Poetry in Our Time













Kamalakar Bhat


Stone Art


My daughter searched through the pile of sand,
brought for some repairs,
and picked some pretty pebbles.

Excited, she brought a boxful of them to me.
I, busy in my business,
threw it away bitterly.

The next morning, as if spring had arrived
in the corner of the room:
a pattern of colours.

Her imagination saw a bouquet
(where my brain just saw rubble)
and turned stones into art.



On 25th Wedding Anniversary


You were asleep
when the storm hit,
causing a leak in the roof.

Sorry dear,
I used the blankets
to plug the hole in the roof.

Now, the cold wind
bothers you.

Still, come to me,
and rest on my chest,
within the folds of my caring arms
be warm.



A Conversation with my Wife


We stared into the sun
without batting an eyelid;
and the names of our schools
disappeared, so did the surnames,
family names, village, country, caste, religion,
company names, all,
all disappeared.
All that remained was
an image of you
in my eyes, mine in yours.

Not that images are real.
These images are only for us.
There is no room for anyone else in our reality.
In our moonlit courtyard
no other shadow may fall.

Yes, you are right,
let the door remain open.
Why should there be any restriction on our love?
Let the picture of our oneness,
reflected by the sky,
hearten the timorous.

Every vision we have
is from the same view, you said.
Every minute we want
is for the same desire, I said.
Each step we take
is of the same speed, you said.
Each slice of bread we eat
is from the same grain, I said.

In the openness of the plains
the wind is generous.



Kamalakar Bhat is an award-winning bilingual poet and translator. He has published three collections of poems, two collections of translated verse, and has edited one collection of essays. He writes in both academic and popular media on books, poetry and translations. His poems have appeared in AGNI, Indian Literature, Muse India, Caesura among other magazines.


Hélène Gelèns


Translation: Astrid van Baalen


stammer the name!


breathe slowly in and out, breathe in
and out, think of the name bearer, in and out
in and out, well done, in and say the name out loud

huff for the name, try to huff
for the name as for air, just like this:
huffhuff, huff for the name, huffhuff

no not cough, huffing huffhuff, no not cough
breathe slowly in and out, breathe in
and out, no not cough, breathe in breathe in

gasp for breath as for the bearer of the name
huff for breath, try to huff
for breath, you still have to stammer, huff! huff!




she says: you think me strange you
think me strange you think me strange

what I see has already been depicted
all that I see
(letters furnish the view)
the people I talk to
are smeared with slogans

she says: damn it I believe
you you think me strange you

what I feel performs the true skill
all that I feel
(truth conceived in the heart)
the verdict I leave unspoken
I’ll be happy to forget

she says: don’t take a picture of me


something else


if only I didn’t write my poems this slow
I would tell you how a man says:
there’s a strange lady glued to my side
I’m not mentioning names – I would tell you
how the woman bites the man in the neck
gnaws herself a passage through
how he asks in her company:
looking for a fight? and entices the mouth again

I would be in time to tell you how warm
our eyes attune – how hungry
the neck the mouth
I would be in time to tell how much
love goes into gnawing – how delicately
enticed by you
I would tell you in time
that I am looking for a fight and really mean it

but I write my poems slow
and tell you something else than I would tell you



Hélène Gelèns (1967) is a writer of poetry, essays and short prose. She began performing in literary festivals in the year 2000 and took part in Poetry International in Rotterdam in 2002. Her debut poetry collection niet beginnen bij het hoofd was published by Uitgeverij 521 in 2006 and shortlisted for the C. Buddingh’ Prize in 2007.

Gelèns He writes humorous, graceful poems with serious undertones, with a special emphasis on love, language and the writing of poetry itself. Her style is often characterized by repetition and rhythm. Gelèns studied astronomy, Dutch, history and philosophy at university, eventually leaving the other subjects to focus solely on philosophy. Before the appearance of her first volume of poetry, Gelèns had poems and essays published in literary magazines such as Krakatau and De Tweede Ronde and in anthologies and philosophical publications.



Francesco Favetta


Always sing soul!


And despite everything

life goes on

the world does not stop living

and the answers are close

in the silence of these days

in this song without the voices

in the passages of history

anchors in the wounds of time.

Awake life

enamored creature

fond memory of the poem

and precious dreams

docile majesty in the heart

enchantment in the eyes

you breathe inside the roses in the night

chains broken by courage.

Always sing soul

never stop

give reasons

timeless songs

shout the truths to the world

always be a beacon in the fog

safe harbor and island in the desert

of this heavy sea.


Who we are ?        


Who we are

because we don’t see

with the eyes

of the soul


and indifference.


behind the wall

of extinguished reason

we pray

with joined hands

that God who

he has to help

our days.


our love

where free thought

he is exiled

in which cave

the consciences

they were locked up.

Along the coasts

of life

vaguely every man

staggering walks

around a temple

beyond which

the flesh transfigures

in a thousand words

and endless poems.

There will be no one left            


Who will stay

after the storm


shipwrecked and missing

in the raging sea

of human complacency

in everyday violence

in the fences of the world.

And then again

the wars

the divisions

invisible borders

and the truths torn apart


Will remain

the blood spilled

from the innocents

and dirty hands

and smelling of death

of criminals

evil humans

sitting in the benches.




 strides ! 

One by one

i will tear up every day

invisible rings

of the chains that oppress

and keep the man in prison

to make a necklace

to wear around the neck.

Long strides

they will blaze solid paths

on safe and unusual paths

where human foot

does not dare to set footsteps

on hard rock

on values and freedoms.


The silences of  time    


It’s not over yet

beauty is in life

in the silences of time

dressed in Peace and Love

resurrected every hour

from human violence.

We are lives lived

in this crazy time

inside the prisons of the world

chained to fears

dazed with terror

we are destinies without routes.

The truths fly

they look like confetti

carried by the wind

swept away by indifference

and go to die in the desert

where flowers are rare jewels.

Francesco Favetta

 was born in Sicily in Sciacca, he has always loved poetry, writing verses, but above all culture, food for the soul: culture is Freedom, it is Free Spirit, it is Soul in Movement, not it should never be harnessed!

In 2018 he was awarded by the Accademia 

di Sicilia, Academician of Sicily.

He has been published in various anthologies and in various magazines, among which, we mention a few: He founded a theater company in Sciacca: “Theatrum Socialis Sciacca”, and a Lions Club, the “Sciacca Terme”. Finally, the poet Francesco Favetta is convinced that poetry will be the weapon with which humanity will make their lives free, and furthermore beauty will always be a truth that will never be buried:from the times and events of daily human life! Francesco Favetta Sciacca (Sicily) Italy .                                                                                            

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