With love (and hopefully not COVID particles) in the air this month, it’s only natural that sentimental feelings would w(h)et the quill of many a student poet. To provide a platform for this creative expression – alongside Trin Times’ Open Mic night and The Trinity Review’s Winter journal launch planned for this month – Arts and Culture presents our second annual February poetry column.

Illustration credit: Sanjan Randhawa

Our contributors come from all across the newspaper, and they have written about a variety of topics (not exclusively romance) depending on how their individual muses have inspired them. The authors featured in this column chose to plumb the depths of their souls, introspect to their hearts’ content, and compose the most saccharine or melancholy verse you’ve read in a long time. Those Smiths albums have been collecting dust on the shelf all year, and evidently, they’ve finally been put to some use.

– Vikram Nijhawan, Senior Arts and Culture Editor


A Poet
By Gabriel Sanchez-Ortega, Arts and Culture Staff Writer

Deaf to your voice
Blind to your presence
Numb to your touch

Where is your music now?

Past midnight—
The lamp burnt out
From waiting;
The corpse of
an unstrung guitar;
Books that gave
No answer—

Some place, somewhere
A poet tunes his lute
To the sound of your voice


In Stilling Life
By Julliana (Yanni) Santos, Graphic Designer

An arrow split the sky
last night
and lodged itself within a chest—

and wood (and bone)
cried out in want
to bend to
bear the brittleness.

A needle-thing with feathered thread,
as something scarlet slowly blooms,
each fibre leading to the place
to pierce, take root,
immerse — entomb —

enrich. The arid, lifeless thing
is pierced by all the narrowness,
expanded as the arrow sings
its silent song,
its red caress

injecting raving, roving
blood, intoning roots
into the give

(it gave!) the solid,
stolid thing — it bled

to beat, to break,
to live.


A Literary Palette
By Vikram Nijhawan, Senior Arts and Culture Editor

Why is Sir Gawain’s adversary green?
The student does not know, but he speculates.
Musings scribbled down in Muji ink,
masonry disassembled into music,
his studies distilled into rainbow strands like

‘”blue’”. Such an ill-fitting descriptor for the ‘wine-dark’ sea
which the ancient Achaeans dared to cross amidst
fulminous storms and sloshing waves.
But once the siege and assault had ceased at Troy,
they searched for purpose at the end of the road.

It goes ever on, and on. Imagination:
LEGO blocks jaundiced by June sunlight,
linking over rock and under tree, never to reach the sea.
The idea that he could construct such a work
brings him back to the dorm where it began.

“My Future”. A loose-leaf page pinned to his roommate’s wall,
course codes etched in red span his next four years,
provide comfort and safety during an early winter snowfall.
The student’s only goal is to rip it to shreds,
to paralyze his peer with endless
choice.

How can he connect with
a thousand-year-old voice?
A December sky – violet.
One colour without noise.


Red Plains, Wild Hunt.
By Griffin Cullen-Norris, News Writer

Nothing has changed on the red plains.
Sentinels of fire and rock wax and wane
As icy night crawls over blazing day.

Clad in blood-red garbs the hunters form bands
In jagged forts to prowl the wastelands
They made with fire and steel in hand.

They mount snapping beasts who breathe steam
And brandish their weapons that still gleam
To fulfill ancient oaths they once believed.

They will give this land no respite.
War chants echo into the night
“Might makes right! Kill on sight!”

Their hunting grounds are picked clean.
What prey remains is exhausted and lean,
Sucking water from burnt roots on their knees.

The red hunters ride them down all the same
Shouting through frothing mouths at their game
As they did when prey still struck back in brighter days.

With barking laughter the hunters make their way
Back to their crooked lairs carrying bony game,
Leaving behind a lone hunter whose mount has lamed.

The rest fall into their beds grinning, thinking of their prey
As the freezing night is beaten back by warm day.
For them, nothing has changed on the red plains.


Sweetness in the Tinderbox
By Diana Kobetic, Arts and Culture Staff Writer

Tastes of bitter melon on sweeter tongues,
rinds piled up, dusty, in the corner of the hall.
Everything is hollowed out, emptied,
like the cold skins of last summer’s fruit,
scattered and left out to dry.

I reach a hand out to touch you and pull it back skeletal,
withered. Yellowed fingernails drop one by one to the floor.
The season’s fruit flies are found stuck to windshields and windowpanes,
eyes like millstones, like in the old stories.
Teacups blink and I am dashed to pieces,
falling to the earth.

The end is near, and sickly
bites.


You
By Mila Yarovaya, Co Editor-in-Chief

You take another sip of coffee
look through my eyes

maybe I’ve already turned
to dust, blending our bruises
I’m not sure
I care

You smile as if we hadn’t just survived
as if we won’t see hell, face thirty thousand wars
and I don’t care about the misheard gospels
about the ruins of our abandoned home
I’m simply counting the incisions on your hands
and watching how the fog wraps slowly round your fingers
and how our blood runs clear and never lingers
and how the world begins to Bleed
black, grey, and red
but never warm
Like the porcelain mug inside your hands


“Please do not touch anything. Thank you.”
By Saf Shams, Features and Op-Eds Staff Writer

we’re a bit like museums, youandi:
bits and pieces collected from here and ! there !
galleries filled with memories of yesterdays.

we keep a few precious relics stored___________________away,
where only
“TRUSTED PERSONNEL MAY ENTER.”

within us we keep some things whole
some things l_st, some b-r-o-k-n
and some things stolen.

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