The following piece was awarded Second Prize in the OU Students Association Freshers Writing Competition for Freshers Fortnight 2022 (25 Jan – 6 Feb). The author, Jackie, is living in Norfolk and is studying A111 Arts and Humanities.
Ravi, bird of paradise, dressed
in worn out Levis, Nikes down at heel
lays out his stall with passion fruit,
mangoes, kumquats, purple grapes,
Exotic juicy jewels.
A haggling zoo prods among the baubles.
Hey missis! Please don’t squeeze me till I’m yours!
Rank market smells, smeared street, bleared sky,
Stepney’s not Hyderabad; its scents of spice,
Crowded bright bazaar.
Ravi, bird of paradise, white robed
pulls off his sandals in the evening cool
and bows to pray,
Hyderabad, far away.