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Surjeet Kalsey

Surjeet Kalsey is an outstanding South Asian Canadian writer, who came to Canada in 1974 with a background in broadcasting, as a News Anchor of “Pradeshik Samachar” Regional News for All India Radio Chandigarh. Surjeet writes both in Punjabi and English and is the author of 19 books of poetry, short stories, drama, and translations. Surjeet Kalsey was given B.C.’s Prestigious Writer’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2014 for her dedication as a writer to the Punjabi Literature, language and culture in Canada for the last 40 years in an Award Ceremony on 1st May 2014 at Centre Stage, New Surrey City Hall, as a part of Late Harjit Kaur Memorial Program of the Department of Asian Studies in the University of British Columbia.

Poetry Walks In My Dream

In a reoccurring dream
my feet walk on the same road
that goes on and on winding
and rapping around and around
the buff mountains
and sinks into that velvety valley.
My foot-steps end right there
at the cliff on the edge
jolts my heart in the dream
still the dream never ends
it goes on and it takes me
to the unending realms of
the unknown hidden path.

Right at that moment
I feel that poetry walks
towards my inner core
it listens to my heart beat
and put words and voice
in my unspoken words.
When poetry opens its eyes
the sun shines everywhere
and my eyes fill with dew-drops
and my heart with gratitude.

Poetry travels through my senses
from a moonless night to
a spectrum of the seven colours.
Words are sacred and tell me:
don’t lament on what is lost.
Stay eager for your want
live every moment in full.
Breathe in the essence of
each and every moment
let go of the bad dream
and embrace yourself
write words for your voice.

Poetry stands by me
Look up in the mirror of the sky
and my reflection in the sea
it holds all the colours of the rainbow.
Nothing is lost, it rejuvenates me.

Memories go a long way that
make us to pick those pieces
long forgotten and left somewhere
in the pages of history.
Memories knit words in my dreams
while the process of poetry takes me
to never ending path every night.

Air, Earth, Fire, Water

In the beginning,
there was an Earth,
there was an air,
there was a fire – the sun
the light and the warmth,
and there was the rain
I preserve with my eyes
all these elements
I touch with my finger tips
the soft rain drops and
I feel the warmth from the fire
I breathe in the air when
it caresses my face.
The earth is holding me
the air keeps me alive
the fire, the sun enlightens
the water is an elixir of life
It illuminates us our bodies.
It shows us the process of love –
the warmth of the hearth,
the fertility and the creation.
All That God has created for us –
the sun, the earth, the air, the water
to live and breathe in this universe.

When mind grows
in this consciousness
that surrounds us,
the mind becomes Divine,
and with the Divine mind
we take something for granted.
the very soil of the earth
on which we live with its abundance
of flowers, food, vegetation’s and water –
all just taken for granted.

My First Autumn in Canada

When I set my foot in this land
I saw a colourful autumn
it was just blooming.

After crossing the green black waters
and after those tiresome long hours
up in the sky – nowhere to go
finally landed in a strange land:
Tall mountains stood majestic
and vast land dotted with
maple and oak trees surrounded
with the waters of the ocean

The leaves of the trees
were falling slowly and gently
sprinkling colours in the air.
As I set my eyes on this
strange multicolored grace
of the falling leaves –
I gazed through my window
they were turning pale yellow
yellow to orange to red and brown
leaving their boughs empty
Leaves falling quietly and gently.

Within a few days all trees
had fallen leaves flat on the ground
they gazed at the cold blue sky,
the trees stood bare and black
as apparitions at night.
The bare boughs without leaves
hold within them a dream of verdure.


From Reflections on Water
by Surjeet Kalsey
© 2018 Surjeet Kalsey
Published by Ekstasis Editions