Monday 22 February 2021

Five Poems/Video Poems by Sultana Raza

Video of Quantic Qualms


Quantic Qualms


In arms of nymphs he should have leaped,

Punishingly his plasma wouldn’t be seeped.


He could still hear whispers of their soft refrain,

Hard was it acid rains to restrain.


In their violet emerald world, tinged silver gold,

He’d have perpetually respired, not grown old.


Bold ballads with them he could have sung,

No need under water for any sort of lungs.




As crafty chance’s currents cunningly flow,

Colourful anemones, fantastic corals glow.


Unearthly palaces, lighted by shells,

He’d have imbibed from their eternal well.


Played with sea-horses, hid amongst reefs,

Released desolation, swirled away griefs.


Pearls of their spray had beaded his brow,

Was that why he was alive somehow?




Pity was it petty men his work ignored,

Why watery sprites appeared to him, or lured.


Hoped with trepidation to espy them again,

He’d turned his back, would they sink him, insane?


Crazy conjurations of his mind, who’d believe?

Yet, trickles of his talent, would anyone perceive?


Too real for a dream, too wild for common place,

Too bad on life’s floods, he’d leave no lasting trace.

.Video of Cosmic Caper:

Cosmic Caper

None had advised him how to jump tree-tops,

Or to play hop-scotch ’tween fields and copse.


None had said he’d tumble through clouds,

Hide and seek bees through flowery crowds


None had talked about coral rainbow slides,

Or about racing through grand galactic tides.


None had warned against stupendous sound waves,

Or how they’d echo in marvellous meteor’s caves.


None had thrilled about star-beamed tarpaulin,

Or how siren songs in pearls are pooled in.


None had given tickets to star-filled orchestras,

Or to meteor showers, with extravaganzas.



None had warned about roving nebulae,

Lost in exultation, could one be at their array.


None had marvelled at the birth of galaxies,

Or the lilting tunes of swaying spangled seas.


None had disclosed by comets he’d be shot,

New exhilarations that he’d deftly caught.


None had exposed new colours, curly songs,

Or subtle cosmic scents of orbs in throngs.


None had whispered of how stars are born,

Or how their light by nymphs are worn.


None could delineate sky’s vast cupolas,

Or write about wonder's incalculable formulas.



Such freedom of spirit, none could have guessed,

For new after life, was bubbling fresh zest.

Note: Cosmic Caper, was previously published on the website of Bewildering Stories in 2017

Video of Impish Delights

Impish Delights


(Christmas Eve. John Keats’s tiny room in Rome. John is alone, and has passed out after a bout of coughing. Tom Keats joins him in his dream. They take turns to recite these words).


Who’d remember these miniatures rich?

Horse’s hairy tail who dared to pull?

Would lost pictures Granny’s sharp needle ever stitch?

Mixed up four hues of Gran’s prized wool?


Grubby little snails in shoes who stored?

Treacle in sleepy ears who liked to pour?

Of insects dead, had the scariest hoard?

Hide naughty pails over innocent door?


Grandpa’s gruff boots, who’d misplace?

Crash biscuit tins, disturb deserved rest?

Who’d steal sniffs from his tobacco case?

Granny’s grand patience who liked to test?


Drove to distraction, his mother dear.

Children whose chuckles once counted four,

Pride glowed in her eyes, when were still clear,

With birthday songs when their voices would soar.



Note: Impish Delights was previously published in print on in 2020.

Video of Poetic Scottish Tour:

Poetic Scottish Tour


On wild goose chase why’d he been led?

Punishment rhymed with aching feet,

Mixed up stanzas, vowels had bled,

More than him, none could self beat.


Was William conjuring clouds of Tory fame?

Robert1 must’ve waded through heaps of dung.

Burned by reality, his muse felt lame,

Upside down drained verses now hung.


Fraternal ears, furry nostrils were gone,

Would frérot2 blame: abandonment, guile?

Soon he’d be weary; couldn’t think or mourn.

Would Tom accost him in a skip-a-heart while?


Guilty grew strides, despite painful toes,

Poesy, family duty, could he juxtapose?


1Robert Burns, the poet

2brother in French, referring to Tom Keats


(Note: the above are all fantastical poems inspired by Keats’s life and works, who passed away on the 23rd of February 1821, at the young age of 25).


Video of Sœurette:



(Night. 16 December 1820. (Fanny Keats would die on this day in 1889). Keats’ room in Rome. John is having a nightmare, wherein he sees his sister, Fanny trying to run towards him. The ghost of Tom Keats appears, and starts whispering).



Spectre of sister, towards him ran;

Her realm kept rippling, like wings of a fan.

The faster she rushed, the less she advanced,

John watched her dissolve, as if entranced.

She implored him with sniffles,



Can you free me?

I care for you the most, of my siblings three.



With steady tears streaming, hair awry,



What would I do, if you were to die?



Don't trip over your thin gown long,

Don't cry. For you, I'll write a funny song.



John reaches out, watches her little fingers fade.


John (half-awake):

Where’s little Fanny? Drat engulfing shade!

All too soon, my terrible bell’s tolled,

Wish I could comfort you, small hand hold.


(Fanny and Tom fade away. John wakes up with a gulp, and starts to weep).


-        Note: These poem has been excerpted from my manuscript, ‘Stake in Eternity,’ inspired by the lives of Romantic poets.


Of Indian origin, Sultana Raza’s poems have appeared in numerous 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,, Litro, impspired,, 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.


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