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Editor Speak

October 2022

‘The hills are alive with the sound of music’, sang Julie Andrews in the hugely popular classic ‘The Sound of Music.’ The Wise Owl Team visited a tiny township nestled in the hills to hear this music and were enchanted by the post-monsoon verdant green of the hillside, where the pine trees rustled and danced to the sound of the soft breeze, even as they flaunted their bright, shiny pine needles. So, here we are, dressing up our October edition in a pine theme.

Our Interview and Tête-à-tête segments have special guests. We have an award-winning Yorkshire poet and writer, Amanda Huggins, a Canadian artist, Harley Brown, who excels in pastels of native Americans in traditional finery. We also have Janet Kirchheimer, a poet, writer and filmmaker whose focus on holocaust writings and poetry deserves a salute and Taban Peter Pal, a 17-year-old young artist from Sudan, whose gorgeous portraits in charcoal will take your breath away.

The poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction and review segments are teeming with life. I will not play spoiler and let out the list of poets and writers. I will instead, welcome our readers to read their work and savour their creativity. The same is true for our Visual Arts segment and Montage feature. A big thanks to our contributors who have enthusiastically contributed their professional renditions for our podcast segment.

I must share an extract from a lovely letter I received yesterday. It said simply ‘The Wise Owl has become a place where creative minds gather under one roof.’ Cheers to that thought!!

Happy Reading to All!


~Rachna Singh

 
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Interview:

Amanda Huggins

Poet & Writer

The Wise Owl talks to Amanda Huggins, an award-winning poet and writer from Yorkshire. Amanda Huggins is the author of the novellas 'Crossing the Lines' and 'All Our Squandered Beauty', winners of the Saboteur Award for Best Novella, in 2021 and 2022. She has also published a poetry collection, 'The Collective Nouns for Birds', which won the 2020 Saboteur Award for Best Poetry Pamphlet. Her new short story collection, 'An Unfamiliar Landscape', will hit the bookstores this month.

 
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Interview: 

Harley Brown

Canadian Artist who excels in portraits of Native Americans in traditional dress

The Wise Owl talks to Harley Brown, a Canadian artist best known for his realistic and beautiful depictions of Native Americans in traditional dress. Harley Brown has been a member of the National Academy of Western Art since 1977 and has received many accolades and awards in a number of national art events. He has authored three books which have become bestsellers, namely ‘Confessions of a Starving Artist’, ‘Harley Brown’s Eternal Truth for Every Artist’ and ‘Harley Brown’s Inspiration for Every Artist.’

 
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Poetry

Eloquent Emotions

 
Image by Simon Wilkes
Image by Danie Franco

Tree Query

A poetic paean to a tree that survives the vagaries of nature, offers shade to a weary traveller and sanctuary to birds and animals.

~David Chappell

Rush Hour

The poet is troubled by thoughts that grumble and shout, suffocating sanity.  Thoughts of freedom retrieve him from the claustrophobic chasm.

~Aldas

Image by Blake Wheeler
Children Praying

Triage

The fear of failure preys upon human mind, making it a ‘wilderness of anxiety’ and yet risking the fall is the only way to succeed.

~Allison Grayhurst

Wishes

A beautiful poem about wishes that are ‘dreams of hope’ and come paired with a ‘protective prayer.’

~Chris Rothwell

Image by Jr Korpa
Image by Kyle Frost

An Anxious Song

Anxiety creates a black cavernous hole that seems to be devouring the poet, but her creative persona pulls her out of the chasm intact.

~Sonia Chauhan

The Last Sunrise of my Life

A sunrise heralds the arrival of a new day with fresh possibilities and promises. The poet ponders how she would spend the last sunrise of her life. 

~Mihika Jindal Gaharwar

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Mythos

A cynical poet dubs the modern republic as a myth of clowns and self-pitying upstarts.

~Richard Oyama

A Smiling Woman

A sweet paean to a wonder woman with the brain of a surgeon and the heart of a dancer.

~E. Martin Pedersen

Image by Hà Nguyễn
Image by Debby Hudson

Nets

In the fisherman’s nets the poet discovers a world of life and death.

~Lynn White

Yellow Pages

The yellow pages of old books become an album of memories of loss and pain for the poet.

~Abin Chakraborty

Image by Toa Heftiba
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Plate Collector

Plate Collector is a vignette of an old British gentleman, who collects bone china, even as his old bones heave and dissolve with age.


~Donna Pucciani 

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The Expeditioner

The poem offers a kaleidoscope of images that become a fitting paradigm for life.

~Lara Dolphin 

Image by Robin Edqvist
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Rear-View Mirror

The poet ruminates philosophically about how one needs a rear-view mirror to ‘hold on to people who leave.’

~Sayan Aich Bhowmik

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The River

A poem that drips nostalgia. The poet reminisces about a place by the river and a life ‘lived together.’

~Tony Arnold

 
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Non-Fiction

Travelogues Musings Essays

 
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Vignette

A Date with a Kashmiri Shawl Seller

A beautiful vignette of a Kashmiri shawl seller that brings to mind Rabindranath Tagore’s touching story, ‘Kabuliwala.’

~Swaraj Raj

Musings

Musings on Creative Angst

The Muse is a whimsical creature, making the poet and writer dance to its tune. Amita Paul wonders if creative angst is essential to creativity.

~Amita Paul

Memoir

The Beautiful Indian

Dussehra is celebrated with much fanfare in India. Chitra Singh ushers the readers to a tiny hamlet in Doon Valley, to take part in the celebrations.

~Chitra Singh

 
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Fiction

Stories of Fantasy Romance History

 
Smiling for the Camera

Stormy

This is the story of Sunny, Stormy and Rainbow, three young girls with grit and courage to survive the demons of the world.

~Roberta Kay

Image by Artem Maltsev

The Witch's Secret

A Wicked Witch dons her finery and special ‘lunar’ dancing shoes to attend the party in town. No one but the witch knows the secret of these shoes. 

~Debby Cedars

Image by note thanun

Wet Cement

What happens when the protagonist finds himself trapped in an elevator with a Buddhist monk. Will he achieve enlightenment?

~Pete Prokesch

Accessible Travel

Amnesia

A touching story of the trauma of a woman who loses her husband and is forced to send her only child abroad to keep him safe from harm.

~Ranjit Powar

 
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Reviews

Movies Books OTT Releases

 
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Film Review

Gargi

A hard-hitting film that plays hide-and-seek with our mind and all of its many judgments and preconceptions. 

~Dr Ramandeep Mahal

Book Review

Fireflies in the Rubble

‘Fireflies in the Rubble is a collection of deeply melancholic haiku verse that articulates the poet’s sense of grief, loss and loneliness.

~Dr Pravat  Kumar Padhy

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Tête-à-Tête

Janet Kirchheimer 

Poet, Writer & Filmmaker

The Wise Owl has a friendly chat with Janet R Kirchheimer who wears many hats. A prize-winning poet and author of the poetry collections ‘How to Spot One of Us’ (2007) and ‘Seduction: Out of Eden’ (2022), she is also the recipient of Drisha Institute for Jewish Education Arts Fellowship and is a nominee for a Pushcart Prize. Janet is also a filmmaker and is the producer of ‘AFTER: Bringing the Dead Back to Life’, a performance documentary about poetry and the Holocaust.  

 
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Visual Arts
Treat for the soul

 
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Tête-à-Tête:

Taban Peter Pal

Young Artist

The Wise Owl has an interesting chat with Taban Peter Pal, a passionate, self-taught 17-year-old freelance artist from South Sudan, who excels in realistic portraits. He describes his work as ‘Hyper realistic pencil drawings that portray emotion and information that people can relate with.’ You can enjoy his work on Instagram: @tabanpeterpal, Facebook: @Taban Peter Pal and Twitter: @Tabanpeterpal

 

Visual Arts: Painting & Photography

 
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Painting: Stunning Artwork in Charcoal

Taban Peter Pal works magic with charcoal and graphite, creating portraits that emanate with emotion-grief, anguish, anger, frustration, carefree enjoyment, happiness of childhood. 

~Taban Peter Pal

Photography: Oldest & Tallest


The Muir Woods National Monument is a coastal redwood forest located on Mount Tamalpais near the Pacific Coast in Marin County, California. The Wise Owl Team visits Muir Woods.

~The Wise Owl Team

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Podcasts

Podcast of Top Articles, Features, Poems and Stories

 
Smiling for the Camera

Stormy (Story)

Writer & Narrator:

Roberta Kay

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A Date with a Kashmiri Shawl Seller (Memoir)

Writer & Narrator

Swaraj Raj & Balpreet

Image by Aziz Acharki

Triage(Poem)

Poet & Reciter

Allison Grayhurst

Image by Sebastian Dumitru

An Anxious Song(Poem)

Poet & Reciter: Sonia Chauhan

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Amnesia (Story)

Writer & Narrator: Ranjit Powar

Image by Dex Ezekiel

The Expeditioner (Poem)

Poet & Reciter: Lara Dolphin

 
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Montage

The Possibilities of Priya

The Montage section showcases 'Possibilities of Priya', a short film written, produced & directed by Saurabh Yadav. Life is full of all kinds of possibilities. So is the film.

 
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Sourabh Yadav has just finished his Masters in English literature at Jawaharlal Nehru University. Despite the tempting JRF scholarship and his parents' concerns, he is quitting academia to try a career in filmmaking (and copywriting to pay the bills). You can find him on Youtube and Instagram.