Article - 5 (5.2)


 Teesta Review: A Journal of Poetry, Volume 5, Number 2. November 2022. ISSN: 2581-7094

Ring out your notes of Triumph

-- SunilSharma, Robert Maddox-Harle, and Jaydeep Sarangi

Editorial Note: This article presents a poetic sequence resulting from the collaborative efforts of Sunil Sharma (India) Robert Maddox-Harle (Australia) Jaydeep Sarangi (India). The first section is by Sunil, the second (after asterisks) by Rob, and the third (after asterisks) by Jaydeep.


Triumph may be of several kinds.
There's triumph in the room
When that old imperator, Death,
By faith is overcome.
(Emily Dickinson)


Note One:

 …Then the Covid-19 swooped down taking the Phoenician sailor by surprise in the Grand Bazaar, Istanbul, where he was hunting for rubies for his Byzantine mistress; different timescales/timelines colliding fast in the same moment of realization that time can fuse as a seamless entity in its spiritual domain, glimpsed as a single thread; the deaths were there and panic global, rampant, and the sailor thought he was back in the Black Death years, as an Elizabethan, then walking through the Eliot Wasteland and an Algerian, in the Plague of Camus.

Sometimes, triumph comes in many forms, nationalities, geographies, experiences and ages but at its core, remains simple, similar – nothing can beat human spirit, despite grim-faced death stalking!

As he defeated – dying –

On whose forbidden ear

The distant strains of triumph

Burst agonized and clear!

(Emily Dickinson)


Note Two:

 Defeated but not down!

 That is how she said. And


The morning was grey

and mood sombre. The results were

grim. But

she laughed, oh! These medical reports!

I will bounce back, sure, soon.


They knew the reality which was not unknown to



And, when she was brought back home,

On the stretcher, in a white sheet

the eyes, although closed


and face wane,

still strongly suggested

the contours of a frozen

faint smile!






The notes of Triumph must play-on

calling us to rise above the mire,

above Camus’ absurdity of life!



My glass is always half-full

always never, half-empty,

when in doubt I recall Grandma’s adage:

“I complained because I had no shoes,

until I met a man who had no feet!”

Walking on, barefoot, carefully

slowly through the Lantana of life,

rising above the mud, Lotus-like

to hear the sounds of Triumph.


Each day I hear these sounds,

bees gathering nectar from the flowers,

the birdsong heralding the break of day

rain drops tinkling the ground,

little notes of Triumph all around.


Sing and rejoice with these,

the miracles of nature calling.





Triumph of the Home


I try to think of home

where my feet are

door after door

with a key that is not.


I travel between joy and more joy

Not understanding what to grow into myself.


Dense jungle and deep water

White mountains and smart springs

My legs know them all.


My daughter has a question,

‘Where is the window?’

I see one there, aging one

in the distance, where

The forest queen sits. My daughter

Takes me for a ride every month

beyond my failures and success.


The house has become a home

for minds, words and more words

stitching them into a full song!








Come, my comet


by Sunil Sharma (India) Robert Maddox-Harle (Australia) Jaydeep Sarangi (India)

Be my comet!

Lead me across the blue-orange-red

territory by your brilliance, a tail illuminating

your pathway across the clear heavens;

the ice and dust and sun producing

a solar system spectacle

so spectacular

that mesmerized the astronauts, poets and priests

the effect documented by these

in lines, lyrical, numinous, deathless;


the Blessed Eyes from Stratford-upon-Avon recorded these

time-defying lines for the Elizabethans and posterity:


Comets, importing change of times and states,
Brandish your crystal tresses in the sky

How true! How mystical!
The celestial dance reveals
the mysteries of the universe
and the Prime Mover who goes by many names
in many centuries, countries and cultures,
across time-space continuum

You, be my comet,

energize my feeble body

and inspire me to float on the sea of darkness

towards that spot far off on the


woken up by the pink dawn


a distant destination that beckons the ceaseless travellers,

every age –

 a place, well-lit!




the celestial dance holds secrets

darkness an enigmatic veil.

Hale-Bopp – Halleys – 21Borisov

thrill and explode our ignorance.

21Borisov come again soon

to expose our genesis

arcane screts of interstellar time-travel.


Hale-Bopp’s firey fly-by

an omen for some,
“Heaven’s Gate” knocked on heaven’s door!

Hale-Bopp’s earlier firey fly-by

a portend of Mark Twain’s exit.

What about Halley’s spectacle?

What about Nibiru’s rogue child?

The end of earth is nigh,

a conspiracy theory regurgitated by idiocy.


Rosetta and Deep Impact

astonishingly accurate probes

guided by Nasa and the ESA

visited Comet 76P and 9P/Tempel

to unveil the mysteries of our solar system.


But my comet’s mysteries remain,

malefic, benefic, benign?

icey, firey and awe inspiring!




Come, mysterious comet

Heart is raining,

I go down life’s burning pyre.

Stellar amnesia, without light

tossing of light particles,

breaking the brittle stones

mourning for thirteen days

draining, ugly. Warp.


Injured butterflies,

breathing hard in fishing nets

losing all chroma, long tails

with the rhythm of the sun.


Solar distance opens its mouth.

Slush groans and narratives are

cursive letters in the moonlit darkness.


The playful insect's orange aqua-marine hue

Is a lovely spectacle to view


My heart leaving family fables

and the thesaurus of silence

tirelessly seeks the old sun.


My home of thoughts gives birth

somewhere, beyond this starry ward.






by Sunil Sharma (India) Robert Maddox-Harle (Australia) Jaydeep Sarangi (India)

A river springs up 

and runs its full course

within a heart aching for

the Old River that once flowed

near a village of childhood,

now gone forever;


Both the rivers – real

and felt-imagined

converge and fuse into

a single sparkling source

of inspiration, hymns and songs


...and the fresh


spills across the computer screen

in words, 






Then the ancestor spirits materialise

protectors of the silent flowing,

Big River country

home of the Bundjalung people

custodians of this ancient land.

The river to them also real,

and imagined,

flowing in parallel dimensions

accessible to the initiated.


Flow on river – flow!


The sacred river merges with the sea,

a liminal zone where mermaids play,

where dolphins break the surface

cruising the calm waters

then surfing the crashing waves,

always smiling with their arcane secrets.





When you are anonymous, nobody knows you

Nobody reads your rise and fall, nobody prints your poems.

My Dulung, if you allow me to speak, let me say,

No one is anonymous. People run after his name.


All rivers are caregivers, mothers.


All are busy with painting their houses.

My home town, its green monsoons

Red soils, ancient temples and fellow bards

Near the banks of Dulung I hear a local owl’s late cry

In the bare earth my ancestors rest in peace.

I choose a place, call it native

You are my brother. I am your river

Of life flowing downstream.

Carrying history, languages

Of our land, your land and my people.

Connected by a river flowing through the hearts

My friends at Lismore or in Mumbai

Hold a blue lid, never frayed at its rims.

I gather its silence. My Dulung is heavy with

Seasonal weariness, a stillness my father showed

once holding my fingers tight. There hung

a darkness, I only want to renew myself.

 The river flows through the gates

I visit the ghats of the Ganges, prayers

mingle at the Murray Mouth.



Love, multi-headed!


by Sunil Sharma (India) Robert Maddox-Harle (Australia) Jaydeep Sarangi (India)


And they were talking of love

in the PG classroom of a colonnaded college

situated some in-between space of coloniality, post-coloniality and neo-colonialism;

a recitation of Donne

in Indian accents,

notions of the British love via the Bard and TS Eliot,

the Indian connection lost amid daffodils and tulips;


These immortal lines hovering as old mists over landscapes metaphysical, modern and waste-landish:


And if no piece of chronicle we prove,
We’ll build in sonnets pretty rooms;
As well a well-wrought urn becomes
The greatest ashes, as half-acre tombs,
And by these hymns, all shall approve
Us canonized for Love.


– this Valentine's Day, shops are selling cards and balloons,

red, heart-shaped, with discounts;

he is texting a love who is texting someone else,

Starbucks is full in Mumbai,

couples searching for places to settle down

and discuss love, new millennium, second decade;


– and this mid-morning call about the interview in Bandra

about a low-skill, low pay job, tomorrow,

that will keep hunger at bay and make them toil for the capital,

all their humdrum lives!





Love is a mysterious four letter word …..

glorifying the love of God,

securing love of King and Country,

exalting qualities of lovers,

spawning an abundance of writing ….

words and words and words.


Doctor Zhivago watching Lara board the train,

Romeo pining outside Juliet’s window,

“Here’s looking at you kid!”

immortal lines and scenes

heart rending images and impressions,

heart aches and tears

reinforcing what it is to be human.


Robots can walk and talk and dance,

machines can think and draw and kill

but they cannot feel!

they cannot love!

they cannot harbour broken hearts!

hearts torn mercilessly from their moorings.

people with hearts of stone become machine-like

heads, hatred, greed and violence rule,

love is, “a total explosion of the heart.”






When Hearts Court


Life’s river flows through hearts

Red brings more red in it.


Meanwhile, December rain disappears

My heart is heavy, men come and go.


Happiness is dancing joyously

 on long wires like a rope - dancer.


Weather rolls on. My dearest

meets me near the old temple.


My friend move, stand near the bank

of a river, always a caregiver


She draws downpour from afar

manifesting life’s promises in myriad hues


She is the splinter of sleep, minds court on bed.

Happiness sparkles all the more bright under unseen clouds.


Interliminal Encounters: Indian and Australian writers in po(i)etic dialogue, eds Amelia Walker and Aden Burg