By Yogesh Patel
To the undertakers
A preview of myself is
a hidden mirror in a selfie mirror.
I have always been brutal
on the soliloquising Houdini!
Yet, I have kept vultures
at bay in this Dakhma.
The undertakers have always risen
from their graves to offer flowers.
sings, ‘mere pyare vatan’
from a black-and-white movie
while mine boasts Technicolor
a rendition, a pretence of hope!
I forget this is a mirror.
I’ll exchange flowers for stones.
‘Go on, break this mirror.’
Yogesh Patel has received MBE for literature in the Queen’s New Year Honours list 2020. Internationally celebrated, he edits Skylark and runs Skylark Publications UK as well as a non-profit Word Masala project to promote South-Asian diaspora literature. Previously he has received the Freedom of the City of London. With LP records, films, radio, children’s book, fiction and non-fiction books, and three poetry collections to his credit, he is a recipient of many awards, including an honour in April 2019 at the New York University as a Poet-of-Honor. Amidst many venues, he has read in the House of Lords and at the National Poetry Library.
His writing has appeared in many important literary journals, including PN Review, The London Magazine, Asia Literary Review, Under the Radar, Shearsman, IOTA, Envoi, Understanding, Orbis, The Book Review, Confluence, on BBC TV and Radio, in newspapers, and more. His work also features in The National Curriculum anthology, MacMillan, Sahitya Akademi, and numerous anthologies across the world. By profession, Yogesh is a qualified optometrist and an accountant.