Looking back – Curator’s Pick

During the month of May 2016 we will be looking back at Poets’ Corner’s first year, together with our Guest Poetry Curators. They will share their own poetry, experiences as curator and favourite poems from the platform with you.

In May 2015 Guest Poetry Curator Rachel Arnold introduced Wolverhampton-based poet Kuli Kohli as the Poet of the Month. She described Kuli’s work as ‘a nice mix of love poetry, which can encapsulate all areas of life’. Rachel shares ‘Scapegoat‘ as her favourite poem by Kuli with you. Rachel explains:

‘I love Kuli’s poetry as it resonates with my subject areas but I chose scapegoat because it is a real life story I could not have written about and it is funny.’

Scapegoat

She would follow me all over the place
where mother and I dug up mitti, sowing.
Spinning broken bike wheels in open space,
balancing crops on our heads; sweat flowing.

Once she followed me all the way to school,
where she was not welcomed. I took lashes
on my hand and stood in the corner; a fool
in the scorching sun. I loathed Masterji’s classes.

With twigs and bark, I’d greet her at the gate,
stroke, feed her away from my elder brother.
When I was away from home, she’d wait,
she’d linger like a kid waiting for her mother.

She’d give us thick milk morning and night.
When she fell ill, she’d yearn for me, crying.
I’d pat her patchy coat, she’ll be alright,
little did I know she was in pain and dying.

One day I returned, my bakri wasn’t there,
I searched the pind, our zameen, everywhere.
I came back. My heart sank. The aroma in the air.
My brother was cooking curry, not a trace of care.

* mitti – soil (Punjabi)
Masterji – teacher (Punjabi)
bakri – goat (Punjabi)
pind – village (Punjabi)
zameen – land (Punjabi)

By Kuli Kohli

Kuli as Poet of the Month

Throughout the month of May Rachel and Kuli worked together to share different poems about living with cerebral palsy and poems about life, memories and nature. Kuli writes: ‘I was born with mild cerebral palsy in northern India and moved to England at an early age. I am a writer, mother, wife and full-time council worker.  My life’s experiences have encouraged my passion for writing, which has opened up all sorts of possibilities for me as I struggle to express myself through speech.  Having the ability to write has made my life richer and more rewarding.’

kuli kohli poem at p cafe

After the publications in May Kuli’s poem ‘Take Off’ was exhibited by Poets’ Corner at P Cafe

Kuli’s poetry received a lot of interest, with readers sharing feedback such as ‘Wonderful and from the West Midlands too. Hidden depths I have found there’ and ‘I do like these new poems – spring flowers perhaps. Your early life proves to be a rich source of material.’ Kuli’s work was exhibited at P Café and she read her work in a session with other writers. Later in the year Kuli submitted her poem ‘Partition of a Homeland’ to the exhibition ‘Displacement: Stories of Hope and Humanity’.

kuli at displacement exhibition

Kuli with her poem ‘Partition of a Homeland’ at Poets’ Corner exhibition ‘Displacement: Stories of Hope and Humanity’ at P Cafe

kuli kohli at p cafe reading

Poet Kuli read her work at P Cafe, sharing it with other writers and Poets’ Corner poets

 

Kuli continues to write, publish and share her work with different audiences. Find Kuli’s poetry statement and poems here. Which is your favourite poem?

More info on: http://www.kulikohli.co.uk/
And: http://www.disabilityartsonline.org.uk/?location_id=2944&item=2712

Follow Kuli on Twitter @KraziKuli

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