Daily Observer International Poetry Festival 2020
Celebrated American singer, songwriter and poet Jim Morrison once said "If my poetry aims to achieve anything, it's to deliver people from the limited ways in which they see and feel." It's the exact feel I got from my dozen poets while preparing this year's poetry festival page. The poetry bonanza kicks-off with a mix of old and new poets this year. But all the poems have simple themes; such are mother, music & melody, places, travelling, the soul and many more, but I am sure all the poems will deliver the reader with a new and unexplored avenue and widen their vision and imagination to explore an old thing in a newer way. On that note - each poet is a Jim Morrison in his/her unique way.
Let us all take a few moments off from our demanding times, take a dip into a dozen poetic gems and rejuvenate our senses from this year's festival. -Shahriar Feroze
(Dedicated to my mother)
Boundless love and gratitude
I have for you
With great tenderness
You carried me within you
And delivered me
To see and know
The enchanting spread of life
You are my goddess,
My dearest-my mother!
All hard work and no pay
Was your lot.
Making our home idyllic was your concern
How can we thank you for your sacrifices?
Throughout your life you have made,
When things go wrong
And time casts its shadow
You become one with me
Your unending prayers
Stand in the way of every evil force
You are my goddess, my mother!
Rubab Abdullah is born in Bangladesh and educated at Dhaka University. She is presently a citizen of the United States and a published poet there. She has her poems included in many anthologies and newspapers in both Bangladesh and the USA.
The ultimate reach of the Poem
Sadeddin Shahin (Jordan)
(Translated by Nizar Sartawi)
Does poetry have an ultimate reach
other than death?
Or do words have an echo
as they plummet
upon my paper?
I shield poetry from an age
in which speech is gone
O you Words
wearing my attire
I do beseech you to spare my blood
if you do not step on blazing
and never lift a hand against a tyrant
Sadeddin Shahin is a Jordanian poet, critic, novelist, journalist, and scenarist. He is the president of the Jordanian Writers Association, member of the permanent office for Afro-Asian and Latin American writers, and head of the Cultural Office and Children Literature office. He has published 15 poetry collections. He has won a number of awards including: Second Gulf Award for Arab Poetry (1980), Second Best Local Work in the Eighth Arab Children Songs Festival (2002).
Poetry and the Soul
Nizar Sartawi (Palestine)
slip out of the soul
akin to the waters of sorrow
Let us be gentle with the soul
when deprived of poetry
like a wounded flute
and when with poetry filled
flashes as lightning
as a heavy downpour
as a volcano
Let us be gentle
with the soul
Nizar Sartawi, a Palestinian poet and translator. He is member of numerous Arab, and international literary organizations. He has penned about 25 books. He has participated in many international poetry festivals. His poetry and translations have been anthologized and published in literary journals, magazines, newspapers, and literary websites in different parts of the world.
Hassan Al-Matrooshi (Oman)
(Translated from Arabic by Nizar Sartawi)
Dreamy young men and a poet
The first said: I'll be a prophet
riding the steed of heaven,
and pass before your homes bearing glad tidings
The second said: I'll be the knight of the crown
I will invade the lands,
open their gates for my soldiers,
come back triumphant,
and give captive women to princesses in their palace,
and give them bracelets
The third said: A hermit I will be
and perform thaumaturgic deeds like saints
and descend to heaven in my overcoat
glowing with deadly sins
The poet said: Comrades
I will remain
as nature has begotten me… a bird!
Hassan Al-Matrooshi is an award-winning poet, translator, and media-man from the Sultanate of Oman. Hasan has published five Arabic poetry collections, two of which were translated into French and Spanish.
Elisa Mascia (Italy)
The notes of the music of the sea
are those of sound melodies
that resonate at all hours
just stop and listen
and also in the silence to hear,
in the distance, echoes and shrill,
lively effervescent smells
that mix, at dusk,
to the cry of the seagulls and relaxing
it is the effect together with the lapping
of the waves and of the men the buzz
that sad thoughts are misleading.
When it remains to admire
such a marvel stops the clock
of the day is praised,
time does not flow before the sea.
The soul slowly rises up
sweet praise that the heart was still
sadness only music knows how to mitigate
and nothing matters anymore if you don't love.
Elisa Mascia is a poet from Italy.Born in Santa Croce of Magliano (Cb), she lives and works in San Giuliano di Puglia (Cb). In July 2019, her first collection of unpublished poems was published in a book entitled "The grating of the moon" and "Savage wind" by the publisher L'inedito Letterario.
LET THE NIGHT IN
Asoke Kumar Mitra (India)
Tonight, a wordless night
Hours putting together
A short glimpse of dreams
Hanging from the wall
Turning twisting the bones and marrow
You wished to get to the bottom of me
A lonely heart who wants so much
Kissed by lonely autumn leaves
Mad of you, riding wilderness
Your dreams of a childhood garden
Picking pebbles from the mountain ruins
Stubborn wind refusing to let the night die
Asoke Kumar Mitra is a retired journalist and was editor of "CALCUTTA CANVAS" and "INDUS CHRONICLE". He is a bilingual poet. He has contributed to various anthologies published in India and abroad. His poems have been translated into Hindi, Punjabi, Assamese, Italian, French, German, Polish, Persian, Arabic, Hebrew, Malay, Mandarin, Romanian, Spanish, Azerbaijani, Russian, Uzbek, Kirghiz, Greek, Swedish, Norwegian, Chinese, Catalan.
Hazel Durham (Ireland)
The rugged land never forgives him
For his unseen, uncertainty,
His inward breath a symphony of a sigh,
His outward gust blows away
To his dream of lush pastures
Where his cattle will graze and fatten into a prize winning herd,
Their milk will run freely from full udders.
But instead he awakens to teach music
To bring life back to broken souls,
Black stalks him as the earth turns its back
To emptiness in crowded rooms,
Happiness crawls when musical notes hold their shape,
The sigh of a sunset each day,
The memory of the demolition of his heart,
She still invites unwanted guests, the long shadows,
As he watches the ball of fire as it dies
With gasping breaths,
He whispers 'Goodnight'
And wishes for a different ending,
Maybe his tomorrows will sing to a new tune,
The withered dawn will bloom again,
The melody plays to mend his bloodied organs,
Like the last breath of life bursting from his lips,
A song of lament and the promise of another sunrise,
As its new born light dapples across his land
To relaunch his heart to gentler days,
When the earth and music waltzes
With the unity of his universe.
Hazel Durham is an Irish poet. She was born in Artane in Dublin, Ireland. She started writing poems in 2008 and she has been published in Setu a bilingual Pittsburgh journal and this year she won the Borris Focus Centre, Borris Festival of Writing and Ideas and Carlow County Library- Creative Writing Competition
Sofia Skleida ( Greece)
King of the cities ...
Small Greece surrounded by a Great ...
Doric grandeur and austerity of this land
Echo sweet and compact ...
From the Ionian Sea to the Tyrrhenian Sea,
symbol of a great presence
Prehistoric stones are scattered
testify the irresistible past
Between craggy, windy mountains, at the foot of the Apennines Mountains
Muscle Spring and Perfumes, Flaming Geraniums, Blooming Seeds, Pre-Confessional of the Female Labor
Distillate of the Hesiodic wooden plow
They fought for the cultural continuity of their souls
Ludicrous, with deep thought,
shimmer in the blue Ionian
Places full of centuries of silence
Stainless steel chain of folk art, brotherly love
The Virgin of Grace and the Gardens, the legendary Persephone, the giant Samson
The prophetic form of Sibyl
embraced by Christ,
on every mountain peak of Aspromonte
amidst silver olives and archaic symbols
Byzantine saints and royal monks mingle with ancient gods in doomsday, crypts, caves and monasteries
Codes, registers, syntaxes
Litany between canyons, rivers and
ancient flutes of the mountain peaks
Praise the Creator in strings and musical instruments
with the fiery pulse of prayer
Great Greek Culture ...
Fearless in the greed of enemies
Warriors and dancers in their marble threshing floors
Exemplary of Greek courage
kneading words with the blood of the heart ...
Dedicated to the sublime of the Magna Graecia
Sofia Skleida was born in Athens. She is a graduate of the Faculty of Filology at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. She published her first collection of p?etry (Thessaloniki, 2014) entitled Dream of Oasis, which has been translated and published in Italy in 2017(won the second prize in aninternational competition in Milan).
Marjorie Meetoo (Mauritius)
Particles of dust
Scatter at the slightest provocation.
Your absence so peculiar
Reminiscent of a pallid yellow erythronium.
Once we danced
Two tempest-infested lights
I thought I had you made in my image!
A shard of glass beneath the skin of my ring finger
My insides turn to honey and banter
Get high on the rain
Get high on the wind
A shot of moonlight in our blood.
Is there anything between heaven and earth
That can take me away from you?
Is there a star, dark and solid,
Is there a shore,
Is there a sin?
Was it death
That walked away in the parking lot?
Do us part.
Marjorie Meetoo was born in the multicultural island of Mauritius. She is fluent in English, French and Mauritian Creole. She teaches English and English Literature and is an avid reader of both fiction and non-fiction.
READING THE UNFINISHED LIBRETTO
Tatjana Dan Rakic (Serbia)
The black-winged night in its lust play with the wind,
laid a silver egg...
Eros came out of phantasm,
he moved the world from the standstill.
As the Golden-Winged god, with his all four heads
knew the hawthorn tree by flash of light,
Rhea, the oracle, would sit in front of the cave,
forcefully hitting the drum of bronze.
Then the bees would stop swarming
in wrong places.
Phanes, the buzzing bee of haven,
recognized the sweetness of the dome,
the beehive, revealed the lovely wild fruit
as plum's soul mate with a worm, bleeding.
The herald, missing the complete scene,
took back his words with dignity.
Being silent, he prevented exaggeration,
as once we were all but a sweet acorn
and death was not graver to us than a dream.
Tatiana Dan Raki? was born in Požega, Serbia, where she lives and works as a teacher. She writes novels, short stories, poetry and art and literary criticism. Her vignettes illustrate a number of books and literary magazines.
All About Faith
Galina Italyanskaya (Russia)
When reason dissolves in hate
When starlight is switched off
When everything seems too late
I need to believe in love
When doubts become so strong
That I'm about to lose
No matter what's going wrong
I need to believe in truth
Whenever it's getting dark
I try to begin anew
In luck and out of luck
I need to believe in you
Galina Italyanskaya is a Russian poet. She works as an English teacher.
Galina has written poetry since her youth. Some of her poems were published in poetry anthologies, such as "Poets Unite Worldwide" by Fabrizio Frosini and "Our Poetry Archive" by NilavroNill Shoovro.
I am a wandering traveller
Riding on a white horse
With a love in tow
That sticks its claws in my back
And whispers to my ear
Opening its eagle wings
While my back bleeds
I remember when you were flying together
With this love
And my heart also bleeds
He rode faster, fleeing
Galloping without direction
The stars are watching me like every night
Fleeing, looking for the sun
His whisper and his soft kiss
I leave you with the night
That rides faster than me
I am a wandering traveller
That he never forgets to pack in his suitcase
Morelia is from Michoacán, Mexico. His poems have been translated into French, German, Serbian, Arabic, Catalan, and Italian, participated in multiple international anthologies and magazines, Naji naama Award 2018 (India)