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MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 14: August 2022
Cheribun: 137 words
By Kala Ramesh

The Percolator

 
drip, drip, drip

the chattering skull
full of thoughts

study table
with sunlight flooding in:
the lost years

  1. One morning I wake up with the conviction he is not the man for me.

  2. I make a 180-degree turn.

  3. Recollecting passions and dreams crumpled beyond recognition, I smooth the creases.

  4. Free of fetters, just be a bird in the sky...a little voice whispers from within.

  5. Feeling smug about the naked joy others see on my face.

  6. I perfect the art of ignoring snide remarks.

  7. Our neighbour sidles up to me, wanting to know why I am still wearing the mangalsutra!

  8. I tell her it’s to protect myself from men.

And now, for a cup of freshly brewed coffee...

 

 

Author’s note:

Mangalsutra is a chain with a pendant that only married women in India wear.


Kala Ramesh
Issue 14, August 2022

is a Pushcart Prize-nominated poet, a mentor, an editor and anthologist, an artist, and a renowned pioneer in the field of haikai literature in India. She is the Founder/Director of Triveni Haikai India, the Founder/Managing Editor of haikuKATHA Journal, and haiku editor of Under the Bashō.

Her book of haiku and haibun Beyond the Horizon Beyond (Vishwakarma Publications, 2017) was shortlisted for the Rabindranath Tagore Literary Prize in 2019, and her book of tanka, tanka prose, and tanka doha The Forest I Know (HarperCollins India, 2021) was launched at the Jaipur Literary Festival on 13 March 2022. She co-edited Wishbone Moon: A Women’s International Anthology with Roberta Beary and Allen Crompton (Jacar Press, 2021). Kala’s ebook one-line twos in collaboration with Marlene Mountain was published by Bones Journal in 2015.

With 17 years of teaching, Kala has been instrumental in bringing Indian school kids, undergraduates, and adults to haiku and Japanese short-form poetry. She is the author of haiku, an introduction for children (Katha Books, 2010; reprint, 2017). She has organised eight haikai conferences in India since 2006. A speaker at many international haiku conferences, Kala conceptualised the three-month intensive Triveni Gurukulam Mentorship Program 2021, and the Virtual Utsav on “Haiku for Healing” in June 2021. She received the WE Trailblazer Poet Teacher Award 2020, from Women Empowered-India.

Kala was the winner of the Genjuan International Haibun Contest, 2012: An (Cottage) Prize for her haibun “The Blue Jacaranda,” and her haibun “On Slippery Ground” was nominated by Modern Haiku (51.3) for a Pushcart Prize. In 2021, she was guest haibun editor of Narrow Road (October), co-judged the haibun contest conducted by the Haiku Poets of Northern California, and served as the sole final judge of the International Book Contest for Women 2021 for haiku, haibun, and tanka conducted by Sable Books, USA.

More on the Web: By, About, and Beyond

Kala Ramesh: WE Trailblazer Poet Teacher Award 2020, featured in Yugen Quest Review, journal of the WE [Women Empowered] literary community

New to Haiku: Advice for Beginners - Kala Ramesh, Part 1, interview by Julie Bloss Kelsey at The Haiku Foundation (10 January 2021)

New to Haiku: Advice for Beginners - Kala Ramesh, Part 2, interview by Julie Bloss Kelsey at The Haiku Foundation (17 January 2021)

New to Haiku: Advice for Beginners - Kala Ramesh, Part 3, interview by Julie Bloss Kelsey at The Haiku Foundation (24 January 2021)

Kala Ramesh, haiku poet, interviewed by Mike Rehling, founding editor of Failed Haiku: A Journal of English Senryu (16 April 2021)

 
 
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