Sudeep Pagedar – Yugen Quest Review Summer Edition, June 2022

Three poems

“Satan Writes”

Satan will have
going to write
a poem yesterday.

Time, like tense, has
no meaning in hell.

there’s clocks, though,
and they’re all wound up;
digital ones too, with the
sound turned up–it’s
all very alarming.

Satan finds this irony
pleasing to his pen;
he picks it up with talons
(note to self: rely less on
the subordinate claws)
and freewrites:

I never really wanted this job it’s all very depressing and unfair because thanks dad for not being around
when i grew up and nice of you to act all shocked when i acted up i mean come on it’s what teenagers do
and you could have grounded me but no just sent me away with a one way ticket to manage this shady
basement outlet where the customers hate coming but they come anyway dad what’s that all about?

He puts on some Heavy Metal
spliced with the Best of ABBA
to chase away his demons that
constantly whisper at 300 dB,
“True poetry comes from torture.”

Satan writes,
fallen from grace,
I, darkness embrace.
spurned by the light,
it’s the shadows I face.
Something’s off,
is it the meter?
feels like torture
when the devil’s
in the goddamn details.

Realizing no edits can fix this,
irony strikes one more time (time, ha!)
In hell, poems never get better–
just verse.

“Glosa (con libertades)”

We the mortals touch the metals,
the wind, the ocean shores, the stones,
knowing they will go on, inert or burning,
and I was discovering, naming all these things:
it was my destiny to love and say goodbye.”

Pablo Neruda – “Still Another Day” – XV

iron sheathing intoxicated hearts,
gold forged into gullible medals,
silver coating serpentine tongues:
We the mortals touch the metals.

shivers sent down spines;
sailors seeing salvation;
silence made the standard;
the wind, the ocean shores, the stones.

the trauma of life is not in its living –
instead, memories of love, unforgiving,
rewinding impending death, and even worse,
knowing they will go on, inert or burning.

when a lone woodsman fells a tree, who hears?
what if a tree wasn’t called a tree, but hope?
where is hope’s gravestone, or urn if burned;
and I was discovering, naming all these things.

if past is prologue, are epiphanies epilogue?
the future’s looking grimmer, growing dimmer.
the writing’s on a wall that’s doomed to fall:
it was my destiny to love and say goodbye.

Hill – Hurt – Heal – Haiku

melting snow, go slow
suffering plains cannot bear
tears of mountain pain
heal hard hurting hills
pluck soft trees/a life for life
doctor’s dilemma
mountain slope descent
distant light radiates heat
the traveler rests

Sudeep Pagedar received a national award for creative writing (2004) from India’s President, Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam. His poems feature in Kitaab, The Sunflower Collective, Yugen Quest Review, Isolocation (Ratio Auream) & The Shape of a Poem (Red River). Two of his poems are taught in the U.S.