Voices Within: Shailja Sharma

Shailja Sharma is a multi-lingual author and a mental health provider. Her poetry book, “Dear Mama: An Immigrant’s Secret Cry,” is under publication with Setu, and several books are upcoming (e.g., a poetry collection on mindfulness with ABP Press). Apart from her scholarly publication/editorial service, her poetry has been widely published and anthologized published nationally and internationally. Recent credits: Spillwords, Literary Heist, Piker Press, Better Than Starbucks, Life in 10, Masticadores, and elsewhere. Her Hindi poetry is published in newspapers/literary/scholarly magazines. Recent Credits: Sahityanama, Delhi Navodit Sahitya Manch, Sahitya Kalash, Amar Ujala, and elsewhere. She is awarded special literary honors for her writing contributions.

Just As

With a bamboo stick and a gallon of ink
With an injured stature and much blood
We sang songs of
Petals that could have been roses
Sounds that could have been music
Wombs that could have produced
The boy that never became a man
With a fuller stature and a clearer image
We now sing songs of birds that
Perch freely on roses
Because memories are important
As long as they let birds fly and soar
Not when they pull them back
And put them in confines
Leave the memory and
Smell and sip and live the rose
The day looks just as it was meant to be


Many words are wasted 
But much is left unsaid
Appetizers vanishing quickly as youth 
Thirsty souls sipping restlessly
Empty bottles rattling in loud music
Egos dancing on many tunes 
Bodies too
Needles of the clock racing round and round
Time to empty plates
Time to settle floating thoughts
Time to patch up conflicts 
Time to rest egos and dancing feet
Before the sun cracks up the dark sky 
Party must end 
Make-up will be wiped off of face and soul
Shimmering satins and jewels will let loose 
Ties will come off from necks and hearts 
So will the body 
The party is ending and I must leave
My ride awaits out the door 
I must walk out this venue 
Party must end

Wild Night

Night's wild locks are open
Stars like sparkling hairpins
Trying to tuck them in
Youthful night will end
Into a clear day
Clear of mystery
Clear of the night’s beauty and charm
Naked to stark reality
The day pure like death
Will stand and stare through
No matter how much the sky
Sparkles all night

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