Poet of the Month

2021: Poets featured as Poet of the Month 

January: Rebecca Lowe (Wales).
February: Jim Gronvold (USA). 
March: Carolyn Mary Kleefeld (USA).
April: Tozan Alkan (Turkey).
May: Byron Beynon (Wales).
June: Michelle Chung (USA). 
July: Jim Gwyn (USA).
August: Jonathan Taylor (England).
September: Beata Poźniak (USA).
October: Maria Taylor (England).
November: Stanley H. Barkan (USA).
December: John Dotson (USA).

2022: Poets featured as Poet of the Month 

January: Maria Mastrioti (Greece).
February: Gayl Teller (USA).
March: Mike Jenkins (Wales).
April: Cassian Maria Spiridon (Romania).
May: Simon Fletcher (England)
June: Sultan Catto (USA)
July: Vojislav Deric (Australia)
August: K. S. Moore (Ireland)
September: Kristine Doll (USA)
October: Tammy Nuzzo-Morgan (USA)
November: Christopher Norris (Wales)
December: Maria Mazziotti Gillan (USA)

2023: Poets featured as Poet of the Month 
January: Samuel Ezra (Wales)
February: Tôpher Mills (Wales)
March: Rob Cullen (Wales)
April: Mandira Ghosh (India)
May: John Greening (England)
June: Rosy Wood-Bevan (Wales)
July: David Hughes (Wales)
August: Peter Fulton (USA)
September: Tiger Windwalker (USA)
October: Laura Wainwright (Wales)
November: Humayun Kabir (USA)
December: Alan Peterson (USA)

2024: Poets featured as Poet of the Month 
January: John Eliot (France)
 
 FEBRUARY POET OF THE MONTH:
SANJULA SHARMA, INDIA

 Sanjula Sharma(c) 2024 Sanjula Sharma

 

Sanjula Sharma is a journalist-writer based in Delhi. She grew up in the beautiful hills of Darjeeling, a small hill station in India. She did her Masters in English Literature from Jadavpur University, Calcutta. She has written extensively for national dailies, journals and magazines in both India and Kuwait. She was a script writer for Zee TV. She later quit field journalism to focus on writing books. Sanjula has authored eight books of fiction and poetry.

She is the founder of Happy Minds Learning Centre in Delhi and organises various literary and creative events. As an active member of Poetry Society (India), Sanjula conducts various poetry programs in the capital. She is also a volunteer with Tamana, a school for children with special needs.

Website: www.sanjulasharma.com

 

AUTUMN LEAVES

Like autumn leaves they fall
One by one
Softly, upon the ground
The dust they came from

The earth they go to now
To rest and to retrieve
Their Karma load
Onto the road
To a Heaven
They did not know

It was old age, you say
The body had to give way
But I wondered that the spirit didn’t
I still think of their laughter
The way they lived in bliss
As if nothing was amiss
More sanguine than you and me
Oblivious of mortality

Those old souls that kept young
Those old hearts that remain unsung
Your father, my aunt, our grandmother
Forgotten ancestors on the family tree
The roots from which we branched out
And the oaks from which we swung
Priceless inheritance on the ground

One day like autumn leaves
We too will fall
One by one
Upon the solid ground
The dust we came from

It’s time to change color now
Green to red, to sun burnt gold
Agile body turning old
The spirit starting to fold
Its tired wings into the soul
Onto the road to a Heaven
We still cannot fathom.

(c) 2024 Sanjula Sharma


KASHMIR               

Kashmir burns again.

Blood thirsty for a slice of victory
Over history, you picked up gun
Shot down those you loved once
Father, soldier, sister . . . son

Kashmir burns again.

Snow clad peaks melt
With the fire of anger
A mire of deluded dreams
Now lie asunder
Ashes of hope in burning heaps
Smoke filled, cry filtered mourning
Up mountains, down in valleys deep.
How many lie dead, how many weep?

Kashmir burns again.

No songs now, no pristine lake
No dance upon that verdant landscape
Just that sad tango in the bitter night
With hundred stars that still send light
But sadness prevails and a silence
Waiting to be shattered by dead noise.

Kashmir burns again.
And will . . . again.

As you stake a claim once more
On that piece of land, an earth of old,
That is neither yours nor mine                  
Just unsullied legacy from Nature divine.

(c) 2024 Sanjula Sharma


SKYFUL OF LOVE

If I should ask the sky a question
I wonder what it would be . . .

I see the sun and I marvel
That the sky has not shrivelled
Into a heap of scorched ember
Does it get burnt or bruised or baked
Or remain indifferent to the day?

I feel the rain and I wonder
Does the sky get drenched in thunder
Or break into a million darts of light
Every time the darkling clouds pass by 
Sometimes in hope, often in despair?

I gaze at the moon and I fantasize
Does the sky crave a romantic life
A dance in that stormy hemisphere
Or does it love this infidelity on its back
The moon’s waning and waxing act?

I stare at the stars and I dream
Of joyful bubbles on that aerie stream
Rivulets of Orion and the Great Bear
But then the clouds cover them in grey
They are gone, brightness fades away.

I look up at the sky and I ask
Do not the seasons disturb its mask
Of calmness unruffled and pure?
Does it not shiver those winter nights
Somber, dark, dreary canvas of light?

The sky cannot wrap up in a blanket
Or carpet itself in tears
Roll up like a matted floor
Or hide away its fears
It must forever remain there
Vast, endless and aware

This is the skyful of love
That poets write about
The rain that is the pain
The sun that is the burn
The moon the changing face
The stars that remain ablaze

The skyful of love with its changing forms
Nothing constant, defying norms
When does it ever remain the same
This canopy with its chameleon frame?

Season after season, year after year
Centuries past, the coming new year
Nature batters the sky over and over again
I finally ask- how do you deal with this pain?

Just the way you do –it answers back
You with your heart filled with midsummer dreams
Dance with your own skyful of love with its myriad themes!

(c) 2024 Sanjula Sharma


AT THE WINDOW

Through uneven bars
The sky a dull, moving grey
Shapeless blocks with pretty windows
Emit the soft glow of a 40 watt.

The road quiet
Just that sedate honk
Of the occasional car
Or the startled yelp
Of the troubled street dog.

Their game over, children at their books
All but the errant school-boy
Who with untidy satchel
Hangs around guilty corners
Grubby, reluctant to do Algebra.

Smell of incense and the cooking flour
A flash of sari at the kitchen window
The clatter of plates heralding dinner.

Descending darkness envelops the scene
As twilight turns a measured black. 

From somewhere above
The sound of the evening news,
The sleepy child’s cry
The clamor of a hungry family.

Suddenly a car speeds into the night
A couple off to an overdue dinner
Warm in their Maruti intimacy.

A little moth at my window
Prepares for bedtime.
Too early for the jugnu or other night fly.

Soft music fills the vacancy of my room
As I turn away from homely images
To contemplate the coldness
Of an empty house
That mocks me into nostalgia.

(c) 2024 Sanjula Sharma


THIS MOMENT TOO WILL PASS

This moment too will pass
Like all the others before
And those yet in store.

This Desire too will pass
Like all the others before
It is only craving
An assault on the senses
Then why hanker so?

This Feeling too will pass
Then why cry so?
It is only emotion
A few drops of longing
In the deep ocean of Pain.

It is only transient
This fleeting minute
Just one little stroke
In Life’s vast canvas
Then why fret so?

Many such moments will come
In the Ferris wheel of life
To Mortality we’ll succumb
With Emotions pay the price.

When shall man learn to see
A maze of such moments
Is what makes up the Tapestry?

This Moment too will pass
Like all those before
And those yet in store.

(c) 2024 Sanjula Sharma


MANNA FROM THE SKIES

And in the end

A ray of hope
A semblance of calm
A vestige of peace
Nerve, fortitude and succor

Along the arduous path to a Mecca
Not yours, not mine
But one universal shrine
Lying under an open, seamless sky

I walk alone . . . I walk with you

Palm turned upwards, fists opening up
Smiling, a prayer on my lips
I wait for my spirit to lift
My heart to sing in bliss
My mind forever stilled

I wait
For Your countless blessings
I wait
With love and faith
I wait
But not for long.

For Manna from the Skies.

(c) 2024 Sanjula Sharma