☛ Submission for October, 2024 issue (Vol. 5, No. 2) is going on. The last date for submission is 30 September, 2024.




-          Kuli Kohli (India)



A blackbird relishes a bunch of rowan berries,

they remind me of Indian sun-dried chillies.


The holly berries like bindiya1 on an Indian bride,

sunshine leaves make designs like mehndi2 on her hands.


The fiery hawthorn berries like jewels she wears;

her choora3 on her arms made of spangled bangles.


She is draped in a silk lehnga4 of cerise dogwood leaves;

acorn-gold sequins gleam upon her chunni5.


Rosehips like sindoor6 in the parting of her berried hair,

sacrifices spill like blood; she gestures like a goddess of love.


1.      Bindiya a small dot that married Hindu women wear on their forehead as an embellishment and a sign of auspiciousness. 

2.     Mehndi is the artistic temporary henna tattoos, especially as part of a bride or groom's preparations for a wedding.

3.     Choora is very auspicious for the bride and the groom. These bangles are believed to bring luck and prosperity to the couple. The red colour signifies passion, love and strengthens the bond between the newlyweds. It also symbolises prosperity and fertility.

4.     Lehnga is an Indian wedding dress.

5.     Chunni a special scarf that’s placed on the bride’s head and her face is covered like a veil.

6.     Sindoor is a traditional vermilion red or orange-red coloured cosmetic powder worn by married Hindu women along the part of their hairline.