A very Happy New Year and welcome to Collection 3 of Crowstep Journal! We had hoped to publish this latest selection of work back in November but with the death of my father after some very difficult months, I have had to take a break from some of my beloved projects. However, reading everything again with fresh eyes and under new circumstances, I have discovered many new levels of insight shared by these 12 outstanding poets. It was also more than a little spooky to have gravitated to a collective theme of death and darkness or does the magic of poetry extend to preparing you for such events…you will see what I mean. Thank you to everyone who submitted and for your patience. As always it has been a very difficult task to showcase such a small sample of what we received but we feel we have managed to curate a diverse and balanced range of voices.
This is a collection of poems that reflect the light and dark of nuanced human experience; that reframes the ordinary, and twists and challenges our understanding of things. With each read, a new layer of magic, beauty, horror and sense of something I can’t describe but can very much feel through the power of the poetic form. I am left, a wiser and therefore more knowledgeable human being, not a knower of facts but a holder of instinct sharpened by the unique edge of the poet’s mind. If my father’s death was a celebration of his life, these poems are a carnival, a jubilee, a festival of brilliant black spewing out its many shades. The relative brevity of each piece of work is also something that particularly resonates. Minimum text, maximum impact, always leaves me thinking for days…weeks…years. They are easy to carry around for a long time, not dense in form yet you can pluck things out of them endlessly as from a Tardis.
My short eulogy at my father’s service was in the format of a poem from my first book which was an attempt to preserve family, ancestral and early memories. It was also printed in the Order of Service. Handy when you are struggling to speak let alone perform. But I truly felt I said everything I wanted to say, not just through words but through the range of emotions, sensations and imagery that poetry enables you to share in it’s beautifully compact little way. Crowstep Journal is a memorial project dedicated to my great, great grandfather and revolutionary Indian poet. In the Indian tradition ancestors are believed to return as crows. I now have one more crow to feed. I’ll feed him with letters and words.