Tank Warfare by HanaLena Fennel – Love Thy Neighboring Country Series

Tank Warfare

A poem adapted from the first hand account of Tom Wintringham, a veteran of the International Brigade during the Spanish Civil War

Roughly as follows: 

Your body is a glass jam jar. 

Fill with petrol. 

This history in a wick in stasis of 

a heavy curtain, half a blanket, or some other heavy material. 

Wrap this over the mouth,

tie it round the neck with string, 

leave the ends of the material hanging free. 

When you want be used have somebody standing by with a light 

    Ignition

Put a corner of the past down in front of you, 

turn your bottle body over 

so that petrol soaks out round your mouth 

and drips onto this corner of flammable time

Turn your carcass right way up again, 

hold out your right hand, 

most of the mythology bunched beneath you

with your left hand take the ago that is wetted with petrol. 

Wait for your tank. 

When near enough

your pal 

[or comrade-in-arms]

lights the petrol soaked corner of memory

Throw yourself as soon as this corner is flaring. 

(You cannot throw it far.) 

See that it drops in front of the tank. 

All this weighted life should catch in the tracks 

or in a cog-wheel, 

or wind itself round an axle. 

Your body will smash, 

but the petrol should soak the past well enough to make a really healthy fire which will burn the rubber wheels on which the tank track runs, set fire to the carburetor or frizzle the crew. 

Do not play with these things. 

They are highly dangerous.


About the Artist:

HanaLena Fennel is a Jewish-Hawaiian American poet. She has writtten a book, Letters to the Leader, published by Moon Tide in response to the numerous executive orders issued during Trump’s term in office. 

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Infatuation by Guna Moran/Translated by Bibekanada Choudhury – Love Thy Neighboring Country

INFATUATION

Original : Assamese : Guna Moran

Translation : Bibekananda Choudhury

Bought from the market

A heavily laden stock of joy

Than sorrow

For you

Life

But I did not know

Your intimate relationship with sorrow

If it was sorrow that had been your favourite

Would have never sought joy for you

For what grief did you get infatuated by sorrow

Life

There had not been any obligation on your part

To keep joy at bay as such

Why do you need all the sorrow

If sorrow does not feel grief on seeing the plight of joy

If joy is so sidelined

Your beloved sorrow would not remain intact

Knowing fully well

Learning the consequences

Why did you befriend sorrow

I could understand at all

Life!


About the Artist:

  Guna Moran is an Assamese poet & critic. His poems are being translated into Italian and France language and have been published in various national and international magazines, journals, websites, newspapers such as The Tuck magazine, Spillword, The Merak magazine, The Setu magazine, Story Mirror, The Poem Hunter, The Sentinal, The Hills Times, Best Poetry and so on.

About The Translator:

Bibekananda Choudhury, an electrical engineer by profession working with the State Government of Assam has completed his Masters from BITS-Pilani. He has also earned a diploma in French language from Gauhati University. He has got published works (both original and translated) in Assamese, Bengali & English in popular periodicals and newspapers. His translated poems have been published in ‘Indian Literature’, the bi-monthly journal of sahitya akademy. ‘Suryakatha’, the Bengali adaptation done by him of the is being taught in the undergraduate Courses of Banglore University and Post graduate Courses of Gauhati University. A collection of 101 folk tales from the foothills of Patkai translated by him has also been taken up by publication by Gauhati University. He is presently the editor-in-chief of Dimorian Review a multidisciplinary web journal.

Eternal by Guna Moran/Translated by Bibekanada Choudhury – Love Thy Neighboring Country

ETERNAL

Original : Assamese : Guna Moran

Translation : Bibekananda Choudhury

Who planted the Sun in the sky

The world keep revolving around him

Who taught us to love light

We keep seeking light in darkness

Who sermoned us to be a decent fellow always

We constantly effort to be so the entire life

Who did plant the sapling of love

So many branches of love sprout in the heart

Who blended beauty in the air

Life is not bearable if beauty is not inhaled

Who advised to be benevolent to be happy

Try to be happy being benevolent

Who did smear colour of shyness all over the body

Fell so ashamed at all those unsocial activities


About the Artist:

            Guna Moran is an Assamese poet & critic. His poems are being translated into Italian and France language and have been published in various national and international magazines, journals, websites, newspapers such as The Tuck magazine, Spillword, The Merak magazine, The Setu magazine, Story Mirror, The Poem Hunter, The Sentinal, The Hills Times, Best Poetry and so on.

About The Translator:

Bibekananda Choudhury, an electrical engineer by profession working with the State Government of Assam has completed his Masters from BITS-Pilani. He has also earned a diploma in French language from Gauhati University. He has got published works (both original and translated) in Assamese, Bengali & English in popular periodicals and newspapers. His translated poems have been published in ‘Indian Literature’, the bi-monthly journal of sahitya akademy. ‘Suryakatha’, the Bengali adaptation done by him of the is being taught in the undergraduate Courses of Banglore University and Post graduate Courses of Gauhati University. A collection of 101 folk tales from the foothills of Patkai translated by him has also been taken up by publication by Gauhati University. He is presently the editor-in-chief of Dimorian Review a multidisciplinary web journal.

Virgin Languages by Kushal Poddar – Love Thy Neighboring Country Series

Virgin Languages

In Xavier’s virgin words for me

he adopts silence as his wards,

keys to his locutions,

and on the other hand I’ve been learning

his mother tongue.

It rolls out from my mouth like

a barbwire-spell binding us in our places

and feeding us with thoughts to free ourselves;

then I too cerebrate in silence.


Artist Bio:

Authored ‘The Circus Came To My Island’, ‘A Place For Your Ghost AnimalsUnderstanding The Neighborhood’, ‘Scratches Within’, ‘Kleptomaniac’s Book of Unoriginal Poems’, ‘Eternity Restoration Project- Selected and New Poems’ and now ‘Herding My Thoughts To The Slaughterhouse-A Prequel’ (Alien Buddha Press)

To Follow This Artist:

Author Page – amazon.com/author/kushalpoddar_thepoet

Twitter- https://twitter.com/Kushalpoe

Concentration of the Sighs by Kushal Poddar – Love Thy Neighboring Country Series

Concentration of The Sighs

Fifteen miles from Donna’s house
they store the shadows
split off the fleshes.

Donna feels how her lungs 
hold onto every breath nowadays
and how the fixers hike the price
of those inhalers one can hide 
in their mitts.

Donna didn’t know fifteen miles from hers
they house the sighs.
Donna didn’t know what tightens a barbwire
inside her chest;
her lungs fists, and nothing is felt inside.

One of those must’ve escaped 
to seek a safe place in the neighborhood.
Milk often spills over the brim. 
One draws a crucifix and reheats the rest.
The net door swings open to close.
The TV goes on about the politicians
denying the concentration camps.


Artist Bio:

Authored ‘The Circus Came To My Island’, ‘A Place For Your Ghost AnimalsUnderstanding The Neighborhood’, ‘Scratches Within’, ‘Kleptomaniac’s Book of Unoriginal Poems’, ‘Eternity Restoration Project- Selected and New Poems’ and now ‘Herding My Thoughts To The Slaughterhouse-A Prequel’ (Alien Buddha Press)

To Follow This Artist:

Author Page – amazon.com/author/kushalpoddar_thepoet

Twitter- https://twitter.com/Kushalpoe

The Meal is a Lie by HanaLena Fennel – Resistance Reading Fundraiser for RAICES

A Word About the Event:

I was extremely excited I was able to make it out to the Resistance Reading Fundraiser for RAICES on Wednesday night and what a beautiful experience it was!

I was inspired watching HanaLena Fennel and Ra Avis read their work for such a wonderful cause. Their poems were moving, and I would be lying if I said there weren’t points that my eyes welled with tears.

An abundance of love was pouring out from them, calling for the justice of immigrants and refugees. These poets were bold and wore their hearts on their sleeves as they used their art for something bigger than themselves. Through their talents they encouraged others to use their voice as well, reminding us that if we all give just a small bit of ourselves, great change can happen. In a time that is hard to watch what is going on in the world, and the traumas and atrocities happening all around us, it was refreshing to witness people sharing their compassion.

Their event has ended, but their fundraising has not! You are still able to participate by going to:

https://www.classy.org/team/250297

Other ways to help:

– Write a letter to your representatives, senate, and local political officials.
– Contact your governor, who can aid in establishing sanctuary cities and preventing state level guard from being used as a resource by ICE
– Encourage your city officials to prevent local enforcement from cooperating with ICE
– Donate to an organization of your choice that you trust is doing their utmost to help refugees and immigrants who are adversely affected by this targeting
– Use your voice however you speak the loudest—through art, music, writing, conversation—to keep awareness spreading in your community
– Share posts on social media. Keep sharing. Don’t let this conversation drop.  

Please enjoy the following poem by the co-host of the fundraiser, HanaLena Fennel:


The Meal Is a Lie

The meal is a lie. Fingernail crescents, angel hairs, sustenance.

Sustenance will never be these things we discard.

Discard the coil of a hello tongue or last kiss.

Kiss the breath through sugared hands of child, of silence, of gimme.

Gimme surrender, body prostrate before windmill.

This is not grain or flour. The lance is spent, piked in the wildflowers.

We have tilted and the earth refused to budge.


About the Art & Artist:

HanaLena Fennel is a Jewish-Hawaiian American poet. This poem is from her book, Letters to the Leader, published by Moon Tide Press in response to the numerous executive orders issued during Trump’s term in office. 

A Fish Drifted Across the Seas by Kushal Poddar – Love Thy Neighboring Country Series

A Fish Drifted Across The Seas

“During a gunfight,” says the fishmonger
about a scar as long as this country’s map
flashing whenever he dips his head
or lets it upraise against the gloaming’s glory.

We’ve heard that story; ask for it nonetheless.
How a refugee can involve himself
in a skirmish with a cop who has not shot
any subject or any dream featuring his ex.

The fish he sells doesn’t smell fresh always.
We love to purchase from him nonetheless.


Artist Bio:

Authored ‘The Circus Came To My Island’, ‘A Place For Your Ghost AnimalsUnderstanding The Neighborhood’, ‘Scratches Within’, ‘Kleptomaniac’s Book of Unoriginal Poems’, ‘Eternity Restoration Project- Selected and New Poems’ and now ‘Herding My Thoughts To The Slaughterhouse-A Prequel’ (Alien Buddha Press)

To Follow This Artist:

Author Page – amazon.com/author/kushalpoddar_thepoet

Twitter- https://twitter.com/Kushalpoe