Previous Feature: Chumki Sharma
Chumki Sharma is a mother, poet, banker, and model who lives in Kolkata, India with her family. She is currently assembling her poetry manuscript, Running Away With The Garden, slated to be published in 2016 by Blank Rune Books. Widely published both nationally and internationally, recommended selections of Chumki’s verse can be read online at Expound, I Am Not a Silent Poet, Oddball Magazine, and Tuck.
Shape of Emptiness
He buys me coffee in a cup so light,
my lips drown, scald in the heat of the liquid.
Nothing exists between me and the cup in my hand.
Heat seeps through it like mist from the streets.
The potter’s wheel spins shaping emptiness.
Smoke sizzles from the gun in his hand, a la
the cigarette on my lips, as we bend to
scoop the pieces of my skull from the street,
try to fit them back on my head, tap the
ash off my lungs. A never before heard voice says,
“we can still be friends,” the words ricocheting
off the clean slate of my mind.
“You need blood,” the doctor says, his fingers almost a caress
around the gaping hole on my forehead, as drop by blue drop,
my blood trickles into an ocean of salty words.
I smile and get up, tell him, some blood left in me still,
that in a bleeding race to the finishing line
midst the blue and salt of the ocean,
the blood bank will finish only a runner up.
Close your eyes, meditate, summon love.
When she arrives, you will know her by her
smooth metal edges and antiseptic fragrance
wafting in from streets flowing with blood and analgesics.
No, don’t mix her up with medicine that heals.
Love is Science.
You should know that
given your love for Chemistry.
The Song of The Neem Tree
The wind rustles the leaves of the sole neem tree
on the street outside my window and I hear them
whisper a love song to me.
Why do you say the most profound words
are the ones that are spoken?
On the street, every day and every night,
the wind and the neem tree write thousands of poems
and no word has been spoken here.
Shadows On The Street
I saw that man again today who once at a party,
gazed at me for three hours straight and I gazed right back.
That man who never took me in his arms and I never embraced him,
I saw him again today standing three feet away from me,
I saw his lips that I’ll never kiss,
the shoulder I’ll never cry on,
the hands I’ll never hold,
and the street where our shadows met.
All Hail! Chumki Sharma has been featured on various radio programs and visual media. A well-known spoken word artist, you can connect with her on Facebook. Simply click on the image to your right, taken when Chumki recited a poem she had written in tribute to Nobel Laureate, Mikhail Sholokhov (1905-1984), at a 2015 event held in his honor . . .