The Black Silk Route, a poem by Ranjana Sharan Sinha


Photograph courtesy of RezviMasood under CC BY-SA 4.0 license
Poverty is the worst form of violence.” Mahatma Gandhi, Indian political and spiritual leader

Out of the old
sepia-tinted tableau
frozen in my mind,
smoky and blurred,
the bubbly boy
leaps into life amid

tons of skinny children
swarming out of mudhouses
and running behind our blue car
giggling and shouting
in specks of dust!
He hardly knew then
that he was a child
created without a destiny!
Unfolding of years
made him struggle hard:
Too little food,
Long hours of work!
Poverty like a woodpecker
hammered into the
tender tree of his body:
Disadvantaged and
out-of-school the boy
suffered timeless traumas!
Sick and sorrowful
he was a drawning self–
Arms flailing!
Water splashing!
Many times he spoke
with God and prayed desperately,
but his prayers went unanswered!
Then with ascending hands
he looked at the skies–
The clouds were changing colours
like a furious warty chameleon:
White, grey, blue-grey, black–
Yes, black and dark masses
racing and roiling!
He wished to grab the
freedom and power–
Cyclopean and relentless!
An avalanche
of anguish and anger,
A giant stride
from the known to the unknown,
A metamorphosis
that transformed
Beige into Black!
© 2020, Ranjana Sharan Sinha
DR. RANJANA SHARAN SINHA is a professor of English by profession and a poet by passion, Dr. Ranjana Sharan Sinha is a well-known voice in Indian poetry in English.She is an author and a critic,too. Her poems have been included in the university syllabus prescribed for M.A.(English) 4 semester.Poems, fictions and research papers published at national and international levels in highly acclaimed dailies, magazines,e-zines,archives and journals both in print and online.Received a number of awards for her contribution to literature from recognized institutions and publishing houses.She has the privilege of receiving accolade from the former President of lndia, A.P.J. Abdul Kalam for her poem ‘Mother Nature’. Authored and published 07 books in different genres and 50 research papers. The books are:1.Spring Zone (A collection of Poems and Haiku)2. Midnight Sun (A Collection of short stories) 3. Nature in the Poetry of William Wordsworth and Sumitra Nandan Pant  (Criticism)4. Feminism:Times and Tides (A historiographical and theoretical commentary on feminism)5. Different Dimensions (A compilation of research papers)6.Scents and Shadows( A collection of 70 poems)7. Rhymes for Children.Presented papers in a number of national and international conferences and seminars.Associated with many literary associations and global poetry groups. Research supervisor RTM Nagpur University, Nagpur. Lives in Nagpur, India.

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“Every pair of eyes facing you has probably experienced something you could not endure.”  Lucille Clifton


“There was an old belief that in the embers
Of all things their primordial form exists,
And cunning alchemists
Could re-create the rose with all its members
From its own ashes, but without the bloom,
Without the lost perfume
Ah me! what wonder-working, occult science
Can from the ashes in our hearts once more
The rose of youth restore?
What craft of alchemy can bid defiance
To time and change, and for a single hour
Renew this phantom-flower?”
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Thanks to Aprilia for the introduction to Ranjana, a new-to-me poet. It’s an introduction I think you’ll appreciate as well. / J.D.
In my journey through life,
I reach an alien territory–
The scarlet gulmohars
with their flamboyant flames
fall on the ground:
A sense of fall silently comes!
Saddened by
‘ the touch of earthly years’
A boundless ocean forced along
by the winds of halcyon days,
surges up within me,
provoking nostalgia!
Behind the morphing
face and body,
I look for my lost self:
A woman without
lines or signs of aging–
Vibrant and agile,
appears before me.
I try to loop my
arms through hers,
but she flies and goes forever
making me feel like
A mass of rocks
after recent rainfall:
Oh, the pleasant petrichor persists!
My bygone days like
pale effervescent wine
hiss in the flute of
my advancing years,
whispering with the mesmerising bubbles!
– Dr. Ranjana Sharan Sinha
© 2019, poem in English and German, Ranjana Sinha

Sie ist für immer verschwunden!

Auf meiner Reise durch das Leben

Erreiche ich eine fremde Landschaft –

Die scharlachroten Flammenbäume

mit ihren strahlenden Farben

fallen zu Boden:

Ein Gefühl von Herbst nähert sich leise!


Betrübt von

“der Berührung der irdischen Jahre”

Spüre ich ein inneres Grollen –

Ein grenzenloser Ozean gezwungen

bei den Sturmwinden der halkyonischen Tage,

strömt in mir empor,

überschwemmt mich mit Nostalgie


Hinter der Verwandlung

von Gesicht und Körper,

auf der Suche nach meinem verlorenen Ich:

Eine Frau ohne

Falten oder Zeichen des Alterns –

Flink und lebensfroh,

erscheint vor mir.


Ich versuche, ihre Arme


mit meinen zu umklammern

aber sie fliegt und verschwindet für immer

und ich fühle mich wie

ein Haufen von Steinen

nach frischem Regen:

Oh, der liebliche Petrichor verweilt!


Meine vergangenen Tage wie

heller, schäumender Champagner,

zischen in der Schaumweinflöte

meiner zunehmenden Jahre,

und flüstern

mit bezaubernden Perlen!

– Dr. Ranjana Sharan Sinha

Translated by Dr. Aprilia Zank

DR. RANJANA SHARAN SINHA is a former professor in English at Shree Binzani City College, Nagpur, Maharashtra (India) and is well- known poet, author and literary critic. Dr. Sinha’s PhD thesis was on ” Sri Aurobindo and the Epic tradition”. She is a recognised voice in Indian Poetry in English and has received an accolade from the former President of India A.P.J. Abdul Kalam for her poem “ Mother Nature”.

Dr. Shinha’s poems, short stories, articles and research papers published in reputed dailies, magazines, e-zines and archives at national and international levels.Her poems have found place in prestigious Sahitya Akademi’s journal lndian Literature and international anthogies.Authored and published 06 books in different genres and 50 research papers.The books are:1.Spring Zone (Collection of Poems and Haiku); 2. Midnight Sun ( Collection of Short Stories); 3. Nature in the Poetry of William Wordsworth and Sumitra Nandan Pant ( Criticism); 4. Feminism: Times and Tides ( Historiographical and theoretical  commentary on Feminism covering eleven chapters) 5. Different Dimensions (Compilation of Research Papers) 6. Scents and Shadows ( Collection of Poems) 7. Rhymes for Children ( Collection of rhymes- to be published).Completed  UGC-sponsored MRP on comparative literature.

Dr. Shinha has received awards for her outstanding contributions to literature: Best Poet Award by Poets International, Bangalore; Rashtriya Pratibha Samman by Akhil Bhartiya Sahitya Sangam,Udaipur; Best Citizens of lndia by lnternational Publishing House, New Delhi; T.G.Deshmukh Best Teacher Award by Nagpur Shikshan Mandal, Nagpur; Brij Sahityamani Samman by Brajlok Sahitya-Kala-Sanskriti Academy, Agra; Hindi Bhasha Bhushan by Shri Govind Hindi Seva Samiti, Muradabad; Chitransh Kul Bhaskar Samman, Bilaspur(CG); Felicitated at lnternational Poetry Festival, Guntur.Featured poet of Pentasi B World Friendship Poetry 2019.

She is associated with a number of literary organisations and Poetry groups.Presented papers in many national and international seminars and conferences.Research Supervisor,RTM Nagpur University.

DR. APRILIA ZANK is a lecturer for Creative Writing and Translation Theory from Germany. She received her PhD degree in Literature and Psycholinguistics for her thesis THE WORD IN THE WORD Literary Text Reception and Linguistic Relativity, at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, where she started her academic career as a lecturer. She is also a poet, a translator and the editor of two anthologies: the English–German anthology poetry tREnD Eine englisch-deutsche Anthologie zeitgenössischer Lyrik, LIT Verlag, Germany, 2010, and the anthology POETS IN PERSON at the Glassblower (Indigo Dreams Publishing, UK, 2014).

Aprilia writes verse in English and German, and was awarded a prize at the “Vera Piller” Poetry Contest in Zurich. Her poetry collection, TERMINUS ARCADIA, was 2nd Place Winner at the Twowolvz Press Poetry Chapbook Contest 2013. BAREFOOT TO ARCADIA, her bilingual collection of poems translated in Telugu by the eminent Indian poet and translator Dr. L. S. R. Prasad. was launched in 2018 in Hyderabad, India.

Aprilia has received wide recognition in both western and eastern countries for her merits and achievements. She is active in many literary and artistic groups, a frequent judge in poetry and photography competitions, and a member of the editorial boards of advisors of prestigious literary platforms such as Our Poetry Archive (OPA), Sahitya Anand Literary Journal and Athena, Journal on Humanities and Social Sciences. In 2018, she was awarded the title “Dr. Aprilia Zank – Germany Beat Poet Laureate”, by the National Beat Poetry Foundation (USA).

Aprilia is also a passionate photographer. To her, photography means the attempt to get a new insight into the essence of things. She has organised many photography exhibitions at the Ludwig Maximilian University and other cultural centres in Munich. Many of her images are prize winners and have been selected for poetry book covers.






Poet and writer, I was once columnist and associate editor of a regional employment publication. I currently run this site, The Poet by Day, an information hub for poets and writers. I am the managing editor of The BeZine published by The Bardo Group Beguines (originally The Bardo Group), a virtual arts collective I founded.  I am a weekly contributor to Beguine Again, a site showcasing spiritual writers. My work is featured in a variety of publications and on sites, including: Levure littéraure, Ramingo’s PorchVita Brevis Literature,Compass Rose, Connotation PressThe Bar None GroupSalamander CoveSecond LightI Am Not a Silent PoetMeta / Phor(e) /Play, and California Woman. My poetry was recently read byNorthern California actor Richard Lingua for Poetry Woodshed, Belfast Community Radio. I was featured in a lengthy interview on the Creative Nexus Radio Show where I was dubbed “Poetry Champion.”

The BeZine: Waging the Peace, An Interfaith Exploration featuring Fr. Daniel Sormani, Rev. Benjamin Meyers, and the Venerable Bhikkhu Bodhi among others

“What if our religion was each other. If our practice was our life. If prayer, our words. What if the temple was the Earth. If forests were our church. If holy water–the rivers, lakes, and ocean. What if meditation was our relationships. If the teacher was life. If wisdom was self-knowledge. If love was the center of our being.” Ganga White, teacher and exponent of Yoga and founder of White Lotus, a Yoga center and retreat house in Santa Barbara, CA

“Every pair of eyes facing you has probably experienced something you could not endure.” Lucille Clifton