move by Kashiana Singh (MY FRONT DOOR Series)

this one is so special – the lovely door series at Silver birch press our current time makes it even more special.

Silver Birch Press

Singh - Doors 1move
to go in a specified direction change position
by Kashiana Singh

are we not all in exile—
learning to exit doors

Many times, have we moved
goodbye to people at doorways
from the back of a car to friends, dogs
forlorn, following us as they tripped along
maybe just because days were so lazy then
people stood and waved at their front doors

we moved, were removed from doors
entered new doors, watched shut doors
we tiptoed around each other, as we packed
gathered our chaos, contexts
that had
settled and scattered around us

Stay with me—
as I move through doors
and into doors
of my childhood years

Years of saved amends left at the front door
in attics, almirahs—locked boxes
some zippered bags, tightly sealed
layered with desiccant packets

Years of mom opening the front door
sores hidden within brick and mortar
strewn into…

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NaPoWriMo 2020 – We are Serving Up Essays!

NAPO Other Pages

It’s National Poetry Month and a few of us are bringing to short, readable, illustrated, essays at your doorstep every day.

The very diligent Steve Spandouis curates these articles with contributions from Bob Blair Robin Martin BerardHoward Miller and myself this year.

I have one up about Writing in times of Unease – Anne Boyer and The Undying


You can follow all the articles on


or as always, in the center column on the home page at


2019 Writing References – Kashiana Singh

Links and References – Archives 

Feminine Collective

Poets Reading the News

Muse India

Visual Verse

TurnPike Magazine

Local Train Magazine

the delhiwalla blog

The Punch Magazine

Modern Literature






Humans of Varanasi

My review of Vivek Nath Mishra’s – BirdSongs of Love and Despair featured in The January Edition of The Bengaluru Review

Humans of Varanasi

’The collection of stories is independent that they can be pulled open on any one page and read as nuggets to be savored on their own, yet are interdependent in that they cross boundaries to become a setting for the “Humans of Varanasi”,’ writes Kashiana Singh.

The cover of Birdsongs of Love and Despair like most of Hawakal Publisher covers has a photograph of the ghats that directs the gaze inwards. To the cover, here is my reflection –

fidgety nightfall
parched sparrow fluttered
lingering ghats


The witchcraft of daughters and mothers

sanah mansi

Kidnapping you for a day, away

From the dailiness, of duties

I walk with you outward, outward

Into a brewery of chamomile

I disentangle my roman locks

From the twists and turns of me

My own encounters, I walk with you

deliberately, kidnapping you for a day


I walk with you, Sanah, side by side

You who withstood, every stomping

Raging encounter, a witch hunt

Along fault-lines of seismic paths

We dance under elder trees, afflicted

Fruits and seeds fall, a gushing oeuvre

An insatiable feast of perseverance


Standing still, I hold your hand

You, Mansi, retaught me, lessons

of possibilities, proof of being

Wise alongside being a lover

Guiding each other to make

Recipes in tender stirring pots

Of unhurried, unspoken ways


Brewed into a cauldron of yarrow

Dusk settles in, I wrap my shawl, its

Paisley patterns tumbling, stumbling

I walk home, a residue lingers in the air

I hear a rumbling, the clouds pass, pause

You, your sounds are my stories, my reason



You don’t need anything, you say
You always brush me aside when I ask
So I decided to will you my own will

A will that is made of the potent residue

That stays after our anatomy is distilled

So here it is Papa, a few non-gifts

from me, condensed into a will

Bite-sized and neatly labeled like

on square pillboxes; no excuses.


My name, which you had found for me
When I squealed, an ugly tadpole, on a wintry night in

The shadows of a hill town, birthed by a stern spectacle in white coats

I will to your immaculately starched self-control, as you stood in your uniform all night

Uncharacteristic, yet in duteous adherence to the doctor’s instructions.


My equivalence, which you fed beaten into curd and sugar, for good luck
When I wept, in fear of my own fluttering heart, shrugging away silences

Unshackling my shyness into a voice that unfolded, glistening on stage and board rooms

I will to your open-ended questions, sharply reflecting answers on rhythmic shine

of brown wingtips on your brogues, with each step, you marched thunder into my path.


My notebooks, all the unused ones I have gathered and inscribed with a
Date, place, and name for wherever they happened to have found me

At book holes, train stations, airports, friendships, tchotchkes, pick-me up’s

I will to those extraordinary situations when you find the exact impeccable word

As it situates itself, arms folded across your chest; feet crossed, left shaking slightly


My broken sentences, that you have called poems and I believed you. Until
I realized they were not, a poem has a method, and mine were just pieces and
parts I found lurking in corners of me, weeds that exited cracks of my masonry

I will to stories once pinned to the crest medal bar of your glorious years

Irreplaceable stories, that must be salvaged into steaming pots of evening stews



@copyright kashiana

Contemplating Nanak


The tree you sit beneath grows away from its own rituals

it sheds leaves, weaving into the forest, an immense song

of mindfulness,

as the universe grows luminescent to Maradana’s profuse music

every tree a Sufi holds her storms still

as your breath composes hymns, your smile unaltered

the sky a meditation, in awe of your ascetic hardiness, unburdened

ecstatic, the birds follow you on your udaasis

contemplative they learn the language of your travels, your

congregations write stories into the hooves of your horses

nomads along the playful Indus, are a chorus with you Nanak

in rapt attention, the earth is an exquisite honeycomb

it swells with wasps of curiosity and collected words

children skip along your doorways, finding answers you leave behind

you simply savor each blessed dawn and walking dusk

as reminiscences narrate themselves into your days


You were of permission

You were of the equinox

You submerged into the Other

You were of seen fleetingly, stayed forever

O’ Nanak, of being worship in ordinary

O’ Nanak of playfulness in redemption

O’ Nanak of asking, seeking, receiving


O’ Nanak, may we allow ourselves to travel like you

plough through the most difficult terrains of our search

continue to gain humility along your ebbing udaasis

sprinkle our morning dew with your enigmatic saakhi’s

witness every petal as it drips color into unspoken questions

fill prayer bowls with golden morsels of suspended poems


@copyright kashiana

picture from the internet

My turban, is Sandeep


when the traffic stop

is empty

of egos

assumptions and

banalities, and talk

and talk

and construction of

hero’s on 6 o clock



my blue turban rests proud

fiercely clasped together

each fold a time stamp

an assimilation of stories


as my head fell to a

nameless shadow,

gently, it fell

very carefully

to allow my turban

to stay still wrapped

wrap after

after wrap

after wrap

7 meters of blue

in a tidy wrap, still

my jewel, my crown

brandishing it as

it ebbed to the earth

my blue turban

postures proud, still wrapped

stubborn like me, a blue

provocation on that street

just where my swagger

plunged and lay, fallen

caught in the trap

of another coward

at a traffic stop


I want you to know

my blue turban nestles


still wrapped

stubborn like me

not dead, it is



*Sandeep = enlightened one