Winner: Dr. Naina Dey, Assistant Professor (Dept. of English) at Maharaja Manindra Chandra College, Kolkata under the University of Calcutta. She is a critic, translator, reviewer and creative writer and her works appear in esteemed newspapers, books and academic journals. She has authored books of critical essays on Shakespeare’s Macbeth and Christopher Marlowe’s Edward the Second, and has edited Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own (published by The Book World, Kolkata). She regularly writes for The Statesman. She was awarded the “Excellence in World Poetry Award, 2009” by the International Poets Academy, Chennai in 2009. She was invited to be a member of a team of Indian writers (below 45) to be felicitated jointly by Sahitya Akademi and Visva-Bharati University on the occasion of the 150th birth centenary of Rabindranath Tagore in December, 2010. She has been anthologized in Roots and Wings : An Anthology of Indian Women Writing in English, Kerala.
There was a time when birds had tongues
A time of singing brooks and whistling trees
Those were my dragon days.
As I sat misty-eyed on the edge of my Peter-Pan dreams
I felt the first prick of desire the harbinger of mortality
Bringing with it my monthly pains
Pains that grew tentacles
Climbing uterine walls, perforating the heart
With fears and grievances
Blind suckers deaf to my whimpers
As I hung suspended in the well of death.
It has taken days, months, years
For my desires to become opaque, immovable
A burden to be carried to a distant oasis
Save for a momentary shower, a flash of some miracle happening in another world
A perennial slogging, a perennial wait
A perennial solitude till the last breath.
Honourable Mention: Mr. Glenn Andrew Barr, United Kingdom.
He recently attained a Merit for his Masters Degree in Creative Writing at the University of Portsmouth, England.
Every day I sit in blood,
Awaiting that eternal thud.
Skin-suit burns so deeply strong,
Silky fear and deathly song.
Tried in vain to leave this place,
Bodies scream and tear at space.
People I have seen before,
Show me life I can’t ignore.
Soul echoes born within a storm.
I hear their fear,
I can’t get near.
Would I want to?
Get away from me.
Blood soaks a hidden glove,
Fear the other me!
Nothing here is born of love.
Hate from now will help me learn,
Just how much a heart can burn.
Honourable Mention: Ms. Minu Varghese, Lecturer in English, College of Applied Sciences, Dhanuvachapuram. She is a bilingual writer and translator. Her poetry has appeared in journals and anthologies, and her translation of a Finnish children's book (from English to Malayalam) is scheduled to be published in early 2013.
Chaos and confusion.
Muffled groans deafening.
Sighs and screams mingle.
Fire and fumes subside.
Foul smell and ashes remain.
Soul captures the fire and immolates the self.
The inflamed spirit crushes up the body;
unbearable pain and angst,
endurance becomes impossible.
Pride melts, ego shatters,
pains reveal their horrid countenances,
helplessness team up with vulnerability,
strength and determination give way
to inertia and incapacitation.
Honourable Mention: Mr. Mohammad Zahid comes from a small but beautiful town, Anantnag in Kashmir. He is a Banker by profession and has been writing poetry since last fifteen years. His poems, ‘The Addict’s Lament’, ‘Posterity Prays’, ‘Panacea’ and ‘The Crimson Dusk’ have been selected as Editor’s Favourite Poems in International Library of Poetry Florida USA. He has also been published by Jammu & Kashmir Academy of Art Culture & Languages. His poetry also features on the poetry website Muse India where his work has been richly reviewed by the fellow poets. His poem 'Amante Egare' has been awarded Special Mention Prize in the Unison Publications-Reliance Time Out Poetry Awards in Bangalore in 2011. The poet also features in TIMESCAPES a collection of poems by 33 Indian poets released by Unisun Publications and Reliance Timeout.
The Voice of Silence
There are moments when I hear
An inaudible silence in its aphonic tone
When someone speaks to me
And there is none around save me.
The words are harsh, sarcastic
Which purge me down to my soul
And lay me bare before some unseen mirror
Where I see my infirmities, naked,
Like scars scathing and raw
And my nostrils fill with a stench
Whilst some secret scalpel dissects me
I gasp for breath
As this asphyxiation pulls me out of the reverie
…….am I my own foe?