Usha Kishore

Photograph: Courtesy Isle of Man Newspapers

Usha Kishore

Usha Kishore is an Indian born British poet, writer and translator. Usha now lives on the Isle of Man, UK, where she teaches English in a Secondary School. Usha’s poetry is internationally published and anthologised by Macmillan UK, Hodder Wayland UK, Oxford University Press (UK) and Harper Collins India, among others.

Usha is the winner of the Pre Raphaelite Poetry Prize (UK) in October 2013. Her work has been part of many international projects and is part of British Primary and Indian Middle School syllabus. The winner of an Isle of Man Arts Council Award and a Manx Heritage Foundation Award, Usha’s debut collection On Manannan’s Isle is forthcoming from dpdotcom, UK in February 2014. A book of translations from the Sanskrit, Translations of the Divine Woman is also forthcoming from Rasala Books, India in 2014.

Please visit Usha Kishore’s website:

Poseidon Temple, Poros

Resting on this isle of gentle breeze, bartered
by the gods, on the ghosts of Ionian column
and Doric awe, the remains of feet, whose liquid
tread once swayed the earth. The awful hand
that bore the brazen trident shakes no more
the swelling brine; no neighing trumpet to summon
the storm. Slumbering ruins stretch across the hill,
relics of his watery reign; this sanctuary for men
and gods in sculpted stone speaks of a legend
that stood and died – the last Olympian tide. The wind
whispers a tale or two, of a sacred league of tribes,
eroded by war and invading myth. Under the azure sky,
raising a bamboo chalice to his lips, airy Demosthenes
wanders the lemon groves, roaring above the waves.

{Acknowledging the Homeric and Orphic hymns to Poseidon – trans Evelyn-White & Taylor}

{The Greek island of Poros comprises of the northern part of Kalavria and the southern Sphairia. Kalavria, translated from Greek as “Gentle Breeze” is home to the ruins of the Poseidon Temple (dating back to 520 BCE), which functioned as an Amphictyonic League and a PanHellenic place of worship. According to Greek myth Apollo gave Kalavria to Poseidon, in exchange for Delphi. In 322 BCE, the Athenian orator, Demosthenes, sought sanctuary here from Philip, King of Macedonia. Demosthenes later committed suicide by drinking hemlock that he had concealed in bamboo, rather than fall into enemy hands.}

Cyprus Poem

{for Nora and Lily}

These poems printed and dropped
from the sky like spring rain; my own
verse floats from your photographs,
strung with oranges, Jaffa, Valencia,
Merlin. High above the streets,
Helium balloons in clementine,
plum and lime sing of harmony
and living together. I hum your words:
Make the city one, Nicosia is one city,
Cyprus is one country.

A woman stares out from the lone window
of a tall brick building. Outside, in the warm
breeze, poetry rains from balloons
that bridge a divided street. The sky kisses
the roofs and touches the quaint shops
that sell handmade lace, reed baskets
and painted ceramic shells that mirror
Aphrodite’s smile. The Arasta – Ledra
street is beautiful. I could wander
the side streets and compose poetry;
even miss you as you pass the citrus walls,
searching for peace on the cobbled path,
across the boundaries of language
and culture, embroidering your way
through gaps in the ethnic air.
I shall wait for you at the corner
with my Indian wares: mirrored silk,
turquoise beads and monsoon refrain.

What if I pluck a verse from among
the waxen leaves? It would scent
my hand in mandarin oil and orange
blossom. What if I sample the verse
that flies down from the smiling sky?
It would taste of the Mediterranean sun,
glazed in springtime Filfar.

As I read your words, as I write mine,
my eyes are wet with your dreams
that trickle down my cheeks:
Sharing, Tolerance, Respect,
One World, Same Future

Your dreams are now my words.

{This poem is in response to the Spring Poetry Rain, an event organised by Ideogramma, Cyprus, May 2012.}

For other contributions by Usha Kishore, please follow the link below:

Poetry in this post: © Usha Kishore
Photograph: Courtesy Isle of Man Newspapers
Published with the permission of Usha Kishore