Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Yuyutsu Sharma's "Jasmine Jewels" inspired by American photographer, Julie Williams-Krishnan's photograph at "Live Encounters", Ireland's leading online magazine


Jasmine Jewels
Inspired by Julie Williams Krishnan’s photograph


Translucent sparks
 of compassion,

quiet, impenetrable
feathers of light,

only fools would
attempt to smash

their indestructible cores
with sledge hammers.

The white jasmine
jewels have traveled

centuries of soft
sleep to arrive here

and nestle like little lambs
between human and divine feet,

tousled, nameless
face of the animal vehicle

beside the frozen feet,
the only clue to the deserts of darkness

they tried to plough through
to overcome the demon that rode

a wolf’s back to drink up
raging oceans of humanity.

Only the quietly menstruating
jasmine flowers survived in the end

 to sum up our story.


@Yuyutsu Sharma




https://liveencounters.net/le-poetry-writing-2020/06-june-pw-2020/yuyutsu-sharma-on-an-empty-sac-street/?fbclid=IwAR1YxA06YNlL87FMXP0yNZY7FbTwAYdvqVVTKOwWtoAUPG5FOosTKwprRG0


Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Tears, Blood and Milk: A Pandemic Prayer by Yuyutsu Sharma (Photo by Joni Kabana)


Tears, Blood and Milk: A Pandemic Prayer
Yuyutsu Sharma

 Photo by Joni Kabana



By the river edge
Sita gives birth to a baby

and waits under a tin shed
for some thoughtful NGO

from the locked down city
to arrive, a meager prayer

from her sullen skies.
Days pass by,

her drinking water bowl
turns its color

and starts looking
like a spout of blood.

***

From the bridge
he sees his child stuck

in an intricate
jumble of cables

a tiny toy thing
with a tail dangling,

an unbending erect
stone thing in the shrine

he used to steal
his food from every day.

***

On the fifth
step of the stairs

to  my floral rooftop
I sense a faint trace of it,

a fetid stench
of decaying flesh

a recall of a frantic rush
of the feeble creatures

as they fled
their rickety abodes

drugged from a poison
named hunger.


***

Where would they have
sought refuge, ahead of vanishing

into the cracks of humanity
before hunger’s hammer

came squashing
their feverish bodies

without a whimper
or a wail?

***

Where, I wonder,
would they have gone?

In the attics
beneath my stairs

on alters of recent riots
littered with charred bodies,

gashed garments,
knives, bullets, icons of annihilation,

flags, films, bottles,
fingernails, crosses,

crescents, tridents
and hefty books of faith

where Lord himself
shape shifts to sleep with

the alleged enemy’s 
innocent wife?

Where I wonder
would they have gone?

In the garages bulging
from the bags of my travels

around the globe
reading agendas of contempt

crusading across continents
knee-deep in the blood of the innocent

in the castles constructed
from the boorish bricks of human skulls?

***

I grope the wounded
fields of my world,

feral lives have
taken over the squares

that I once
called my own:

monkeys, bats, owls,
eagles, coyotes, vultures

and other species
seeking fresher visions of doom.

I see them scurrying over
the fields of my sleep

racing over the bridge
with their ravenous feet

running over the power cables
stretched over the emptied cities.

I see them moving
over their ariel routes

hankering
for crumbs of compassion.

One of the younger ones
tears himself away from the fold

climbs atop an electricity pole,
places his confident paws

on a live wire joint
and falls over to get

stuck in a jumble of wires,
ravens instantly

gather overhead, raising an uproar
nervous street dogs

circle around the pole
in a lethal fury

sparks fly off,
eclipsing my vision, cracking my eye glasses

a blight of white light
white as your silvery beard

whiter than your daily pranks
and lies you dole out every day

whiter than the shame
of a million suns skimming

her blood that
curdles into a pool of tears

instead of milk
that could have descended

in her breasts
as she sat by the river Yamuna

miles away from her home,
rolling her baby in her agitated hands

an object too heavy to hold
a weight heavier than the mass

of whole earth,
her tears flooded waterfall

washing the fetid stench
of your snout stuck in Middle Ages

singing a serf’s cry

Podo, my baby, do not cry
Podo, my baby, hush up, or die.





Recipient of fellowships and grants from The Rockefeller Foundation, Ireland Literature Exchange, Trubar Foundation, Slovenia, The Institute for the Translation of Hebrew Literature and The Foundation for the Production and Translation of Dutch Literature, Yuyutsu Sharma is a world renowned Himalayan poet and translator.
 He has published ten poetry collections including, The Second Buddha Walk, A Blizzard in my Bones: New York Poems, Quaking Cantos: Nepal Earthquake Poems, Nepal Trilogy, Space Cake, Amsterdam and Annapurna Poems. Three books of his poetry, Poemes de l’ Himalayas (L’Harmattan, Paris), Poemas de Los Himalayas (Cosmopoeticia, Cordoba, Spain) and Jezero Fewa & Konj (Sodobnost International) have appeared in French,  Spanish and Slovenian respectively.  In addition, Eternal Snow: A Worldwide Anthology of One Hundred Twenty-Five Poetic Intersections with Himalayan Poet Yuyutsu RD Sharma has just appeared.

He has held workshops in creative writing and translation at Queen's University, Belfast, University of Ottawa and South Asian Institute, Heidelberg University, Germany, University of California, Davis, Sacramento State University, California, Beijing Open University and New York University, New York.

Half the year, he travels and reads all over the world and conducts Creative Writing workshops at various universities in North America and Europe but goes trekking in the Himalayas when back home. Currently,
Yuyutsu Sharma is a visiting poet at Columbia University and edits, Pratik: A Quarterly Magazine of Contemporary Writing


Poem©Yuyutsu Sharma (yuyutsurd@gmail.com)

Photograph©Joni Kabana


#PandamicPoems
#CoronaPoems
#YuyutsuSharma
#JoniKabana





Friday, April 17, 2020

An Older Poem about a dead monkey : "To Muktinath" by Yuyutsu Sharma


To Muktinath
Yuyutsu Sharma




















On my way to Muktinath
I saw a big rhesus monkey
lying dead in grass,
like a crumpled lump of domestic laundry
beside a grey-haired grandma
pulling ebullient strands
of sunlight from
her spinning wheel industriously…

A frozen streak of lightning,
a crinkly flower of divinity,
a flying son of a virgin vermilion wind,
its immobility shook me
with a worrying loss and dread…

Dense forest
lay ahead and outside her hut
a newly born baby
lay snoring after an oily massage in sunlight.

What would you do with it?
I wished to ask
as I hovered around the scene for a while.
Was it killed in an accident?
Or is it a forest menace?

A quiet creek rustled by,
in its glassy surface
the frozen shadow
of a bare branched winter tree
looking like an injured frame
of an untouchable
from the village up above
or a smudged skeleton
of a shriveled, routed Yeti.

From Milarepa’s Bones, Helambu: 33 New Poems, Nirala, 2012

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Corina Poem 4 from the Rooftop: "I hold my breath" by Yuyutsu Sharma


I hold my breath
Yuyutsu Sharma






















I hold my breath
stop my heart in a fraction

of an astral pause
and bend to the ground

to hear it
coming from afar.


***

Quarantined
in the groggy chambers

of my body
for weeks and months,

snuggled
in the sunya of my sorrows

and noxious prophesies
of an impending doom,

in the early hours
of the dawn hearing

feverish tapping
of Grandma’s twisted cane

hobbling down
the hallway

onto the toilet
that seems miles away

a mini earthquake
spirally upwards,

wrecking her nerves
shuddering her fragile frame

now and again,

and Grandpa rousing
from an apocalyptic vision

of some million cremations,

a spiky ball of phlegm rattling
in his shriveling windpipe ,

an erratic rasping
of watery lungs

drowning every minute
in the far off hospitals

of the beloved cities
of my travels.


***

Bergamo, Milan,
boroughs of New York City,

parks of The Bronx
streets of Corona, Elmhurst

and Jackson Heights,
a fever racing along

the banks of River Seine
tossed over the patios of Cordoba,

dragging a blood-drenched line
of corpses up the slopes

of Andalusia's olive fields
and along the Thames,

shores of Mumbai
and riverbeds of our Yamuna

desert cities of Jodhpur,
Tonk and Bhilwara.

An angry anthem of seagulls
and swallows trapped in the splintered sirens

of exhausted ambulances
scurrying along the wailing squares

that ominous pigeons
and blood thirsty phantoms

of the pandemic
have repossessed.


***


I hold my heart tight
put my long quivering ears

to the ground
to listen to a piercing bolero of joy

in the sudden silence
of earth’s astral moves

as the humanity goes
hiding in the hellholes of Boccaccio’s

human comedy
shedding a sea of tears

large enough for
a million Buddhas to bathe in

and rise remorseless.


***


I hush myself up,
learn to forget my count of corpses

in the sudden blooming
of rhododendrons, poinsettias and blue mimosas

and from my Himalayan rooftop
spot a virgin vision of snow ranges

hidden for decades
beneath dusty branches

of malignant tree that
I watered most

of my early childhood.



***


I hear it,
a shrill whistle cry

of a lammergeyer,
the bone breaker,

in the peak hour
of an early spring,

a festive trilling
and squawking of invisible angels

a rhapsody
of squint-eyed ravens,

spiny babblers
white-crested laughing thrushes,

warblers and
blood- beaked green parrots

along with a shrill
chorus of hyenas and jackals

returning home
after a hiatus of a lifetime

to bathe
in the sparkling waters

of glacier-fed rivers
beyond the barricades

of locked down
nations of the world.


©Yuyutsu Sharma 
yuyutsurd@gmail.com




Recipient of fellowships and grants from The Rockefeller Foundation, Ireland Literature Exchange, Trubar Foundation, Slovenia, The Institute for the Translation of Hebrew Literature and The Foundation for the Production and Translation of Dutch LiteratureYuyutsu Ram Dass Sharma is a world renowned Himalayan poet and translator.

 He has published ten poetry collections including, The Second Buddha WalkA Blizzard in my Bones: New York Poems, Quaking Cantos: Nepal Earthquake PoemsNepal Trilogy, Space Cake, Amsterdam and Annapurna Poems. Three books of his poetry, Poemes de l’ Himalayas (L’Harmattan, Paris), Poemas de Los Himalayas (Cosmopoeticia, Cordoba, Spain) and Jezero Fewa & Konj (Sodobnost International) have appeared in French,  Spanish and Slovenian respectively.  In additionEternal Snow: A Worldwide Anthology of One Hundred Twenty-Five Poetic Intersections with Himalayan Poet Yuyutsu RD Sharma has just appeared.

He has held workshops in creative writing and translation at Queen's University, Belfast, University of Ottawa and South Asian Institute, Heidelberg University, Germany, University of California, Davis, Sacramento State University, California, Beijing Open University and New York University, New York.

Half the year, he travels and reads all over the world and conducts Creative Writing workshops at various universities in North America and Europe but goes trekking in the Himalayas when back home. Currently,
Yuyutsu Sharma is a visiting poet at Columbia University and edits, Pratik: A Quarterly Magazine of Contemporary Writing.

Saturday, April 4, 2020

Corina Poem 3: The Supermarket, Elmhurst by Yuyutsu Sharma



“Do you sell any wines here,”
I asked and  waited there for an eternity
as he struggled unpacking his box
of 99 cent merchandise in the aisle,
then rose to face me,
“I speak no Englis.”
I walked the superstore,
stench of the dead and the dying
stinging my nostrils...
A stone crab menacing moving
its smashed pincers atop
a pile of soft shelled turtles
frozen and defaced from
uncouth handling and numerous inspections--
Tilapia, carp and caby fish,
Dungeness crab and special lobsters,
jelly fish, yellow eel, the snake of the sea,
all live and squirming
in the murky waters of my brain...
The striped bass whose face
has been scrubbed along
endless tracks of transportations,
buffalo carp moving in
a murky glass case,
or live frogs in a tin box,
inert, not croaking to bring
Dionysus to these golden
Superstores in the Queens.
Great China crab frozen
beneath layers of an affluence,
conch shells hushed before the snail
could wriggle out of the shell
and name million cosmic metaphors
of self, salvation and sacrifice.
Or leave the empty body
of the Lord to utter a prayer
or a war cry of justice...
I guess it was a revolution
of sparrows as he lifted his step
to stop in the middle
of the jungle on his way out
of the castle Kapilvastu
and carefully step aside
so as not to crush
a line of Industrious ants
or stop a summer song
of ecstatic cicadas
along the raging rivers...

I haste I rushed out
of the slaughter house,
feeling the dragon’s hook
in my throat and bowed to
million little lives on the earth
singing and swaying in an erratic energy
to the music of His long
lustrous earlobes of wisdom...


©Yuyutsu Sharma (yuyutsurd@gmail.com)
From A Blizzard in my Bones: New York Poems, Nirala, 2017


Recipient of fellowships and grants from The Rockefeller Foundation, Ireland Literature Exchange, Trubar Foundation, Slovenia, The Institute for the Translation of Hebrew Literature and The Foundation for the Production and Translation of Dutch Literature, Yuyutsu Ram Dass Sharma is a world renowned Himalayan poet and translator.

 He has published ten poetry collections including, The Second Buddha Walk, A Blizzard in my Bones: New York Poems, Quaking Cantos: Nepal Earthquake Poems, Nepal Trilogy, Space Cake, Amsterdam and Annapurna Poems. Three books of his poetry, Poemes de l’ Himalayas (L’Harmattan, Paris), Poemas de Los Himalayas (Cosmopoeticia, Cordoba, Spain) and Jezero Fewa & Konj (Sodobnost International) have appeared in French,  Spanish and Slovenian respectively.  In additionEternal Snow: A Worldwide Anthology of One Hundred Twenty-Five Poetic Intersections with Himalayan Poet Yuyutsu RD Sharma has just appeared.

He has held workshops in creative writing and translation at Queen's University, Belfast, University of Ottawa and South Asian Institute, Heidelberg University, Germany, University of California, Davis, Sacramento State University, California, Beijing Open University and New York University, New York.

Half the year, he travels and reads all over the world and conducts Creative Writing workshops at various universities in North America and Europe but goes trekking in the Himalayas when back home. Currently,
Yuyutsu Sharma is a visiting poet at Columbia University and edits, Pratik: A Quarterly Magazine of Contemporary Writing.





Thursday, April 2, 2020

Corina Poem 2: Running out of Ink by Yuyutsu Sharma #CoronaPoems #FlattenTheCurve #ContagiamociDiPoesia #PandamicPoems #YuyutsuSharmaPoems


Running out of ink
like my karma to pen down

my grief as death rages
in the dank vaults of the world

and poison is sprinkled
with glee on my people

trapped in dog cages, beaten,
broken like stones in enclosed spaces

of hatred, abused and maimed
as their children cry out,

gasping for breath,
their journeys to reach distant homes

thwarted, mocked at,
their efforts to survive declared

uncouth and unconstitutional
by well-fed anchors sitting

on plush sofas
in the studios of current anarchy.

His potter’s wheel plops out
piles of corpses, rightful relics of a wrath.

In my dream last night
I saw a blue Mediterranean shore crop up

in my backyard, a sudden sight
of joy at this grim hour.

From my rooftop
I see crystal waves crashing against mossy walls

of my ancestral house in Punjab
where once wheat fields stretched

to the rim of summer songs
of wailing hoopoes.

Life multiplies here in my village
even nails of the corpses flung into

the bottomless water wells
a decade before my birth

grow nonstop along with their black
shiny hair, eyelashes and long lush beards.

“Their women were so beautiful,
kohl-eyed, fair and sharp featured, houris,”

my grandma once
confided in my childhood, 

“Death,” she said, “is a discarded broom
of gloom, a misshapen, pygmy slur.”

The Queen mother in her tales cried so much
when the father of my hero, the king, brought in another wife

that she lost her eyesight
from crying all the time.

And Grandpa whispered the anecdotes
of his darker times when the British ruled.

The floods swamped the entire district,
everyone waded knee-deep in the muddy waters

and corpses of the animals
came floating to our doors, instead of singing saints.

On the seventh day he slept
in the main baithak of our house,

uttering prayers as the waters kept rising
ready to cross over our threshold

and the thunder roared
overhead all night long.

In the early hours of the dawn
he dreamt the waters rushing back

to the colossal mouth of blue-throated god
and life resuming its normal pace.

He woke out of his creaking cot
moved out of the house to step on the ground

dry as the bones
of our ancestral spirits.


©Yuyutsu Sharma


Recipient of fellowships and grants from The Rockefeller Foundation, Ireland Literature Exchange, Trubar Foundation, Slovenia, The Institute for the Translation of Hebrew Literature and The Foundation for the Production and Translation of Dutch Literature, Yuyutsu Ram Dass Sharma is a world renowned Himalayan poet and translator.


He has published ten poetry collections including, The Second Buddha Walk, A Blizzard in my Bones: New York Poems, Quaking Cantos: Nepal Earthquake Poems, Nepal Trilogy, Space Cake, Amsterdam and Annapurna Poems. Three books of his poetry, Poemes de l’ Himalayas (L’Harmattan, Paris), Poemas de Los Himalayas (Cosmopoeticia, Cordoba, Spain) and Jezero Fewa & Konj (Sodobnost International) have appeared in French,  Spanish and Slovenian respectively.  In additionEternal Snow: A Worldwide Anthology of One Hundred Twenty-Five Poetic Intersections with Himalayan Poet Yuyutsu RD Sharma has just appeared.

Widely traveled author, he has read his works at several prestigious places including Poetry CafĂ©, London, Seamus Heaney Center for Poetry, Belfast, New York University, New York, The Kring, Amsterdam, P.E.N, Paris, Knox College, Illinois, Whittier College, California, Baruch College, New York, WB Yeats' Center, Sligo,
Shi Shangzhuang, Hebei, China, Gustav Stressemann Institute, Bonn,  Rubin Museum, New York, Cosmopoetica, Cordoba, Spain,  Beijing International  Book Fair, The Irish Writers’ Centre, Dublin, Columbia University, New York, Lu Xun Literary Institute, Beijing,  The Guardian Newsroom, London, Trois Rivieres Poetry Festival, Quebec, Arnofini, Bristol, Borders, London, FIP, Buenos Aires, Slovenian Book Days, Ljubljana, Royal Society of Dramatic Arts, London, Gunter Grass House, Bremen, GTZ, Kathmandu, International Poetry Festival, Granada,  Nicaragua, Nehru Center, London, Beijing Normal University, The Beijing Bookworm, Universidad Abierta Interamericana (UAI) / Indian Embassy, Buenos Aires, March Hare, Newfoundland, Canada, Gannon University, Erie, Frankfurt Book Fair, Frankfurt, Sahitya Academy, New Delhi, Indian International Center, New Delhi, and Villa Serbelloni, Italy. 

He has held workshops in creative writing and translation at Queen's University, Belfast, University of Ottawa and South Asian Institute, Heidelberg University, Germany, University of California, Davis, Sacramento State University, California, Beijing Open University and New York University, New York.

Half the year, he travels and reads all over the world and conducts Creative Writing workshops at various universities in North America and Europe but goes trekking in the Himalayas when back home.
Currently, Yuyutsu Sharma is a visiting poet at Columbia University and edits, Pratik: A Quarterly Magazine of Contemporary Writing.


 (yuyutsurd@gmail.com)


#CoronaPoems
#FlattenTheCurve
#ContagiamociDiPoesia
#PandamicPoems
#YuyutsuSharmaPoems