3 poems by Susmit Panda



I found you dying of thirst in the woods.
You would not have a draught of water. Only
Thick sips of gore, the gore of kids & birds
Or human gore would slake your thirst. So, coldly,
I tore into my brother's brain & scooped
A chunk of flesh & pulped it on your lips
& yelled around your savage body, groped
My women, kept you in our bushy cribs
& lulled you into sleep. You grew in sleep,
You shed the fur upon your body, then
Ascended to the sky, from there to peep
At us with angels round you, star, moon, sun…
You disappeared. But I wait in the dust.
Your name coruscates while I die of thirst.

After the Rain

The frogs leapt out, all croaking, soaking wet,
Each clamoring for its mate within the din
Of grass and weed and sludge. In all this fret
Of love, one hopped astray and came upon
A concrete slab from under which a voice
Trilled thus, 'If only they believed, a crowd
Should've been awaiting me round here, a mess
Of children, women, men, besides the toad.'
Who, throbbing still, could fathom not a thing,
And merely rolled its eyes. The rain began
To fall again. The grass rang out, the twang
Of love-drenched amphibians in the rain.
And all night long, the toad upon the stone
Sat pondering on and on, throbbing, alone…

The Dancer

Behold! You see that hill up there, my son?
Cloud-capped and dashed with glints. There shall you see
The brightest bolts. Although I warn again:
It's far from safe. You better not disregard me!
Ah, even so, he went and when he reached
The peak, for all the fearful streaks of light,
For all that clamor, he stood still, bewitched
At first. But then he moved a trembly foot,
And then his arms, and swayed his body to and fro
Congruent with each dash, whichever way 
One flashed, according to each clash, each glow
This way, and that, each pose accordingly
Altered. But then a rogue bolt broke the spell
And, smoldered to the very core, he fell.

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Susmit Panda, born in 1996, is a poet living in Kolkata. His poems and criticism have appeared in Boog City, Coldnoon, Indian Cultural Forum, Guftugu, The Boston Compass, and The Journal (London), and are forthcoming in Fulcrum: An Anthology of Poetry and Aesthetics. He participated in the Poesia 2021 World Poetry Day Festival. 

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Published by darcie friesen hossack

Darcie Friesen Hossack is a graduate of the Humber School for Writers. Her short story collection, Mennonites Don’t Dance, was a runner-up for the Danuta Gleed Award, shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the Ontario Library Association's Forest of Reading Evergreen Award for Adult Fiction. Citing irreverence, the book was banned by the LaCrete Public Library in Northern Alberta. Having mentored with Giller finalists Sandra Birdsell (The Russlander) and Gail Anderson Dargatz (Spawning Grounds, The Cure for Death by Lightening), Darcie's first novel, Stillwater, will be released in the spring of 2023. Darcie is also a four time judge of the Whistler Independent Book Awards, and a career food writer. She lives in Northern Alberta, Canada, with her husband, international award-winning chef, Dean Hossack.

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