Mumbai-based, Sunil Sharma, a college principal, is also widely-published Indian critic, poet, literary interviewer, editor, translator, essayist and fiction writer. He has already published 14 books: four collections of poetry, two of short fiction, one novel, one a critical study of the novel and co-edited six anthologies on prose, poetry and criticism. His six short stories and the novel Minotaur were recently prescribed for the undergraduate classes under the Post-colonial Studies, Clayton University, Georgia, USA. He is a recipient of the UK-based Destiny Poets’ inaugural Poet of the Year award---2012. Recently his poems were published in the UN project: Happiness: The Delight-Tree.
He edits online journal Episteme:
The tiny beings,
Live beneath the rocks,
In the Icelandic terrain
Where climbers cannot survive.
Parallel, mysterious, orbits
In that subterranean region
Visible only to the blessed few,
Pure of heart and mind
Children and artists;
These are the ones finding the craggy rocks holy,
And a sanctuary to the elusive community.
Mythical gets real
In that eternal kingdom of magic.
The hidden folk choose to reveal to the
Believing, bypassing the sceptics.
The graceful bamboos
Awash in the golden hue,
On this bright morning,
Swaying like Amazons,
Along the serpentine
All mixed deftly by an invisible hand
And creating, in an instant,
A pulsating, animated canvas!
On slender stripped branches
Blossom the white flowers,
Soon to die;
The Champa in big clusters,
Blooming on the bald tree;
Nature has covered amply
The tree’s shocking bareness;
The white adding tender colour to
The stark brown of the stunted tree;
A marvelous sight in the wilderness,
For the urban eyes, looking for relief!
Can you hear me out there in the sky?
Mama says you are now a bright star
Watching me from great heights, every moment,
Clear or a cloudy night.
I miss you, when I fall down on the playground,
And there is no strong hand to pick me up, bruises and all,
And dear father, I miss you after returning from school,
The house is quiet and grim and there are menacing shadows
Inside/outside; grieving mom in the restaurant, working on the tables;
Dear father, when I score an A and there is nobody around to share this news,
In a suburban home.
You left two chests as the legacy that I explored on a rainy night
In a little Indian house; there was thunder and lightning and dark outside,
I opened up the rusted chests and found a priceless treasure of old books,
Your life-long friends, now aged and neglected, sitting in a corner of the attic;
Slowly, over the months, I entered a Wonderland unrivalled,
A Victorian home or an Elizabethan play-house or a treasure island.
Or, the city of Dublin first recorded in 1914 by a great guy and re-experienced in late 1990s.
It was the best gift ever to a lonely teen that grew up but remained a permanent child,
Gawking at the marvels un-locked on white paper by supple vibrant words,
And all your friends, the writers, became my friends as well…my rich legacy that still continues.
Are you hearing me out?
Fathers are the guys, who impart real lessons of life,
They look tough but often cry, hiding hot tears,
When you pop up suddenly, hardly noticing their red eyes;
Unknown to us, they keep a vigil, when their own is down
With cough and fever, and agnostics pray for kids’ welfare;
Fathers are skies that cannot be measured in mere words;
We carry on, unknown to us, one side of theirs in our own life.
We become to them what they were to their fathers.