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Poetry is Peng – January

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The Price.

Up in the charging summer air,

Down where the sunlight was drumming,

They jumped into pure crystal lakes;

They take to it, leaping and running.

And I stood above, holding the sky,

And said that’s the reason I couldn’t,

Follow them into lake that’s so pure,

That’s why I shouldn’t, I shouldn’t.

By Liza Steinberg



I’m proud to acknowledge the fire within

It comes at a time when I’ve made peace with all that’s behind me

The past year has revealed many stages of being torn

Experiences that obliterated my soul

Both, in a sense of healing, but also learning to understand the importance of acceptance.

Even when it’s not in our favour

I’m ready to face who I want to be

Without feeling bound to a past that no longer serves me.

By Raheema Khan



Kingdom of God

What is the kingdom of God?

twelve-forty-five, I found it, man, it broke

my heart, and not for the first time

and on a train at seven-a-m-, blue line, north-central

until at school, I write a book (and don’t think about you)

and what I write, I call Malaika, and wear it like a cape

all the way to Africa, north-central, back again

you see it goes on this way until

the night we visit my grandmother’s house

the one she dies in, to find her there

I eight years old, she eight older, and pleased, to say the least

at last meet to the jewel from the curve of my spine

my God, it is a relief to be there (and not thinking about you)

it took me two-and-a-half years to find

what I came home to find at eleven-seventeen

when the floor it rose up from beneath the mat to ask of me,

“What is the kingdom of God?”

and thankfully I knew by then that I had stolen a piece and swallowed it

and the form and colour grew in me but I could not breathe back

the time before the eight-o’clock train rolled back around to take you

back again, L-A-X-, south-central, don’t you dare

my God, what would I give for this kingdom?

By Samuel Kier


तुम से दूर हुए तो दिल ने मसरूफ होने की चाह की

वो दिन से अब तक ये दिल तुम्हारे इंतज़ार में मसरूफ रहा है

As/ When distance separated us, my heart desired to be consumed by some distraction

From then to now, my heart has been consumed/distracted by the thought of meeting you again.

By Kudrat


Classifications and categorisations,

Of race, class and many more.

Why can’t I just be.

NO Reference. NO Standard. NO Normal.

Just be.

But just be what?

Well you’ll see through my performativity.

By Inddieme

Pimps of Ganga Jamuna & Meenakshi
The night crawling upon the shadowed lust of men,
Here in the dark lanes of Ganga Jamuna
Flocks of pimps glow in black corners,
Red eyes extending a brotherhood to ‘use and throw’;
Boys, Men, old, all come here to seek the best prey,
To buy flesh of young girls at a price of two bread loafs;
The contractors of red ‘sale’ auctions bodies as commodity,
Commodity of satisfaction; “Virgin the best!!”
“Teenager the best”
“In twenties the best”
“Experienced the best”
For some we are experiments,
For many a thrilling adventure,
We are offerings of indictments,
the bodies on whom civilisations nurture;
I am Meenakshi the ‘New Virgin’,
Was sold by parents against a debt,
Indispensable part of this red light since my first blood of adulthood;
Men young and old draw as the flocks of lust seekers,
Day and night, rain or winter I work as an obedient ‘giver’;
Some well endowed, some with small sizes, I have tried them all,
I sustain on selling my talent, the talent of ultimate satisfaction;
“Yes I moan!” but that is a substitute of tears,
Crying prostitute is of no ones love;
Covered in thin white silk veil,
I stand as an offering every hour,
To relinquish their poison with my flowery sweetness;
My pimp masters award for me a negligible survival,
Enough for me to buy happiness of day and sorrows of night;
No government functions inside here,
The law of exploitation rules the world’s oldest profession;
I have many names Slut, Whore, characterless, commercial sex worker,
‘New Virgin’ is my identity,
‘exploited’ my label,
Meenakshi my reality,
Adjective of a commodity,
Satisfying the smell of country liquor
I watch the starlight through the broken wood,
Aspiring for freedom, here comes my next customer

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