Copyright©Yogesh Patel & all respective copyright holders of the material published
In one hour we will host a dinner, I will serve
paneer rolls stapled with mango-
my creation, and marinated kababs, again my creation.
They will walk through our house and admire my art,
décor, brother's talent, my creativity, our daughter's
our house will become a museum all of us pegged on the walls.
And I will subside into a cauldron of shyness, words eyeing me coldly
in the distance as I mumble "I am a poet," "as well." trail off,
conscious of the irony, my rounded belly, a possible migraine
and clutter in the wardrobes. I will not mock humanity like
TS Eliot and write a poem on women coming and going and
drooling. I will love humanity though I would rather write a poem
than have hours vaporize into cumin and hing fumes.
One hour to go, I'm on the floor at Borders the books lined like spice jars,
reading how different poets nibble on the world differently
and leave their crumbs in pages. And I on my knees lick my fingers,
pick their leftovers, taste how they taste the world hoping to see
myself in their tasting. "Mmmm," they will say, "Is it curry?"
And I will patiently explain, "Curry is not a spice but a dish-
any vegetable or meat dish-
That yellow hue." Like voice in poetry, I will say to myself.
Later this night I will seize my day and
the poems will splutter into space like mustard seeds.
Usha Akella is the founder of The Poetry Caravan in Austin TX and Greenburg, NY. The Caravan offers readings and workshops to the disadvantaged in women's shelters, senior homes and hospitals.
She has been invited to many international poetry festivals and her work is included in the Harper Collins Anthology of poets edited by Sudeep Sen and other anthologies. She has read at reputed organizations as the Omega Institute, NY and Rothko chapel, Houston.
She was awarded the Nazim Hikmet Poetry Prize 2011 by the Siir Festival, Turkey. She was the winner of Maryland Poetry Review's Egan Memorial Contest. She won the informal wine poem award at Struga Poetry Evenings 2006, Macedonia, the first Indian and woman in 45 years to do so.
She was a finalist for the 2010 Pablo Neruda Prize. Her poem 'One hears' was a pushcart nomination. She received the encourageer of the arts award from the town of Greenburgh, NY.
She has read twice for the Sahitya Academy (Considered the highest literary organization in India. She featured with four other poets to represent Indian Writing in English at a 2008 Sahitya Academy poetry event.)
She was interviewed on "The Front Row" for NPR/ Houston Public Radio in October 2013. Her poems have appeared in the Sahitya Academy's journal Indian Literature.
Her work has appeared and is upcoming in many US and Indian based journals such as The Bitter Oleander, Drunken Boat, Borderlands, Cumberland Review, The Crab Orchard Review, The Maryland Poetry Review, Pearl, Emily Dickinson Journal, Catamaran, Muse India, Ardent! Di-
An Achievement of Excellence as a Poet and Editor
Usha's collection of poems, Kali Dances so Do I...., is published by Authors and Writers India Ltd.
Acquire it from Amazon
Paperback: 58 pages
Usha’s latest collection published in May is Rosary of Latitudes.
It is available from
TRANSCENDENT ZERO PRESS,
A review can be read at:
Listen Usha’s radio interview at the following link. You will not be disappointed:
Vol. 1/Issue 3/2015
Usha Akela is a Diaspora editor at Muse India. Her remarkable poems often muse with our critical observations and stoical experiences as displaced expatriates. Please do not miss some of these gems in her interview, accessible through the link above. She reads a selection of poems in her gentle and soft voice to take us through the remarkable range of her lyrical expressions. This interview really will draw you to Usha's remarkable inner world of poems. Yes, there is a Ghazal in English too, for all those of us who enjoy the form. I think Debjani is the only other diasporic poet who has tried her hand at this.
So silence please, the lady is on the stage...
Patrons: Lord Parekh & Lord Dholakia
Word Masala Award