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Shelly Bryant with The Lined Palm

I’m not a poet, but I love the bite of a poem, the tooth-someness of it, how a bite-sized portion turns out to be a feast.

Been reading the slim volume of poetry The Lined Palm by Shelly Bryant, a gift from her. 

 And as I read her lines again and yet again before I begin my own writing day (I find my writing flows smoother if I read a few snatches of poetry before), I’m taken down small, curving, wooded paths of imagination, and wonder.

It is such a joy to have a cup of tea in hand, watch a sunlit balcony and let the mind wander. I like daydreaming, as I think you may have gathered from my last post!

Maybe that’s what speculative poetry is all about?


Simurgh by Rachael Mayo.

through the third destruction
one survivor emerges
on coppery wings she flies
in her beak a broken serpent
on her back the world’s weight
in her eye the wisdom of the ages
from her breast seedlings
onto the charred earth bestowed

~ Shelly Bryant.

It made me think of this benevolent mythical Persian bird Shelly describes here, and long for it, this bird that is female, a mammal with teeth, always a mother, large enough to carry an elephant or whale. I watch all the craziness and destruction and hatred in our world and wish our prayers and energies together would form a Simurgh– and she would make everything all right.

I found this wonderful depiction of the Simurgh by Rachael Mayo— and I think from the poem and the image, I already have this giant, wise ancient bird now inhabiting my subconscious.

Buy Shelly Bryant‘s The Lined Palm here.
Buy Rachael Mayo‘s work here.

Do you read poetry? What sort of poetry do you like? Do you ever look for connections between poetry and art? Heard of the Simurgh before?

Damyanti Biswas

Damyanti Biswas is the author of You Beneath Your Skin and numerous short stories that have been published in magazines and anthologies in the US, the UK, and Asia. She has been shortlisted for Best Small Fictions and Bath Novel Awards and is co-editor of the Forge Literary Magazine. Her literary crime thriller series, the Blue Mumbai, is represented by Lucienne Diver from The Knight Agency. Both The Blue Bar and The Blue Monsoon were published in 2023.

I appreciate comments, and I always visit back. If you're having trouble commenting, let me know via the contact form, or tweet me up @damyantig !

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