Resting in the Resistance of Poetry

Curator’s note

In this poetry series, I have attempted to explore the relationship I share with poetry. I find poetry to be a catalyst for making one feel wholly, for evoking powerful emotions, which can incite wonder, understanding, rage and empathy – all alike. While poetry has allowed me the space to often sit with my anger and my helplessness, it has also, almost always, provided me comfort when I feel powerless in the light of the workings of the world, it has nudged me towards cathartic revelations and sensory healing.  

In experimenting with reading and writing varied forms of poetry, one could find themselves equipped with a meaning making wordsome toolkit. I engage with my poetic craft as a thought vehicle – to aid me navigate the world around me, poetic traditions, and originality. A fair deal of mind wandering and acute observation too, could come together to expand experiences from emotion to poetry. In the craft of poetry, we could perhaps find for ourselves the strength to participate in a world that otherwise gets dreary and posits itself as a hopeless, apathetic place as now. In this regard, writing poetry also becomes a potent means of resistance. 

“A poem is not just words placed on a line. It’s a cloth. Mahmoud Darwish wanted to build his home, his exile, from all the words in the world. I weave my poems with my veins. I want to build a poem like a solid home, but hopefully not with my bones.”
Mosab Abu Toha, from Things You May Find Hidden in My Ear: Poems from Gaza; Palestine A-Z (via)

Jerin Anne Jacob




I try to care softly and

chew this everyday gloom

to churn poetry


This poetry that seeks 

to sound up living into

a dreary night


A glumpy brainscape

finds its meandering way to

a lavender siesta


Only rummaging through 

words to sense-make

solicits my many ways of being


Of a mellow usher

into a gentle undercover

which boils acceptance


In a valiant stride

that belongs to the unsteady

and sought even times


What I lost to apathy

I shame through in mirroring

a poetry of lost chance




She wants to tint the hurt of this world

and oust it into deep living, to celebrate its art –

its tender multiplicity,

but she disobeys the language of colours

and dabbles in amber hues, shearing sun-

wreaths on a spherical melancholy.


Breaching greys shed okayish warmth

through yonder horizons of hopeful

spells. Generous tippings of gold fire

that is poured over the world by 

thrones jesting with power.


Casually caring in dormant ink

links you to your kindren 

bellowing in lack and less.

How do you breathe with stolen joy?


A sun-plant field arises to follow

the ache in the sky, rife in its juvenile memory

only to shower the world with kaleidoscopic sundalas


I am a poet and I read the world in metaphor.




As the day closes, I melt into a touch-me-not 

Stretched out raw on a page netted cot.


Thinking of a closeted hierarchy of words

In a poetic arc of realisation

I sing them in a word spread

Many times in lone attempt,


muting my screams amid

resounding warplanes

folding away my people 


Gently caressing the worth of my stride,

Poetry seeks my communion and doodles itself 


Inward erasure


Onto a heaving journal entry.




Oh Poetry! To you I bring in the low lying 

Anger that pinches into the dread of the day.

In joining the world around as 

A communion of beings, not a collection of objects.


I move through the world in fragments

Tripping over parts of myself along the way


Survive a luxury and humankind,

A kind beauty that is wrong in its yearning

While privileged to art an active meditation –

Syncing in the crime that puts these crying stories to sleep.


At last, when the air is easy and the light is cool

This tribute we raise to your compassion,

Your reigning solitude.




In stretching a strained memory

inside out, and lying it to dry awake,

I am threatened to see 

a waterfall lurking 

in between these lines that smell of rest.


They disappear clean as I read 

in a uniform motion that surrenders 

the terror in my heart, a solid.


Where does peace dwell?


As the mist rises and the aquatic 

sensation thrives, I am pumped by the green 

inside me, shaping forms that read like 

warm letters on the stream bed.

What would a world without oppression make you?



Mapping and negotiating power

Uncuff India Episode 10: Dimensions of conflict and peace: visioning a utopian world

Uncuff India Episode 9: Civic space and dissent: A pathway to social justice