Taseer Gujral – WE Meritorious Green Heart Award 2022

For Exceptional Contribution to WE Literary Community and WE Awards

Three Poems

We are made of losses

 
The urgency to speak
The desire not to be heard
The loss of a space, and
The loss of a voice 

In our parts of the world
Winters are frigid tales of loss
Of sunshine, youth, clarity
Of vigour, agility, suppleness
We recede into our own selves
With uninhibited shamelessness
Claiming lost parts of our being
Yet forgoing them
With a fair knowledge of that loss

In a breath’s timespan 
We will mark the calendar
With winter solstice, while the grief
Of the loss of another year shakes us
The sunbirds and the sparrows lost
In an apocalyptic haze

The cedar doors tremble
With familiarity
Of corn and sesame roasting over warm fires
Wooden beams from another era 
Smile away their discomfiture
I slip through cracks to alight anew
on the other side of a shriveled time. 

Last evening
I was in a roadside café
Drinking overpriced latte 
My mask dangling at an odd angle
Just in case someone sneezed 
Conversations went on nevertheless,
Like an overstretched symphony
I had lost the story firming up
In my mind, I drank
The last dregs


Leaving an outrageous tip
For the girl with sad, soft eyes
Sunset marks the horizon
With a slow fire
The sky is laid hostage by grey clouds
My ascetic body does not touch
My flesh of longing
My eyes waiting to find
And look at everything
They had ever lost 

These poems appeared in the Outlook magazine’s February 2022 Issue

No country for the poor

 
We are born free
We live for free
The air and water are free
The rain inundating our lands is free
The social spaces are free
The lighted foyers of malls are free 
Bread and salt is another matter, though
One has to walk a hundred miles
To excavate a field
For a kilo of golden wheat
And fragrant red rice
Freedom is free,
Poverty costs you a lot
In this free land

These poems appeared in the Outlook magazine’s February 2022 Issue

Embroideries

It’s twelve o’clock
I watch rain falling through the mirror
A small absence threads time's needle
Embroidering loss of minutes, hours, days
Loss blooming all over my body
Hanging in a ringed frame
These poems appeared in the Outlook magazine’s  February 2022 Issue
Taseer Gujral is a poet, editor, columnist and a translator. She has been a recipient of a grant
for the American Civilization Course (ACC) in the ASRC Hyderabad, and has worked on the
feminist poems of Adrienne Rich for her doctoral thesis. Her published works appear in The
Punch magazine, Outlook Magazine, The Sunflower Collective, Coldnoon Diaries, Muse
India, Kashmir Lit, Life and Legends, Open Road Review, E3W Literature,Yugen Quest Review and several
important anthologies. Her columns on Literature and Cinema have appeared in the DNA. She
is on the panel of judges for the Kamala Das and other WE Poetry Awards.