,

sing my favourite songs and dance

rejoice for a free spirit

that created her own world

of freedom!




The voice of my education raised

it’s venomous snake head again and again

and I recoiled into a shell of silence.


Many huge moons waxed and waned,

leaving open dark doors of secret desires

and I stood upon the shores of Earth

my feet lapped by the treacherous oceans

where sharks waited to drink my tears,

grasp in clutches crustacean

rip the softest flesh ‘neath my butterfly gossamer.

The tears that dripped wet my wings

thwarted my journey seeking the skies,


I was just a gallinaceous bird brained birdling,

trying my wingspan to take the autumn flight,

came crashing down.


My pulverized bones

needing to be quenched and tempered. 

balked at all the albatrosses around my neck

were they that brought me down?


Then I walked to the Sea of Galilee

and pleaded, “Jesus Saviour Pilot Me”

cross life’s tempestuous sea

to voyage through death.


And a light like a lily in bloom

blinded me as I walked on a tamed sea,

my hand held, Jesus beside me.

He took me to the place of his entombment

In Magdalene swathes I shrouded his body

and stayed on watch for three days

The first to set eyes as He arose resurrected,

all the albatrosses around my neck weightless,

I spread my wings tied to the cross

bearing it to my mount of Calvary

and there from higher grounds

I learned to fly.




The Milky Way galaxy is a part of a super-cluster,

just an appendage of the much larger galaxy,

“Laniakea”, Hawaiin for immeasurable heaven,

worlds beyond worlds, heavens beyond heavens.

Scientists, let their wings open and fly.

So can I.

I maybe a small speck somewhere on the Universe,

a part of a hundred million billion suns am I.


I am that Universe, a hundred million billion suns.

 my thought travels as lightning, a million light years away,

What is behind the motion of my thought,

what fetters, what shackles, what retards it?

They are all here within my grasp,

I hold the key.

Let no power, no dogmas, no energy fair or foul hold me back,

I shall carve new milky paths

where the days are not numbered.

thought is not encumbered

I have galaxies to travel,

become the supernova, powerful, luminous,

explode and birth many new stars 

I am the red nova of the skies. 


My Child


WORLD AUTISM DAY- 2nd April 2022

A Poem Dedicated To Those With Autism, Their Parents, And Caregivers.


I wake up to your shouts, screams and grunts

every morning, and wonder what will today be like?

Will it be another day stretching resilience

to breaking point, or awaken enough courage

to stoically jump back centre stage,

reframe my thoughts

hold the fort,

the axis on which our lives spin.


I help you dress, you fiddle with buttons

jump with jubilation at your smallest victory

I try to match your smile, make you happy.

It helps me too !


I wait for the conveyance that takes you

where others like you join in,

and become an exclusive group,

with special needs

but not inclusive!


I wonder if, 2nd April is enough to teach the world

to paint every day the warmest blue on life’s palette.


I wait in snow and sleet, rain and sunshine

to send you off on that van. A few hours of respite

trying to catch up on sleep deprived, grabbing a bite,

yet haunted by worry for how you are doing. 


Did I or did I not give you those few extra drops?

The miraculous oil that calms your frayed nerves

keeps you from attacking others.


I walk a stony path my child, it is a lonely journey,

not many understand my travails as I live for you

try to include you in the mainstream of life

your siblings, not always as mindful,

for their own childhood was lost somewhere

grappling with turmoil in a dysfunctional home.


I don’t blame them or others, only wonder if one day

they will see the purity of your soul,

your need to give and receive love, a hug,

a pat of appreciation, a few smiling words.


I wonder where I faltered, when you were a baby

on days that you are verbal or warble, playing the piano

I know you love music, hard rock, rocking in exhilaration.

Colours, shapes, sizes, perfection fascinates you

sometimes a picture emerges, perfectly in order

it is the world that is out of order !


I am old now, and you a young man, often crush my ribs

falling all over me-its LOVE !


I pray for a world order where you are not considered freak or scum.

It saddens me when criminals and monsters

get away with the vilest of crimes

seated on thrones of power

and you my child are caged in a world of oblivion.

I want to scream my lungs out !




Seductive words rolled easily, sliding off  

The golden honey-dripping tongue

slid darts smoothly, beneath her olive skin

unobtrusively nestled in the core of her gullible heart. 

Gossamer whispers, enticing lewd pleasures,

spun dark secrets, dancing in drunken delight

the spider’s parlour, a perfect web.


A wounded snake seeking solace,

crept between the silk of her fingers

nestled in the warmth of her palm

safe from those who had crushed him.


Every morn ‘n night she’d lick his wounds

trying to heal. While she slept he would slither away

to the wilderness which called out to him

the wounds gaping afresh every night,

back before she awoke, nestled now under her sleeve

allured by her heady scent, he crept upwards

She hugged him close, nourishing at her bosom

imploring him to make friends with joy


Her milk turned to venom,

besmirched the ruby red heart to rusty brown,

seeped into every crevice and convolution of her brain

awakening dark dreams and depraved desires

in a mind hurtling self destructively towards an abyss.


He held her in his vice with lip smacking sweet nectar

laced with the poison of a threadbare self-image

At the edge, she took the next step forward.




SUNIL KAUSHAL: Awarded author Dr. Sunil Kaushal, studied in schools all over India, her father having been an army officer. Her nomadic life visiting and living in new towns every 2 years has been very interestingly chronicled in her debut book of memoirs, Gypsy Wanderings& Random Reflections, which was awarded the Nissim Award by the prestigious International poetry group, The Significant League, in the non-fiction category for ‘exquisite prose’. She attended college at one of the most prestigious colleges, Isabella Thoburn College, Lucknow, India. Later she went on to doing her medical studies at Govt. Medical College, Amritsar, India, followed by 40 years of practice in Obstetrics-Gynaecology at Jalandhar, Punjab. Although she has been writing sporadically since her childhood, her writings were carefully tucked away from the public eye. At age 70 she learnt to use a computer and started writing full time, sharing her poetry and prose online. She is pleasantly surprised to discover the poet and writer within her being recognized, every time she wins a contest or award. This trilingual writer writes in English, Hindi and her mother tongue Punjabi, which she has never studied but is self-taught. Published in a number of National and International anthologies and magazines, some of her poems have been translated into French, German and Greek. Her writing is mostly woman-centric, romantic, sensuous, poems about marginalized people. She also writes philosophical, spiritual, besides humorous poetry.