Featured Poetry

Hari B Khalsa – Three Poems

These three poems by Hari B Khalsa were written as part of a larger series in the early days of the Coronavirus pandemic. They chronicle the small and large moments of a woman’s days, expressing what was experienced as both real and earthly, as well as addressing the internal, the spirit, the imagination that takes flight on the wings of birds.

She Hasn’t Found

She hasn’t found 
the truth the crow
knows, it’s cocky 

sway and razor sheen—
binds more kinship 
with the basking seals

on her western shore, 
bellies pressed 
to warm sand, eyes 

to the sea. There’s no 
divining the tides 
on her map. Across 

her chest a line 
is drawn. Is she claw 
or cupped palm, 

should she startle
and fly or close 
both eyes and wait?

She Stands at the Crossroads

She stands at the crossroads 
of her rage, decides 
whether to shoot it

black out of a cannon 
or fold it, tuck it 
neatly into her breast

pocket and bring it home
with her. Instead 
she gnaws off

the smallest bit 
to carry into her future,
like the pungent

sting of cayenne—
sets the rest
down in the middle

of the road, 
leaves it for the crows, 
circling vultures.

She Walks Barefoot

She walks barefoot 
in the dark 
over stones placed 

on the path 
a hundred years ago, 
searches for a sliver 

of light, someone
to take her in, seat
her at their table, 

give her food. It’s 
a dream, she knows,
still she weeps 

when she wakes—
yearns to be the one 
on that precipitous 

night to open 
the door 
and let her in.

Hari B Khalsa

Hari B Khalsa’s poems have appeared in over fifty publications. Her chapbook Life In Two Parts was selected as a finalist in the 2009 Main Street Rag Chapbook Competition. Her full-length book of poems Talk of Snow was published in 2015 by Walrus Books. Her second chapbook She Speaks to the Birds at Night While They Sleep winner of the Tebot Bach Clockwise Chapbook Contest is scheduled to be released June 2021. She has been a fellow at the Hambidge Center for the Creative Arts and Sciences and Associate Artist at the Atlantic Center for the Arts. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, working as a partner in their healing center. Website: haribpoet.com

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