The darkest season settles down
with the throbbing knell of dreadful sound.
Rotten fruits and withered leaves
lie everywhere the eye perceives.
The spring has lost its way
And winter’s trapped the brittle soul,
Weary with the whirly wind that
Cuts through like a virgin blade.
Brutal beasts sing the high requiem
while the hackneyed soul stands stunned
with the sudden toll, shambles on the lands dead.
The voyage began in search of a recluse
But wine, woman and word
All turned out to be a frail refuge.
The world’s changed into a gory den,
wherein lie the lifeless forms of our brethren.
What eerie time is this, man can’t fathom?
What pensive darkness, dearth of light?
What revelation is at hand?
The Genesis of the Revelation
Kolawole Mathew Ogundipe
Proportioned with the start
of man’s assiduousness
Toward accomplishing his desired
ambition in life, are despair, disappointment,
hunger, pain and sleeplessness;
However, needed of him to combat
The above misfortunes is patience
in conjunction with determination.
The pot that intends to eat pepper,
The bottom of which will be hot.
Perfect good things
Manifest not from merriment,
relaxation and impatience.
Take a look at
a farmer in the beginning of a year:
Clears the land He,
Plants on the land He
after the droplets from heaven;
If heaven drop them not again,
He waits in patience and in hope.
Days of sorrow, hunger and pain,
Mouth and mind incapable to account;
But at the end of the season,
Happiness of the heart,
Comfortableness of the stomach,
And tranquillity of the body
Accompany the appearance
of the ripe farm produce.
Take a look at
students in the beginning of a semester:
Huge amount of money
They spend on school fees,
textbooks, assignments and lot more
Sleeplessness in the night they have
In order to study,
Disappointment they get from
Lecturers during preliminary evaluations;
Still, to those who tighten their belts well,
for the examination
Sleep in the day time
their good performance
That assures them of their studentship.
The Genesis, therefore,
Determines the Revelation.
Smuggling and its Attendant Effects
Onipede, Festus moses
Smuggling is an unauthorised movement of goods into and outside a country for making money. It is also concerned with the clandestine importation of objects, substances, information or people, such as and/ or exportation of goods from one place to another (Oladeji, 2010).
There are various motivations to smuggling. They include illegal trade, such as in the drug trade, illegal weapons trade, exotic wildlife trade, illegal immigration or illegal emigration, tax evasion, among others.
Much has been said and a lot has been written about smuggling in our society today. There is no doubt that smuggling has left us with different problems. The causes of smuggling are many. What are they?
First and foremost the graduates are unemployed and the self-employed people are not making enough money from their various businesses. Many of the graduates have no job after graduating from the universities and other higher institutions. They now see smuggling as the best way of making money. While some prefer to be distributors of foreign rice, others smuggle rice with their cars or motorcycles. Some of them not only smuggle rice but engage in exportation and importation of arms and ammunition. What is the consequence of all these things? – Untimely death!
Another reason why people engage in smuggling is love of ‘quick money.’ Most self-employed people and unemployed people are too desperate to harness wealth within a short time. They do this by engaging in smuggling contrabands, weapons, human trafficking, rice, arms and munitions, among others. People believe that their possession of charms is enough for them to do smuggling and this has made many of them to die young.
The government itself is the bane of smuggling. The government has the right to provide the security agencies such as customs with sophisticated weapons to restrict the movement of smugglers at its various borders across the states. The government fails to provide all these weapons and most of the officers at the checkpoints either collect bribes from the smugglers or kill innocent citizens through their stray bullets.
The economy of the country is a responsible factor for smuggling. The economy is so bad that many people have been lured into smuggling. This occurs as a result of inflation. Most people that are unemployed find it difficult to cope with the skyrocketing price of goods.
As smuggling has causes so also is its effects. Accident is one of the effects of smuggling. What do you think will happen to a smuggler that loads his motorcycle with ten to twelve bags of rice, if such a person falls down while he is being chased by customs; what do you think will happen? Death or disability! Many of these smugglers have their legs or hands amputated because of accidents. Some of these smugglers are shot dead by the customs officers. Innocent citizens are not left out of this effect. Some of them are knocked down and this leads to their untimely death, and some are disabled.
Trauma is another effect of smuggling. Whenever there is a clash between smugglers and customs the entire societies are in chaos. People are seeing running helter-skelter for dear life. Most people are traumatised as a result of sounds from the sporadic shooting, which leads to hypertension.
What is the way out of these nagging problems? One major solution is the provision of employment for unemployed graduates and empowerment of those that engage in entrepreneurial trades.
Individual search for ‘quick money’ should be reduced if not totally discarded. They should shun the habits of taking charms as their means of protection, because if this continues many lives would be lost on a daily basis, and an individual’s family will bear the risks. They should remember that “those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge them into ruin and destruction” (1 Timothy 6:9). Therefore they should be content with what they have.
The government should provide all security agencies with sophisticated weapons that will be sufficient for them to prevent any attack while discharging their duty.
Another way of tackling the effects of smuggling is through government legislation. Government should legislate against illegal movement of goods and services into the country. Any person found smuggling goods into the country should be made to serve prison terms with hard labour.
If these measures are taken smuggling will be drastically reduced.
Ill-treat the weaker
Christopher T. Dabrowski
Joe walked out of a gym. Though he had been working out hard he still desired to fuck someone up.
He looked like a three-door wardrobe, he was really muscled up.
He spotted a frail boy, told him to stop.
He battered the kid hard. Broke his nose, knocked his teeth out.
He felt better at once – he liked to ill-treat the weaker
He was walking down the street. A car hit him.
Before Jon got up the car was gone.
He limped as he moved down the park lane in pain
Suddenly something hard hit him in the head
A heavy chestnut fell from above
A streamlet of blood ran down Jon’s face
Bemused he entered a plaza
It flashed, a thunderstorm began
The first lightning strack Jon…
Sometimes God liked to ill-treat the weaker.
Interview with Abhay K
1. Good morning Sir. Thank you very much for speaking with me today. I have had the opportunity to look at your impressive background, but I like to give you a chance to tell about yourself in brief, please.
Abhay K. I’m from Nalanda, Bihar. I grew up in Nalanda district and studied there till class 10th before moving to Patna for Intermediate and then to Delhi for graduation (Kirorimal College, Delhi University) and post-graduation (Jawaharlal Nehru University). Afterwards, I joined the Indian Foreign Service in 2003. Since then I have served in different diplomatic capacities in Russia, Nepal, Brazil and Madagascar & Comoros. I started writing poetry in 2005 after arriving in Moscow and have so far published 8 poetry collections and a memoir and have edited 4 anthologies of poetry’. I have also translated Meghaduta and Ritusamhara of Kalidasa into English. My poems have been published in over 90 literary journals across the world and my poem-song ‘Earth Anthem’ has been translated into over 70 world languages. I also paint and my paintings have been exhibited in St. Petersburg, Paris, New Delhi and Brasilia.
2. Your pen name is Abhay K. Why does, according to you, a writer use a pseudonym?
Abhay K. I wanted to have a slightly different identity as a poet and a writer than a diplomat and therefore I just use Abhay K. for writing and Abhay Kumar for official purposes. I also like the shape of K which begins at a certain point but points towards infinite, eternity, opening its two arms to embrace the whole universe. K is also a symbol of a thousand and that also adds symbolic importance to having K in one’s pen name.
I think many writers want to keep their writing/literary identity separate from their reallife identities, and having a pseudonym gives them this chance.
3. Why do you write? What or who inspired you to be a poet?
Abhay K. I started reading poetry when I was eight or nine years old. I found a book of poems titled Rashmirathi by Ramdhari Singh Dinkar at my home in Nalanda and started reading it. It is still one of my favourite books. The energy of the lines from this book continues to reverberate in my mind. I started writing poetry much later after arriving in Moscow, Russia, when I was 25. I was overwhelmed with the beauty and grandeur of a new culture, a new city and its warm people and encanting surroundings. Poetry started flowing automatically out of me.
4. What do you do as a hobby?
Abhay K. I do Yoga, run, bicycle, play tennis, swim, do horse-riding, look at the clouds, stars and constellations, take photographs, listen to bird-song etc.
5. Which book that you have written is your favourite and what are your top three books?
Abhay K. My forthcoming poetry book ‘Monsoon’ which is a book length poem of love and longing and my own books – The Alphabets of Latin America, The Eight-eyed Lord of Kathmandu and The Seduction OF Delhi remain my all-time favourite.
6. Which books have you read the most in your lifetime?
Abhay K. Rashmiirathi by Ramdhari Singh Dinkar, The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway, Prophet by Kahlil Gibran, Meghaduta by Kalidasa among others.
7. What are the books that you regard as all-time readable?
Abhay K. A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawkings, The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway, In Light of India by Octavio Paz, Twenty Love Poems and A Song of Despair by Pablo Neruda, Gitanjali by Rabindranath Tagore, Maps by Wislawa Szymborska, Dohas of Kabir to name a few.
8. The writers and poets you like the best.
Abhay K. The poets and writers whose works I admire are Kalidasa, Kabir, Rabindranath Tagore, Ramdhari Singh Dinkar, Premchand, Ghalib, Walt Whitman, T.S. Eliot, Pablo Neruda, Octavio Paz, Gabriel Garcia Marquez among others.
9. If you could choose to be a character in a book, who would it be?
Abhay K. Yaksha in Meghaduta by Kalidasa.
10. How do you get your greatest idea for writing?
Abhay K. By reading a lot of books and relating to some of them.
11. You have earned immense experience as an anthologist of many anthologies like CAPITALS,100 Great Indian Poems, New Brazilian Poems and so on. You have recently compiled a fantastic anthology named Great Indian Love Poems. We are really grateful to you for including Assamese poetry in it. How do you determine of a piece of writing is good?
Abhay K. Thank you for your kind words! A good piece of writing is something that touches me at a deeper level, reverberates within me long after having read it.
12. Have you ever received negative feedback on a piece of writing that you have signed off? What was your response?
Abhay K. There is no writing which does not get criticized. Criticism and praise are part and parcel of the writing and publishing process. I take both of them in my stride and move on. It is part of the process of maturing as a writer and motivation to give your best each time.
13. What made you choose to become an editor? What was your greatest accomplishment as an editor or an anthologist? In your view, what is the role of an anthologist?
Abhay K. My quest for finding a poem on each capital city of the world turned me into an editor. Later I wanted to present great Indian poems from various Indian languages to the world. I started editing an anthology of 100 Great Indian Poems. It was followed by 100 More Great Indian Poems and later Great Indian Love Poems. I also translated and edited an anthology of New Brazilian Poems. As an anthologist I wanted to find poems which really moved me and thankfully I was able to find such poems and a publisher and an audience for such poems. I think this has been my greatest accomplishment. In my view an anthologist’s job is to find gems from the vast ocean of poetry and present it to the readers.
14. You have also earned a star-like name in the field of translation. Translations of Kalidasa’s Meghaduta and Ritusamhara from Sanskrit to English are the best examples in this respect. Translation is also a word-art. What do you say about it?
Abhay K. Translation is an essential art to understand each other, to have dialogue across literature created in various languages. Translation helps to create world literature. Even the translated works need to be retranslated every twenty years as language and literary taste change and the old translations need to be updated. The process of translation involves keeping true to the essence of the original at the same time dressing that essence in contemporary language, style and imagery that readers can relate to.
15. What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
Abhay K. I would say that one should write what one truly cares for and believes in, as writing is not only an act of expressing oneself but also reflects how one perceives the world. Publishing will ensue eventually as long as what you have written is appealing and compulsive.
Thank you very much sir for giving us your valuable time and May God bless you and wish to see you again. Thank you
People throng the temple or mosque,
Some of them are real devotees of almighty,
Many of them are fake devotees of God.
But, fake devotees are very clever people indeed,
Though they observe religious rituals.
They try to show outward devotion,
With their prayer and religious dress.
They don’t even protest against religious vices,
Why do they do so?
Because they know that they are human beings,
And they need dress, food, shelter and peace.
To have peace in mind is to follow religion,
They know that if they protest against ill practices,
They will be categorized as atheist.
Once, they are called so, they will have no peace in mind.
All of their relatives will look down upon him,
Even their parents are often found to rebuke,
For being someone who transgresses.
To keep themselves, their parents and relatives Happy,
they are forced to become fake devotees.
Society should allow individuals to have their own religion,
Which may be Humanism, Hinduism or Islamism.