Mustansir Dalvi ( India) is a poet, translator and editor. He has three books of poems — Brouhahas of Cocks (Poetrywala, 2013), Cosmopolitician (Poetrywala, 2018) and WALK (Yavanika Press, 2020/ Poetrywala, 2021). His poems are included, amongst several others, in the anthologies: Converse: Contemporary Indian poetry in English – (Sudeep Sen, editor, Pippa Rann Books, 2022) and Future Library: Contemporary Indian Writing (Anjum Hasan and Sampurna Chattarji, editors, Red Hen Press, 2022). His poems have been translated into French, Croatian, Gujarati, Hindi and Marathi.






The shortest distance between two points –
the line between us is a length of string,
pulled taut. The flight of a crow. A point,
vanishing to an arrowhead that I wish,
like cupid, pierces you in geodesic frugality.
You touch your breast, unprompted,
and think of me. I, like Majnoon*,
walk on rails with bare feet,
putting my trust in GPS to pick tracks
that would link the stations of our hearts.


*Majnoon: Quais/Majnoon, who is crazy for his lady love Laila in the legendary unfulfilled love story. “Majnoon” means “crazy.”


Nightwalkers glide through Tier III towns.
Zephyrs susurrate through streets,
rise to murmurations, then fall silent.
Rivulets meet, break, tumescent,
quicksilver, never reaching a momentum
that would lead to deluge.
No hive mind this, everyone
remains the nayak* of their own story.
The desire for relief is a bucket of cold water
poured over every glowing ember of revolution.


*Nayak: Hero