An annual poetry festival organised by The Second Circle, a sister group of the Bahrain Writers’ Circle. Colours of Life 2018 was presented on October 27th at the British School Bahrain, in Hamala. It featured fifteen poets from eight countries, and is perhaps the only bilingual (Arabic and English) poetry presentation in Bahrain that includes a multicultural, multi-ethnic cast of poets ranging and incudes musical and visual accompaniment to the poems.
The Colours of Life is an annual poetry festival organised by The Second Circle. David Hollywood was the charismatic founder of both The Second Circle and
The Colours of Life poetry festival. We owe the concept, character and energy of the festival to David’s vision and dedication.
The first Colours of Life was held in 2012 and featured fifteen poets representing almost as many nationalities: Bahrain, Malaysia, the USA and Canada, India, Ireland, Yemen and the Netherlands. Our poets recited and performed poems that ranged in mood and emotion from white and black through grey, purple, lavender, blue, red, gold and rust to yellow and green all the way back to white. We were very proud that our troupe included Bahraini poets who presented Arabic poems.
Since then almost every year, except in 2014, we have held our unique Colours of Life festival. We believe it is perhaps the only bilingual (Arabic and English) poetry presentation in Bahrain that includes a multicultural, multi-ethnic cast of poets ranging in age – this year - from 13 years old to over 60. It may well be the only poetry festival on the island that incudes musical and visual accompaniment to the poems.
As before, our poets hail from a wide variety of countries Australia, Bahrain, Britain, Canada, India, Macedonia, Malaysia, Pakistan and Yemen.
If you are a poet wondering whether your poems have the strength to carry across a crowded room and touch another’s heart or mind. Join us and you’ll find out.
Bahrain Writers’ Circle Dedicates Colours of Life 2018 to Samia Engineer
Our friend and fellow poet Samia Engineer left us on 27th July, 2018. She had participated in every single Colours of Life Poetry Festival from 2012 until 2017. This year she passed on into that realm where poets write their best work.
A well-known Bahraini poet and artist, Samia was an Assistant Professor with the University of Bahrain where she taught Art Education and Fine Arts. On four occasions she had appeared at the One Woman Show at the Bahrain Arts Society. She also performed at the University of Pennsylvania, USA and contributed to contemporary art performances in Paris on behalf of UNESCO. Locally, Samia had provided recitations at the Bahrain National Museum, Alliance Francaise – Bahrain, and every year since 2006 at the annual art programme in the National Museum and various other cultural centres around the country all of which were hosted by the Ministry of Culture. Her works had also taken her to Doha where she performed at The Capital of Culture Festival in 2010.
For us in The Second Circle and Bahrain Writers’ Circle she was an inspiration and a positive and gentle spirit, who unfailingly, and even last year although she was unwell, participated in Colours of Life. Her beautiful presence and her touching poetry will be sorely missed.
Dr Aneesa Fakhro holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Beirut, a Master’s with a Gold Medal in Special Education from Arabian Gulf University, and a PhD in Science Education from the University Mohammed V. She is a highly awarded and renowned writer, poet and researcher, with a long history in the field of social, political, cultural and volunteer work. As a writer she is known for writing the first version of her book titled Childhood Education, which was released in 1987 on the occasion of the Arab Child Day. She is the author of about twenty books and more than 30 studies in the field of education and social issues. She received the World Book Day award in the Kingdom of Bahrain for being the most productive and prolific writer in 2006, and from Essa Culture Center in 2017. She was a columnist for "Light" in the newspaper AlAyam from 1995-2003, and in the Gulf newspaper UAE in 1997. She was a writer for the newspaper Gulf News Bahrain from 2003 until December 2008. She has also written for the newspaper statement UAE and in the Kuwaiti newspaper Awan 2009, and since January 1, 2015 in the Kuwaiti newspaper (Al-Rai). Dr Aneesa received a certificate from NASA, where she was one of the selected figures representing Bahrain, to name documents on a floppy disk sent on the spacecraft to Mars by NASA's Foundation in 2004.
By Dr Aneesa Fakhro
Your voice is the shake of wind
Your eyes are the charisma of morning
Your hands are flutter of moon
Your steps are spray of rain
The mind travelled far away
This is the ever-lasting departure
We will never be apart
Music pours into the heart
I hear your voice
Like a pearl sailing inside the soul
I see your eyes
Flowers, sampagita, jasmine
I smell your odour
Your soul guards my body and hearts
I touch the tips of your fingers
I see the world glowing with love
Adoring, poetry, beauty and sumptuous kindness
Travelling across the seven skies
Reaching to the Lord
Peace to her soul
Cyrus Dali Vesuvala is a singer-songwriter from India and has been writing lyrics and music for 40 years now. Among his musical influences are Leonard Cohen, Roger Waters, Bob Dylan, Cat Stevens, CSNY, Simon & Garfunkel, the Beatles and Jim Croce, albeit not necessarily in that order. Cyrus first picked up the guitar in 1973 and wrote his first lyric and song in 1976. Over the years thereafter, he has gone on to write close to 80 songs, poems and musical compositions, several of which he has also illustrated with original artwork. Over the years, he has collaborated with other musicians and lyricists located in the US, Europe and Bahrain on several songs, sometimes as a lyricist and sometimes as a musician. Cyrus is an architect and has lived in Bahrain for the past 24 years.
By Cyrus Dali Vesuvala
Is your mind an open book,
Can they look inside your head?
Do you only still show pages you want read?
What do you tell them when the Horror
Leaves you chilled and drenched in bed?
Are you still oppressed by dreams in Black and Red?
Have you found the man who’s shown you
How to overcome your dread -
Shown you how to pluck those pictures from your head?
Though you didn’t want to show me,
Yet, nights you shivered in my bed -
That’s when I had my first glimpse inside your head…
And now we’re both oppressed by dreams in Black and Red:
Yet, I just can’t tear your pages from my head…
Hameed AlQaed is a Bahraini poet, writer and translator, has published several poetry collections: Lover in the Era of Thirst; Noise of Whispers in 2003 with English translations by the poet. This won first prize in the 'Distinguished Book' competition organised by the Ministry of Information, Bahrain. His third book Alienation of Violets, also bilingual published in 2010 included his own translations. A fourth, Nothing Significant Anymore published in 2015. In 2007, Pearl, Dream of Shell - an anthology of Bahraini Contemporary Poetry, compiled and translated by him, was published in the USA. Featuring 29 modern poets from Bahrain it’s available in the USA and UK, Amazon.com and other websites. His first novel Love Has Ashes was published late 2016 and his second novel Spider Path will be published soon. Two poetry collections Dancing in the Body and Astonishment of Rain Spray are in press. His works have appeared in Arabic newspapers, magazines and periodicals. Hameed has participated in several poetry recitals in Bahrain and abroad. He has translated many English and American poems, short stories and essays into Arabic, including the well-known Van Gogh Letters. He translated Nooran a novel by Bahraini writer Farid Ramadan, which was produced as a joint graphic work with famous Bahraini artist, Jamal Abdul Rahim.
Poems in Arabic
The Fairy - Colour: Violet
Remembering - Colour: Blue
Dead Wagon - Colour: Red
The Fall - Colour: White
Sparks - Colour: Violet
CLICK HERE to read Bahrain Arts Magazine's feature on Hameed
Hridam Saha. “I consider myself a person who’s not very patient. I have always wished for a world where I could keep on talking and where my friends would keep on listening. But just as Voldemort could never kill Harry Potter, I know that my wish will never come true. Therefore finding Anne Frank’s words “paper has more patience than people” somewhat to my taste led me to begin expressing my thoughts in the form of art and poetry. I may be only fourteen, studying in New Millennium School, Bahrain, but I am ready to take on the world with my topsy turvy thoughts until people are ready to listen.”
Where Are You?
By Hridam Saha
I can’t see you.
But I can still feel you.
Your lips, your touch.
Your hair, your nose.
I keep being patient
But, strength is what I lack
I keep pushing forward.
But your absence pulls me back
I hope and pray that you are alive
But I silently wish that you are dead
Because this game of hide and seek is tiring me
I’m ready to be the loser.
Come out and let me see
Where are you hiding?
Behind the trees
Or in the maze
Behind the prison walls
Or in the grave
Your presence is what I crave
I hold you without holding
And I feel you without feeling
But how shall I live without living
Why have you stopped writing to me?
Are there no pens or papers?
Should I send some for you?
Every time I hear the door bell..
I hope that it’s you...
But you have disappointed me every time
I can’t believe that years ago, you left
You left to fight what the country hated
Leaving behind what you truly loved.
You told me that you loved me
You told me that you would come back
Then you walked AWAY in your green uniform.
Carrying your army sack
But you know what...
We have known each other from childhood
And we both know that you are a great liar
But I hope that you keep your promise
Because I want to see you...
Not on a funeral pyre.
Lonita Nugrahayu is a native of Jakarta, Indonesia, and has been living in Bahrain since mid of 2007. She joined BWC few years ago and this year will be her 3rd time participating in Colours of Life. She was actively involved in advocating a cause that helps women who are victims of domestic violence. Currently, she puts her time writing for her next poetry book. She published the first one in April 2017 with the title Words of Sunset.
Mask Of Mine
By Lonita Nugrahayu
"I don't forget how to scream,
it's just that,
I am not sure if it will be heard.
I don't forget how to laugh,
it's just that,
I get confused,
what if I laugh at things that shouldn't be laughed at.
Sometimes I feel sad and I will laugh,
all at the same time.
I don't forget how to smile,
I am very good at it.
I smile wherever I go, to whoever I meet,
although inside me,
I am in chaos.
I don't forget to express, sweethearts.
It's just that,
those expressions are not mine,
they are just different masks that I keep on wearing.
As what I was before,
I used to scream when I was upset,
and everyone could hear my loud voice,
I used to cry when I was sad,
and everyone would comfort me,
I didn't laugh on things that should have made me cry,
I laughed on things that were hilariously funny.
I used to smile because I wanted to spread my joy,
I didn't smile to hide my sorrows.
all I do is just keep the masks on.
one after the other.
I don't forget to express,
It's just that...
I express my masks,
not myself any more."
(Taken from my poetry book, 'Words of Sunset')
CLICK HERE to read Bahrain Arts Magazine's feature on Lonita
Madhavi Tivari. “My gifts of life include a father who was very quiet in terms of sounds and very eloquent in terms of extraordinary acts of love, kindness, superior intellect and the nectar of my life, the greatest blessing, my daughter. Of course, like everybody else, I received a whole heap of unwanted, non-recyclable gifts like heartaches of various hues. The above medley of my life’s belongings poured out in a jumble of words I call my poems for the sake of convenience. In the past few years I have written about fifty articles which were published in the editorial columns and as many poems. My articles were invariably written when I hungered to share my thoughts with the world. However, most of my poems were the direct consequence of some kind of personal flood happening in my heart. Hence, their fate generally was the bottom folder in my personal closet. But now I am ready to share some of them with you, my friends. In short, my poems are just a part of me – a gullible, life-loving woman.”
Shades Of Decades
By Madhavi Tivari
The colours that flowed through
a span of several decades
to let me inhale all their hues.
The chirpy green of my baby days
blended with a lot of brown in my growing alleyways,
pink, yellow, grey
costumed my turbulent youth,
there on, all of the rainbow
swamped my sauntering years.
I just discovered rainbow
has brand new colours - colours that flutter
juggle & jostle
poke & pinch
whine & whisper
tickle & prickle
dance & delight,
colours that soften the mornings
brighten the day
and tease the twilight.
My moments painted all anew!
Mobeena Inam is an Australian of Pakistani origin, Mobeena Inam is a member of Bahrain Writers’ Circle, a freelance writer and a higher education & training professional specializing in TESOL & Vocational Training. Passionate about travelling and social anthropology, she celebrates cultural diversity and enjoys the culturally eclectic lifestyle the Kingdom of Bahrain offers. Her love of Bahraini culture and the arts has culminated in her evolving into an Abaya designer and launching her own brand of exclusive, unique and colourful , modern abayas, branded ‘MOBAYAS.’ Mobeena has been writing for various lifestyle magazines arts & culture sections and likes dabbling in poetry as an artistic – and often light-hearted - expression of her inner emotions.
By Mobeena Inam
Water, water... everywhere
Yet not a drop to drink
Sitting snug on solid ground
Why feeling on the brink?
Eating light, and working out
I am no heavyweight
But deep within are burdens
So feeling like I’ll sink
Feelings pent up since long
Come rolling off my tongue
Words aplenty pouring out
So toss the pot of ink!
Chaos, crises, madness,
Days that made no sense
Survived them one-day-at-a-time
But, now, they seem to link.
Life happens, chips come off
Tears ‘n bruises, knocks ‘n cracks
But hanging on to mischief
I still manage a wink!
I like all hues
he blacks, the whites
Pretty pastels, darks and lights
Yet in me lives a little girl
Who still loves Baby Pink!
Nena Makrievska is born on 26 August 1984 in Skopje, Macedonia. With one published book of poetry in her native language (Macedonian) Peace of Soul (Parche Dusha), with a degree of a writer at the University of Skopje - General and comparative literature and working in a restaurant in Bahrain she is making a combination of the real life and the imagination in her writing.
By Nena Makrievska
One look, simple smile
two drinks on the table
fulfilled with laughter.
Passed by to say hello,
my mind was itchy.
Dreams can be fragile
like a simple glass
or smooth like a sliding drop,
whatever it is in between
it's the enjoyable moment
adorned with your smile.
A moment of pleasure
spiced with simple conversation
that stays like a memory...
warmth in the soul
blossom in the heart,
thank you for the laughter
I'll bring this one with me.
Maybe we're just passing by
and are not here to stay,
at least we catch a moment
in time to be remembered.
Nilanjana Bose is a parent, writer, poet, blogger and a market research professional. Born in Kolkata, India, brought up in New Delhi and West Africa, her mailing address has changed some 15 times so far. She believes in travelling light, and a sense of humour, along with the passport, is top on her packing list. Dipping into other cultures and countries, whether as an expat resident or as a tourist, refreshes her writing muscles. She speaks and writes English, Bengali and Hindi, and understands more Arabic than she can account for. Her poems, short stories and travel memoirs have been published in both print and on-line, in India, Bahrain, and USA. She has published a collection of short fiction in Bengali and has contributed to several English anthologies, e-zines, and journals.
The Week Of The Royal Wedding
By Nilanjana Bose
Just when you think to fill up the ice-tray
and when you set the Chardonnay to chill -
the a/c service comes calling that day.
Now the a/c’s fine, the fridge - not so brill,
they’ve blown the kitchen’s entire power line.
Man cannot live by bread alone. Need wine!
My god, what have you done, dear a/c guy! -
you’ve lost the thing I needed not to lose.
I was the one planning on being high
But instead what’s tripped sky high is the fuse.
The TV works but the oven’s frozen dead
Man cannot live by wine alone. Need bread!
It’s Saturday soon, I’ll need my bread 'n wine!
The man does not get it and looks quite blank
Madam your a/c and TV work fine!
I’d rather the TV did not, to be frank.
He looks huffy as if I’m off my head,
Oh god! I’ll end up watching ginger red!
The black haired bubbly and the ginger red -
I’ll end up eyeing the outfits and hairdos
without the shield of chilled wine or warm bread.
Why oh why on earth did you trip the fuse?
He looks at me as if I’m borderline.
Man cannot deal with this alone. Need wine!
Let me explain, my good man, what I want
a bit of bread and wine is all I ask.
Turn off the TV, keeping the fridge on -
is that really such a difficult task?
Madam I’m not here to repair your fridge
and so he leaves me alone with the switch.
Just when you think you’ll tackle the very root –
blank out the TV, turn off the cell phone
and tune into some sort of inner truth
that’s when you’ll find your strength and props are gone
that’s when workmen will come and trip the fuse
and you’ll end up watching fake and un-fake news.
Is this housekeeping or philosophy? -
which of the gadgets should be turned off when,
to know their exact range and hierarchy,
to play it cool with trips and workmen,
the know-how to drink wines when all ice melts,
and to turn the TV off when news smells.
Omar Al Khulaqi also known as the writer, O.A.K, is a young poet of terror and romance from Yemen, raised in Bahrain. He is highly influenced by Edgar Allan Poe and the poetry of the Romantic era. His poems have made their way to local magazines and even an anthology called My Beautiful Bahrain and its follow up More of My Beautiful Bahrain along with a short story. His work uses dark, melodramatic themes of tension and awakening induced by fear and trembling. Recent works deal with subjects of spiritual enlightenment layered in surrealism.
By Omar Al Khulaqi
I cannot thank you,
Words cannot bear,
What meanings fail
This truth to share,
Language cannot convey,
The treasures that hide,
Deep in the caves,
Of my heart – you reside.
Each thought I held dear,
All knowledge amassed,
Like an idol of sand,
Crumbled down and passed
To your leaping tide,
I rose with great fear,
I carved myself from ice,
And braved to be near
You that time, and yet,
Your fiery eyes gazed
And ruined anew,
I’ll never forget,
Melting before you.
But one more trick,
I dressed as a flame,
My mind at its brink,
Whirling madly in shame,
With a gentle breeze,
A wind from your mouth,
Gently your dark wings,
Doused the flame out!
But in the darkness
You alluded to,
I tasted some bliss,
In my solitude,
Groping in the dark,
I felt my way through
And saw with new eyes,
What’s false and what’s true,
A dim light, a spark,
From deep, under strife,
Like a heap of coals,
My being revived,
All my energy
Poured in fanning through,
The fire that would,
Consume all I knew.
I burn now,
I burn my dear!
A dancing fire,
A whirling dervish,
All flames upwards,
Flicker and spark, each,
To a cosmic orchestra,
One cannot compass,
Of atomic notes,
That fizz behind a mask,
I cannot thank you,
Words cannot bear,
What meanings fail,
This truth to share,
Language cannot convey,
The treasures that hide,
Deep in the caves,
Of my heart – you reside.
CLICK HERE to read Bahrain Arts Magazine's feature on Omar
Rohini Sunderam is a semi-retired advertising copywriter. Her articles have been published in The Statesman, Calcutta, India, The Globe & Mail, Canada, and The Halifax Chronicle Herald, Nova Scotia, Canada. Rohini contributed to the anthology My Beautiful Bahrain (Miracle Publishing Bahrain, 2011), More of My Beautiful Bahrain, Poetic Bahrain, Happiness and Betrayal (Publisher: Robin Barratt UK). Her books include: Corpoetry, Desert Flower (as Zohra Saeed), Five Lives One Day in Bahrain (Ex-L-Ence Publishing UK). A poem was selected for publication in the international competition Poetry Rivals (Published by Remus House, UK) 2012. A story: Your Rebirth, My death, (5th place in Atlantis Short Story contest 2013), published by Expanded Horizons (Issue 60 2018). Her poem, Birth Pangs was published by The Society of Classical Poets where her entry in the Rhyming Riddle Contest placed seventh from 177 entries.
Another farewell to Nova Scotia Song
By Rohini Sunderam
I never thought that I would write
Another farewell to Nova Scotia song
That ice-cold ocean, those big warm smiles
How could I ever say goodbye?
A summer day in Scotia’s skies
All Nature’s dressed in butterflies
And tears still streaming from my eyes
I cannot, will not say goodbye
The hillside’s thick with green pine trees
A hint of autumn’s in the breeze
Four seasons in a day, she’ll tease
And so you know the reason why
It is so hard to say goodbye
Lupines on a hillside blue
Hydrangeas and lilacs too
Tulips all of every hue
In summer, heaven’s paradise
Yes, it’s hard to say goodbye
And so I promise to my heart
Where e’er we go, we’re not apart
Like the seasons I’ll return
To your oceans and your burns
Like the tides that ebb and flow
Nova Scotia, I can’t go
I cannot leave and not come back
Your shores have claimed me as their own
With seeds of love so deeply sown
It is here my heart belongs
So, I’ll not write a farewell song.
Sarah Clarke last wrote a poem almost 5 decades ago while at primary school and is delighted to participate in this year’s Colours of Life event. Sarah has lived in the Middle East for 12 years and is the author of two children’s books about her rescue dog chocolate Labrador Baloo who also helps her to raise awareness about autism in Bahrain.
An Ode to Monty
By Sarah Clarke
Oh how we laughed when you started to sing
and try as we might you wouldn’t give in.
Sing Monty sing as beautiful as a bird
when the phone announces someone to be heard
Sing Monty sing as loud as you can
when the faithful’s call resonates across the land
Sing Monty sing as whimsical as a child
when you hear a sound so gentle and mild
Sing Monty sing as melodic as a chime
when the door bell buzzes one more time
Sing Monty sing as strong as a hound
when danger strikes and no one is around
Sing Monty sing as radiant as the sun
now you are free to run and run...
Seher Hashmi is a mummified poet, a classified satirist and a bona fide healthoholic. She lives by the lull of songs, lyrics, ballads, poems and spoken-word poetry and often records her rhythmic repertoire via her blog space. Her poems and imagery are inspired by the work of three iconic women of varying time zones: Maya Angelou, Arundhati Roy and Sia Furler. She is an active member of the Bahrain Writers Circle; her work has been published in prestigious magazines Muslim World Today, Blue Minaret and in two anthologies of international poets titled, The Elements and Eros, compiled by Bahrain based author Robin Barratt. Currently she is working on her first chap book of poetry with a passion known only to her.
To Tweet Or Not To Tweet
By Seher Hashmi
To tweet or not to tweet
That is the question
Whether to take sides or
Without embracing naked truth
And don't you go snickering
Dismissing as mock-epic reference
t's not as easy as it seems
For who wants to be the lone bearer
Of the sole flag of truth
Which scorches tongues, sizzles down nostrils
Flares up earlobes, gushes eyes out
Livid your system
Like wassabi sauce tried out
Without a word of caution
And all this
At the expense of 10k followers
Thousands of likes, retweets, shout-outs
Why fling away
Like Taylor Swift her lovers
Just for a spontaneous, heart-pinged
Yes, it's true, this is how I actually feel
About this issue
Extracted out from personal experience
Unforgettable bruise or hurt
Bitter as bitter gourd
But aftertaste so subtle
You refuse taking sugar coated pills
Kind of opinion
My inner truth
Still, who cares?
If it lives or dies
Shines in broad daylight
Or writhes unwatered hydrangea
“Do I even dare?
Why judge others when I
Myself don't have the heart to
Lose my 2k followers,
Who may be intolerant but
At least, share my
Balanced, crafted, common sense bordering,
All-pleasing, hollow like political rhetoric
Generally applicable no specifications
Regularly spewed, tweets crap
For what life would be without
Screw truth, creativity, freedom of speech
Or novel idea
It's not my domain
Not my business
I am shaky and weak
Frailty thy name I...
Hold on, watch out!
'Beware what costs you your followers'
It sounds sexists, totally misogynist
I know this is Shakespeare and
There is a context
Imagine explaining this to
That's like half of your followers
By the way.....
You can't go
You're sure losing your plot, dork
Come on, no more a college girl
No goddamn Wonder Woman
It's keeping up appearance
So very Victorian Girl, you totally don't get it
Anti Jane Austen or Pro Roxanne Gay
A girl's fate is timeless
Have to bear children one day
He is out there somewhere among your followers
Okay, okay… guess, I’m...
I am better off without Shakespeare
So 'Frailty thy name is human'
Shereen Abraham is an Artist, Writer, Life Coach, Clinical Hypnotherapist, Pranic Healer and Devotee of all things creative. Born and raised in India, she moved to the Middle East in the late 1990’s. A post-graduate in Marketing Management she was part of the corporate world for several years in varied industries, both in India and the Middle East. Shereen believes ‘Experience is one of life’s best teachers’ & ‘Colours are therapeutic.’ She finds inspiration in the life that surrounds her…simple things like music, the sights, sounds & smell of nature, the colours & aroma of food, people & their fleeting emotions. She is passionate about everything she does or chooses to do. For her it’s important that the journey is as exciting as the destination!
By Shereen Abraham
It was a beautiful summer day,
A soft gentle breeze made me sway,
Caressed my skin in a special way,
I still remember the feeling,
Just like it was yesterday.
It was such a wonderful feeling,
That feeling of falling in love,
Every moment we spent together,
Became a new definition,
In my Dictionary of Love.
My heart beat just a little faster,
My smile grew just a little wider,
I sang, just a little bit louder,
And danced just a little bit longer.
That’s when we created our mem’ries,
And I gathered my souvenirs,
Of diff’rent colours, shapes and sizes,
And each had a story to tell,
Each story I knew so well.
But time went by, and mem’ries faded,
The love that had once caressed me,
As soft, as the soft gentle breezes,
Now passes me by, my heart freezes,
And all that I am left with,
Are my broken souvenirs.
All, my broken souvenirs.
Vaijayantee Bhattacharya is an author, poet, entrepreneur and editor. She is the Founder & CEO of CreaTree Services, a Bahrainbased company that providers PR, Publicity, and Events Management services. She has been the editor of various publications both in India and Bahrain. Author of her anthology of poems, Mosaic Vision, Vaijayantee is an avid reader, film maker and loves travelling at leisure.
By Vaijayantee Bhattacharya
In the confines of my drawing room
There is no mention of you
In the tidy pleats of the curtains
Or the neat embroidery of my cushion covers
My sofas? No, not a mention of your name.
And even the plants in the corners or the glasses at the bar
Haven’t heard of you ever!
You do not slip through the door in the morning daily
And you certainly don’t come as a label on groceries or packeted food
Yet only the lights of the road when the world turns dark
Sing of your smile. And you somehow remain in the invisible cobwebs
That hang from corners of my measured existence.
My sunsets you could share none
The everyday end of a life lived in days
And wailed over at night…
Your sunrises I have never seen
Except for the gleam in your shining eyes
That tells me of brighter days that you have woken to.
And we live and witness time flow by
From opposite banks that are together forever
But would never meet. Each evening heaves a sigh
Of yet another piece of life tossed and broiled on simmering fate
Cooked right, medium rare or well
Until fate has had its fair share
Until all my lonely sunsets and your unceremonious sunrises are all suffered, one by one
Until time freezes,
To let you walk to me across the river of irrelevance...
Yameen Rahman - "Born in Bahrain, raised in the Middle East, I moved to Dubai in 2016. I have recently published my first poetry book, Footprints in the Sand. I enjoy writing poetry because it warrants a sense of directness, creativity and accessibility whereby a carefully crafted poem of selected words and verses had the ability to explore a real depth of emotion and imagination within the reader so much more than writing pose. I feel a sense of satisfaction in being compelled to work with a minamalism of words whilst trying to unravel limitless affairs of the heart and mind on paper."
By Yameen Rahman
A poem is one that evokes emotion and thought,
Steeped in a discovery of many shapes and faces,
A measure of wonder, abstract and valour.
A poem is one that forged ideas and views,
A sonnet, rhyme, riddle or ode that brings new meaning,
And illuminated the essence of life and reason.
A poem is one that brings life to a distant shore,
Imparting truth of a world rich in shade and colour,
A testament to man’s spirit to forever endure.
No poem could adequately express our sincere thanks to all those who helped us realise our dream of having a sixth edition of Colours of Life. Without the support of the following, our Colours of Life 2018 would not have found expression… Thank you, Mr Jeff Smith, Executive Head of the British School Bahrain, for generously offering us this space in the school premises along with technical, moral and practical support. Over the course of the year we would like to extend our gratitude to the management of Era Towers, ARTDIVANO and Juffair Grand Hotel for hosting our monthly meetings. Thanks also to Shereen Abraham for her unstinting enthusiasm, support, follow-up and her ability to come up with a solution whenever a problem arises. As always, the best for last, our teams of poets, who once again came up with a range of poems that took us through all the colours of life… and then some!
See you again for Colours of Life in 2019!