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This UK National Poetry Day I'd like to celebrate one of the 'unsung heroes' of UK poetry - a poet and poetry promoter who has done so much for so many. Long before 'diversity' became a catch-phrase, Yogesh Patel was enabling many voices to be heard, across a diverse and multicultural spectrum. He's more than just an editor, publisher, organiser, or cheer-leader - he's a poet, first, and foremost.

An eco-warrior

by Yogesh Patel


Shiva’s Rudra Tandava overflows

slithering down a slope


looks into my eyes

scaling heights to clouds!


Don’t, it would sadly insist,

just don’t...


Go upstream,

you will find rocks.


And you will be alone.

Go down stream,


you will find rivers,

cities and finally the ocean,


greater than Mount Kailash.

And you won’t know where to begin.


The clouds you seek on me

will be there too,


but you won’t get covered in ashes

when I am Barren Island anger.


Tell me, however, good fellow,

Why are you chasing clouds?


I am not, you fool, I say,

I am after the third eyes...


Yogesh Patel received an MBE for literature in the Queen’s New Year Honours list 2020. Internationally celebrated, he edits Skylark and runs Skylark Publications UK as well as a non-profit Word Masala project to promote South-Asian diaspora literature. Previously he has received the Freedom of the City of London. With LP records, films, radio, children’s book, fiction and non-fiction books, and three poetry collections to his credit, he is a recipient of many awards, including an honour in April 2019 at New York University as a Poet-of-Honour. Amidst many venues, he has read in the House of Lords and at the National Poetry Library. His writing has appeared in many important literary journals, including PN Review, The London Magazine, Asia Literary Review, Under the Radar, Shearsman, IOTA, Envoi, Understanding, Orbis, The Book Review, Confluence, on BBC TV and Radio, in newspapers, and more. His work also features in The National Curriculum anthology, MacMillan, Sahitya Akademi and numerous other anthologies across the world. By profession, Yogesh is a qualified optometrist and an accountant. 


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