Featured Writer Paresh Tiwari

The Perfumer

The carrier oil is a mix of petrichor and the paper boat you sailed as a child.

The base notes are elusive though – a sprinkling of ocean and a pinch of corals. There is a hint of moss from the village pond and frost from your yellow hiking boots. A passing whiff of the clouds where your kite soared and the rocks you turned to sand under your toes. I also pull out a maple leaf from your battered copy of Chiyo-Ni.

The top notes of loss and those of healing are nowhere to be found. How does one capture the scent of breakage and those of struggle, courage, heat and wetness? A thimbleful of shadows, three drops of the moon and a dollop of early dawn. I bruise a lullaby between my fingers, swirl it all in a crystal vial and take a whiff.

It’s not you. Not quite yet.

So, I set a haiku alight and pass the vial over it in concentric circles.

almost us
the drydown of possibilities


About the author:
Paresh Tiwari is a writer, poet, and a cartoonist in the body of a Naval Officer. He has been widely published, especially in the sub-genre of Japanese poetry. The first collection of his haiku and haibun, An Inch of Sky, was published in 2014. Currently the resident cartoonist for Cattails, a journal by United Haiku and Tanka Society, USA, he was also commissioned for thirty-five illustrations for the December 16 edition of Frameless Sky. Tiwari has been invited to read his works at various literature festivals, including the Goa Art and Lit Fest – 2016, and has conducted haiku and haibun workshops at Hyderabad International Literature Festival – 2014, SIES College Mumbai and British Council Library, Mumbai. His second book of haibun, titled Raindrops Chasing Raindrops is in the bookstores now.

Image: Gaze #3 by Rajasekharan Parameswaran (1963- ). Oil on canvas. No size specified. No completion date specified. By free license.