“ON BHOPAL’S UPPER LAKE,” from PARALLEL INK, an international lit + art e-zine for students from 12-18 years old


by Devanshi Khetarpal

Each of us reads the water like a different loaf of bread
that’s been kept on the shelf;
bought two weeks ago
after much haggling.

Read rest of poem at Parallel Ink

Devansbi Khetarpal is a junior from Bhopal, India.

Parallel Lit is an international lit + art e-zine for students from 12-18 years old.  Find information on submitting to Parallel Lit here. 




Although it is night, I sit in the bathroom, waiting.
Sweat prickles behind my knees, the baby-breasts are alert.
Venetian blinds slice up the moon; the tiles quiver in pale strips.

Then they come, the three seal men with eyes as round
As dinner plates and eyelashes like sharpened tines.
They bring the scent of licorice. One sits in the washbowl,


Directed by
Guilherme Marcondes

Guilherme Marcondes and Andrezza Valentin
Inspired by William Blake’s “The Tyger”


The Tyger


Tyger Tyger, burning bright,
In the forests of the night;
What immortal hand or eye,
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?


In what distant deeps or skies.
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand, dare seize the fire?


And what shoulder, & what art,
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand? & what dread feet?


What the hammer? what the chain,
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? what dread grasp,
Dare its deadly terrors clasp!


When the stars threw down their spears
And water’d heaven with their tears:
Did he smile his work to see?
Did he who made the Lamb make thee?


Tyger Tyger burning bright,
In the forests of the night:
What immortal hand or eye,
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?

Barbie Doll

pTRU1-19291435enh-z6BARBIE DOLL

Marge Piercy

This girlchild was born as usual
and presented dolls that did pee-pee
and miniature GE stoves and irons
and wee lipsticks the color of cherry candy.
Then in the magic of puberty, a classmate said:
You have a great big nose and fat legs.

Read rest of poem at PoemHunter

Read Ashli Bynum’s letter to Marge Piercy about this poem here.  It won an award in the Library of Congress “Letters about Literature” contest in 2011.


Don’t Call Me “Refugee” -My Name is Lamiya

In English, “refugee” means a person who is searching for protection and safety-a shelter from danger. The same word, “gachgin” [pronounced gotch-GIN], in the Azeri language also carries with it the idea of “runner,” meaning a person who has run away from something-a person who isn’t brave and didn’t try to fight but just ran away. But Lamiya knew that wasn’t true. And that’s why she started crying when they called her “refugee, refugee”. She also knew that the kids wouldn’t understand what she had lived through. It was too different from their own lives.

From  Don’t Call Me “Refugee” -My Name is Lamiya, by Betty Blair

Don’t Call Me Refugee
by Lamiya Safarova, 9

My life, my destiny
Has been so painful, so don’t call me refugee.
My heart aches, my eyes cry,
I beg of you, please don’t call me “refugee”.

It feels like I don’t even exist in the world,
As if I’m a migrant bird far away from my land
Turning back to look at my village.
I beg of you, please don’t call me “refugee”.

Read rest of poem (published in Spring, 1999) in Azerbaijan International