Shashank Mane

Shashank Mane has previously appeared for short fiction in Every Writer Magazine, Indiana Voice Journal, Vignette Review, Diverse Voices Quarterly, The Creative Truth, and Gravel Lit. His debut collection of short stories and poetry titled “Moments” is available through Amazon. He has lived in Finland since 2013.

The Butterfly, is the first story in his short story and poetry collection “Moments”.






The Butterfly

Preston’s life revolved around costumes. Considered strange since his young years, he had few friends. He was an inhabitant on the fringes of society, falling deeper into a world he had created for himself to avoid social pressures and rejection. He had grown confident in his own peculiar ways, happy to be alone with his outfits. He would make costumes for himself, displaying his work to himself in his bedroom mirror and putting the getups away, marking them as either modest successes or horrendous failures. Over the years, his successes had doubled to his dwindling failures, making him more self-assured in his talents. Regardless, he lacked the skills to interact and ability to make connections with people. Despite his best efforts, his interactions were largely disappointments.

One day, he completed an outfit he deemed so superb that he entertained the idea of showing it to someone. It was a butterfly suit. He did not know who would be interested and therefore, rejected the idea. Very few people knew Preston and nobody, aside from the fabric store he visited, knew that he was into creating such costumes. He left the butterfly outfit hanging on the clothing rack next to his mirror of acceptances and rejections and set off once again, stitching arms, legs and life to another piece of fabric.

A few days later, Preston tried on another new outfit in front of the mirror. It was a design based on a character in a movie. As he stepped into sight of his mirror, he saw the butterfly outfit hanging on the clothing rack from the corner of his eye. Once again, he deemed it marvelous and quickly took off the costume he had on, replacing it with the butterfly suit. They will laugh at me, he assured himself and took the outfit off.

As costumes were created one after the other, the butterfly sat untouched. Every time a new outfit went onto his body, his thoughts would revert to the butterfly and all the magnificence in its craftsmanship. The other outfits were satisfactory and he liked putting them on and picturing himself as heroes, villains and other fantasy characters. The butterfly was something else in Preston’s eyes. It was a masterpiece and an opus of extravagance. His lifeblood flowed through the piece. You will regret showing it to anyone, he reminded himself.

Preston’s odd nature confined him to a monotonous daily life. He would attend his menial job and come home to his world of clothing creations. Eventually, he no longer wanted to leave his home and wished to hide away from the world. He was sad, at times happy but almost always considered strange. The realization was daunting. He called in sick to work one Monday, taking the week off from work. His workplace was sympathetic, telling him to take off as long as needed. He hung up the phone, alone in his own world. He decided to work but his hands would not let him. He spent a couple of days resting and finally, on the Friday morning of the week, he decided to try on the butterfly outfit one last time before throwing it away. Its splendor had cast magic into Preston’s eyes that he never achieved through other endeavors in life.

As evening fell, he mustered the courage, refusing no for an answer. He put on the butterfly suit. He felt powerful. He did not want to tell anyone about his creation but he was not going to let it sit unattended in his house. He decided to close his eyes as best he could, shut out his fears and take a stroll through the city. He knew he was strange but now he was angered by the shame he felt in his oddity.

Stepping out onto the Manhattan streets, Preston the butterfly was ready to show his work to the world. A tenant saw him leaving the apartment, stopped and stared in disbelief at her neighbor of years who had never uttered a word to her, only to appear now in the hallway as a butterfly. She dropped her line of sight to the floor, quickly turning around as he walked pass for a second look.

Preston would not be stopped. There was no going back into his apartment before his deed was complete and he did not care. He marched down past the local bar, a place that terrified him due to its loud and boisterous nature. He swallowed his fear and kept walking awkwardly.

“Hey!” A man yelled at Preston.
This was a stupid idea, he thought to himself.
“Can we please get a picture? Where did you get that?” The large drunken man asked Preston.
“I…I made it myself” Preston liked the sound of his own voice, his confidence growing in the ensuing silence.
The man stared at Preston.
“Mary! Come here!” The man quickly grabbed a hold of his companion.
They took what felt like a million pictures and thanked him. Preston graciously declined a beer from the bar crowd and stated he had somewhere to be. He literally had to flee from the bar as his popularity was growing by the second.

The rush was unbearable for the costumed Preston. He felt as though he would vomit but decided he had to walk around the block. His layers of self-rejection began to peel. A group of girls stopped him, questioning him about his suit before letting him back on his way. A couple of little children tugged at their parents, requesting a moment with the butterfly. He was confident in his success, his talent sparkling through the wings on his butterfly suit.

Preston returned home, still as strange as he always was, a recluse in nature and still unsure of himself. But Preston never forgot the night he stepped out of his house with the courage to show the world his incredible design; the night he put on his butterfly suit.

Yassen Ghaleb Aldhahi


Yassen Ghaleb Aldhahi was born in Basra, Iraq, currently lives in Helsinki, Finland.

Yassen writes since he was 20 years old.
He studied Literature and Arts and is interested in Photography.

These poems are from his new collection written in Finland.



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Mehdi Ghasemi

Mehdi Ghasemi is PhD from the English Department at the University of Turku, Finland. He is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Tampere, working on a project, entitled “Toward a More Inclusive and Comprehensive Finnish Literature.” He has already published four scholarly books, twelve papers in peer-reviewed scientific journals in addition to two fiction books, entitled Flight to Finland: A Noveramatry and How I Became A Finn: A Noveramatry in the form of noveramatry (a combination of novel, drama and poetry all in one line on the issue of immigration). He is now writing his third noveramatry, entitled Blurring Finnish-Russian Border: A Noveramatry.
Photo: Roxana Crisólogo





Vidha Saumya is a drawer, cook, and a bookmaker. She seeks visual interest in the idea of congregating bodies, popular culture and the notion of deformity. She has held solo exhibitions and participated in group exhibitions in Lahore, Mumbai, Helsinki, and Tampere. She is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Visual Culture and Contemporary Art at Aalto University, Helsinki and is a member of Museum of Impossible Forms, Helsinki.

These poems are part of the project Monumentless Moments – The Utopia of Figureless Plinths, supported by Kone Foundation.





A group of international classmates stayed once in a house together
At one time there were 10 of them
Divided in rooms under one roof
On the beautiful island of Guidecca
It was such an international group
All had blonde hair
Except those two
Who didn’t even have light skin
And good lord when they left
Using the shower
The beige bathroom floor looked like a mosaic
With their jet hair
Now dog hair is fine one’s sofa
Ones clothes, guest’s clothes,
Dining table,
Wherever… That’s how it should be
It’s really rude to treat a dog like an animal
You must accept it with all grace
Feed it well,
Give it a human name
Those two?
Them you can call Indians



My husband has a peculiar face
He has kind eyes, sincere too
Beautifully shaped eyebrows
His lips are not so visible,
You see he has a full-grown beard
I like it very much, I don’t let him shave
Is that why he is picked out for a random check?
He now has a breathing machine
Which looks like just about anything
Is that why he has to open it and show?
His laptop, poor Steve, on the desktop of this minimalist machine is a plethora of screen
shots and grant applications
Final, final 1, last and final, ready to send
Is that why, it has to be logged in and checked
And his laptop bag, you know the best I could find before he left for the West
From an international brand nevertheless
All of fourteen thousand
But the bag doesn’t display its price tag, nor its function, it displays the man who just had
it on his shoulders and had emptied it put and placed it carefully on the conveyor belt
Hoping he had not left in by error
A cutter, a pair of scissors or a matchbox
Because no bearded brown man, with a name that rhymes with Allah Hu Akbar
Could have ever used a cutter to cut paper, scissors to cut cloth or a matchbox to light a
Every time we travel, I think of multiple Hindu names he could be given in case of
I think of what will he do by himself if at all he’s detained
I think and think and think of various consequences
Submitting my thesis or becoming an influential artist is the least of my worries

Dorra Azzouz



Dorra Azzouz
 is a poet and painter born in Tunisia, studied literature and Art in the École des Arts, her artistic name is Dora Az.

Dorra writes in Arabic, her mother tongue, but also in French, English and Italian.

“My writing – says Dorra- started at the age of thirteen and never stoped since and hopefully never will and painting made me hold the brush at twenty, two forms of expression that is who i am and twenty one years living abroad shaped my knowledge, ten years in the Arab peninsula and ten years in Finland, my words and my colours reveals the intensity of felt experiences.”

To know more about Dorra´s poetry and artist work visit her sites Dorra Poetry and Dora Az/ Art Creation. Here a selection of Dorra´s poetry into Arabic. Enjoy and share.


Polina Kopylova


Polina Kopylova
on Pietarista kotoisin oleva kaksikielinen  ”sitoutumaton” runoilija, toimittaja, kääntäjä ja tulkki.

Polina tekee runoistaan myös suomenkielisiä versioita ilmaisun rajojen kokeilemiseksi. Venäjäksi Kopylovan runoja on ilmestynyt Venäjällä mm. Deti Ra ja Novyi Mir -aikakauslehdissä sekä Novyi vremennik Kamery hranenija -kokoelmassa, ja Suomessa Literarus -lehdessä. Suomeksi häneltä on ilmestynyt joitakin runoja Literaruksen suomenkielisessä versiossa ja Kirjailija -lehdessä.





Один час восемь минут. Лететь недолго— как на выходные в соседний город.

Ему того часа хватило и на обратный путь — до излучины Волги.

”Волгой”, в числе прочего, и наградили, машиной, то есть. Она была немного похожа на ”Крайслер”, и на ракету — особенно закрылки. Тогда это было модно.

Зов космоса был напрасен — что делать, земная слава вызвала перегрузку. Остальные пролетали мимо — на орбиту, в открытый космос, аж до Луны иные.

Увы, живым он не успел разделить эту радость.

Он обманул доверие космоса. В отместку — нелепая смерть и вечность.

Больше ничто не держало. Зов космоса не стихал. Надо было лететь — пусть от него и осталась одна лишь память.

Наверху было тихо.

Снизу потихонечку подымался всяческий мусор: спутники прилетали и рассыпались, убирать было некому, радиоволнами приносило острые нотки мелодий, мелькающие картинки, какие-то цифры, все больше и больше, до гула — прямо хоть переселяйся, ну вот на Луну хотя бы.

Иногда он видел себе подобных: поначалу тех, кто погиб в катастрофах, позже — умерших от старости. Общались они редко. Чуть чаще — с той учительницей, которая хотела провести урок на орбите. Оба скучали — по дочкам, по ученикам — по детям.

Еще он скучал по ракетам. По белым стволам, что рассекали стынущий воздух и выжигали дюзами дорогу грядущему.
Он скучал по ним, хотя они взлетали все чаще, почти как обычные самолеты. Внутри были грузы, мусорные спутники и напряженные люди, для которых мотаться по орбите было просто работой.

Еще он тосковал по Родине, которая навсегда осталась в будущем, и возврата туда не было: реальность единогласно выбрала другой путь, оставив космос лишь для работы — как и Землю, по крайней мере, те места, где не было войны.

Машина двигалась медленно, лучи заката наводили блеск на ее красные бока, она будила память о лете, сладком запахе красного вина, смехе незнакомой компании по соседству и об этой нарастающей внутренней уверенности в том, что скорость времени удалось превысить. И будущее наступило здесь и сейчас. За рулем сидел некто в скафандре, лицо скрыто темным забралом шлема. Минуточку. Да это просто скафандр. Кукла. Игрушка. Есть в этом что-то неправильное, хотя, конечно, забавно. Неужели человека не могли отправить? Даже он справился в свое время.

У него возникла идея.

Приблизившись к автомобилю, он проказливо осмотрелся: не видит ли кто? А то ведь заругают. Никто не видел. Тогда он проскользнул в скафандр и привычно сказал ”Поехали”.

И, конечно, махнул рукой.

Aya Chalabee

Aya Chalabee on Suomessa asuva irakilainen kirjailija. Hän on julkaissut vuonna 2014 novellisarjan arabiaksi ”Ei aurinkoa Bagdagissa” ja osallistunut Suomessa runotapahtumiin lausuen runojaan ja lukien novellejaan.
Hän valmistelee seuraavaa novellisarjaa, joka on vielä nimetön. Chalabee on kääntänyt arabiaksi suomalaisia ja kansainvälisiä runolijoita sekä klassisia ja moderneja novelleja. Hän on myös blogikirjoittaja ja taidemaalari.

Kuva: Dina Subhi