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Tsunami Poems


On a cold January day eight South Asian writers met for a poetry workshop at the Space Centre in Sheffield. The workshop on Saturday 22.1.05 from 10am to 4pm drew writers from Derby, Doncaster and Sheffield, and was led by the accomplished poet and workshop leader Debjani Chatterjee.

Debjani's workshop was both practical and extremely stimulating, so it gave rise to a lot of good writing in the workshop itself and afterwards. Yes, Debjani gave the writers homework too! "We worked very hard," said one, "but it was worth it. We learnt a lot. We learnt about haiku, shaped poems, clerihews and more." The workshop participants wrote in English, Bengali and Hindi. Debjani also brought magazines and books which she recommended and suggested possible places where Kala Kahani writers could get published, including this website.

Some Comments from Workshop Participants:

"Thank you so much for an inspiring session. I was looking for a kick start and you gave me that. Thanks for putting me in the right direction with my writing."

"I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed this workshop on Saturday. The location was excellent as well as the hospitality. Debjani provided us all with an excellent mix of exercises to do and discussion. With my poetry I really need an editor as sometimes I can't see the wood for the trees. I think mentoring would be a good idea."

"The workshop really inspired me and got me writing after months of not being able to write."

"Excellent workshop. Everyone wrote so well!"

"We learnt a lot of interesting things. We must do this workshop again!"



© Sarfraz Ahmed

A Fine Start to Boxing Day

On Christmas day
He stuffed himself in the usual way:
Turkey, roast potatoes and sprouts.
He even undid his belt
To let his belly out,
He fell asleep after drinking several cans of beer,
He woke to find that the only sound he could hear
Was the TV on in the background
And the sound of the hangover in his head.
He sat speechless
As they announced that Tsunami had struck
And many thousands were dead,
And as he reached for the remote,
The images of death
Would not go away,
But in his mind did stay,
And all that he could think of to say
Was: "What a fine start to my Boxing Day!"

© Sarfraz Ahmed

God’s Teardrop Exploded

Did you know?
That time stood still
At that precise moment,
That exact second,

When the earth opened its mouth and roared,
And the oceans wept,
Such deadly tears it poured,
As the unknowing world slept,

How many did one tear kill
In that precise moment,
That exact second,
When God’s teardrop exploded,
And time stood still

© Gail Ranjit Poole


A child’s scream on screen.
Just run – split second – All gone.
Flattened nothingness.

Heading towards me
All alone, the dark low moan
Of death awaits me.

‘Ik dum!’ ‘Hai Ram!’ ‘MA!’
Swept, beaten by nature’s wrath,
To the jungle go.

Hold on to the tree
Waves bombard me – a near miss
In this wet abyss.

Until I am found
Clinging – wrapped in love and fed
By the world’s wide heart.