Sultana Raza

Of Indian origin, Sultana Raza’s poems have appeared in 70+ journals, including Columbia Journal, The New Verse News, London Grip, Classical Poetry Society, spillwords, Poetry24, Dissident Voice, and The Peacock Journal. Her fiction has received an Honorable Mention in Glimmer Train Review, and has been published in Coldnoon Journal, Szirine, apertura, Entropy, and ensemble (in French). She has read her fiction/poems in India, Switzerland, France, Luxembourg, England, Ireland, the US, and at CoNZealand.

Her creative non-fiction has appeared in Literary Yard, countercurrents.org, Litro, impspired, pendemic.ie, Gnarled Oak, Kashmir Times, and A Beautiful Space. Her 100+ articles (on art, theatre, film, and humanitarian issues) have appeared in English and French. An independent scholar, Sultana Raza has presented many papers related to Romanticism (Keats) and Fantasy (Tolkien) in international conferences.

Millennial Blues Shoot Up

  In open virtual spaces are confined their jaunts.
 A classic wedding? Can’t commemorate?
 No casual restaurants can they now haunt,
 Pixels and bytes their hunger sate.
  
 For cereals and kids, teleworkers have no time,
 Don’t like to waste seconds cleaning up the fuss,
 Can’t spend on luxury without a dime.
 Is it safer to call uber, than take the old bus?
  
 Financial whizzes virus managed to stymie
 Old life-style have heartily dumped.
 Don’t care for motor-cycles, messy and grimy,
 Industry gurus, are completely stumped.
  
 Have binned ties, don’t care to shave,
 Caused old-time industries to collapse,
 Horrendous heavy metal gets many raves,
 Is schooling rounded or has Swiss cheese gaps? 

Quarantine Vignettes

 Chad has supported the beer industry
 In these terribly tiresome, trying times, 
 While Karin has run out of corners to clean.
  
 In a week John binge-watched series three
 In these terribly tiresome, trying times, 
 On FB Amy has more time to preen.
  
 Tim didn’t visit virtual museums with glee
 In these terribly tiresome, trying times, 
 Nor has he any free plays, or operas seen.
  
 Proposing at seventy Hugo bent knee,
 In these terribly tiresome, trying times, 
 They were married online by a priest in green.
  
 Of butter on bread, there’s no guarantee,
 In these terribly tiresome, trying times, 
 On clairvoyants Jay has become very keen.
  
 Mike’s fed and lodged in fancy hotel for free,
 In these terribly tiresome, trying times, 
 The quarantine’s brought back his eye’s sheen. 

Isolate the World and His Dog

 Baking bread for the first time,
 Gus and Vera simply had to let the FB world know how
 Good-intentioned, yet cutely bad they were 
 At all mundane kitchen-related tasks.
  
 House-hold help denied access to a posh Bombay flat.
 Horror of horrors, 32 years old Shamu has to actually cook.
 While Kabir with the best muscle power has to wash clothes,
 For the first time in his (free of menial chores) life.
  
 In Bru-stadt, Sheena watches her gums go
 From red to brown, but can’t risk going to a dentist
 In the emergency hospital, in case she’s grabbed, tested;
 Turns out to be a false positive, gets incarcerated uselessly.
  
 Christof complained about having to put his cross inside his shirt, 
 In college, and called the Bof-ville police. 
 The person with the hoody and the black mask 
 Turned to be a scared Muslim student of
 Ancient Greek Drama, but was moonlighting as an actress in
 The Nine Plagues of Egypt.
  
 ‘Nightmare’ doesn’t define it:
 Stuck with finicky in-laws 
 In a tiny flat in pricey Lux-ville,
 As they can’t go back to Bergamo
 For six months.
  
 Just to show how very like they are to the unwashed masses,
 Bollywood celebs get themselves filmed for all of 30 secs,
 Sweeping their closets, ironing their egos, or hanging gossip to dry.
 But the public ain’t buyin’ it.
  
 Cop, renting a kindly neighbour’s basement flat for free 
 Was finally forced to move out, or lose his job.
 If only she hadn’t entered the risky age zone last month. 

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