drowning

Everyone’s crazy around here
Mouths agape — as if a half-laugh was pasted there,
Only that they are not laughing; just walking, arms spread in an L
Like zombies.

And you are saying “sorry”

I want to ask you what it is about,
I look at you even
But this is so much and I cannot concentrate enough.

I have to run,
Maybe to save myself, maybe to save what Is within…
But their hands are reaching towards me
And your sorry—
Your soft, gentle, dripping-with-venom sorry—
Red drips when you say it, floods in when I see them

This narrow, bright corridor is closed
I am standing with my knees in red which is sticky and feels
Petrifying.
Maybe I could fall and wake up somewhere else?
But it’s already so much and I – I can’t know

I see skulls for people now
The voices are still the same
Except with an addition of a swish swash of red waves
So now they are all chattering together, calling my name,
You are saying sorry,
Nobody is laughing but it feels like everyone is
And I am alone in the crowd, trying and not trying to escape
And this not-trying is drowning me.

plē.

A cry for help
Sometimes sounds like,
“Hey! How was your day? Tell me everything.”
But I am not really concerned about the buffets you ate
Or the guy who complimented you while you were both standing at the parking lot – not that I mind hearing about your purple dress and his dreamy, deep voice – for a fifth, sixth, eighth time
Not that I mind anything. I am more than fine
Knowing about your old aunt’s hellick habit of interfering in your personal life
Her probing questions and your oh-so-smart turndowns
“That would teach her!” Of course,
I don’t mind, I don’t mind
As long as it fills my silence
As long as it shuts the madman pinning needles in my mind
Tell me how your day was.

ra2_mi

سوئے محبت// For still remaining

mivt_randomlyabstractجب کبھی
میں ماضی کے ان پیلے اوراق کو پلٹتی ہوں
اجڑی محبت کی کسیلی بساند آتی ہے
جیسے لاش
رکھے رکھے سڑ چکی ہو
ساتھ ہی
ایک تصویر امید کی
نظروں کے سامنے ناچنے لگتی ہے
کہ جب وہ ہچکی لے کے ٹوٹی تھی
اور محبت
ان ہی تاروں، جگنووٗں، تتلیوں اور پھولوں کے درمیان
بے دردی سے چاکی تھی
ایک جنازہ دوبارہ اٹھتا ہے
ایک ماتم پھر سے ہوتا ہے


Every time
I open
This yellow book of our lost story
A funeral takes place, again
Not of hope, for it died long ago ( and nothing pierces my heart more than my brave warrior’s last breath )
But of every moment still saved from the blots

Sometimes it plays in slow motion,
Other times, happens in a blink.
Each time though, one more piece dies
Of what is left
And how I curse this mass for still remaining.

I·dyl·lic

img_4786_randomlyabstract

Amidst sky hues,
Setting suns, misty blues,
Silences lapsing into eternities, infinities;
Our poetry calls us to listen.


Took this on my return route from Nathiagali, Pakistan. Got inspired by the daily post’s challenge to share it because this trip meant all sorts of magic to me.

(This week’s horizon makes me want to show it again. I feel a connection with this one.)

tsk

they are all growing old
old and apart.
none of them truly excited
about anything at all
and as they stand close,
shoulders touching,
you hear them whisper,
dewy-eyed:
happiness is not a goal.
you nod
and stifle a giggle.
they’re all the same!
all, winners in this game

the monsters in my cupboard

we had monsters in our house.
they had come uninvited, of course, and they wouldn’t go away.
hush

we had monsters in our house. they had come uninvited, of course, and they wouldn’t go away so we stuffed them in my cupboard
we thought we had hid them well.
only they didn’t like it – at all.

we had monsters in our house and we stuffed them in my cupboard where they took all the space but didn’t like it there at all
we thought they wouldn’t – but we didn’t care
they cared, of course, because they didn’t like it at all

the monsters from my cupboard would beat gongs to protest – I don’t know how they got them there –
the monsters in my cupboard would never rest.
the monsters in my cupboard would not give up.
we would tell we couldn’t hear them but our eyes betrayed us every time.
one would point at the other when they saw several small circles of red veins on their irises
and black clouds underneath
but the fingers would also point back at ourselves so we never had to say
shush

Our Lips Were Sealed.

our lips were sealed except on days we screamed, altogether
we would scream and scream while the monsters from my cupboard would play a thunderous clap
they would shout in alien languages and beat gongs, and roll drums – I don’t know how they got them there but they would. none would tire.

our lips were sealed until the monsters from my cupboard Won and found a way Out
the monsters in my cupboard were no longer monsters inside my cupboard for they found a way out
when they found a way out they hid under my bed. they had better plans to take revenge.

every time the screaming happened, a similar series ensued:
we always got tired and slept cuddling each other, demanding warmth, pleading for safety in The Most Silent Language Ever
we never wanted the monsters to hear. you see, we were trying to manage everything despite suffering
every time the screaming happened and we went to sleep afterwards, craving warmth and safety, rubbing scars revealing fresh blood, one of us wouldn’t sleep.
one of us couldn’t sleep.
one of us couldn’t sleep because the monsters that were stuffed in my cupboard and were now hiding under my bed would find them.
they would face them boldly, ruthlessly, and make a living mess out of them.
they would threaten to shred their skin and scar their lips. pull their bulging eyes out.
(our eyes would be bulging because of our fear.)

every time the screaming happened, a similar series ensued:
we always got tired and went to sleep with one another, but the monsters wouldn’t sleep
they preyed on one of us.
they would eat some of their flesh, and gargle with their blood
and finally, they would pull them under their bed and put a hand over their mouths
As If They Could Scream

one by one, we fell prey to the monsters – at night
during our days we would live like each other.
and did we see our wounds and half fleshes? of course we did.
but we didn’t say for we couldn’t help it. none of us could
and we were losers who had lost while pretending all the way that we knew better
we became them.
and started biting ourselves.

An Apology

Here is an apology
For each tear, every cut on your heart
And everything you feel you deserve one for
But never got.

Here is that apology which couldn’t reach you before
For your lost years, or lost months, or lost weeks
Or just lost days-in-between.
For the sound your bones make when you pull up from a non-sleep
To join another meaningless chase.
For the voice that no more chokes
On hearing, or saying, the word sorry
For your uncontrollable sobs of yesteryear
The memories of which you’ve swept under your chest
To be crushed by the burden of this same meaningless chase we know nothing about.

I cannot mend what is lost
I cannot even change what got wasted but I can hope
And I do. I hope for peace to find you and provide you with just as more strength as you need
Just more strength, as always,
Until you become your hero.
Again. Only this time more truly.

With love.

To move on

How easy
It was
For you
To move on
And fall in love
With this guy
And in his arms,
Say:
You’re home.

How easy
You say
It was for me
To move on
And fall in love
With this other guy
And call him home.

How easy
I ask
Do you think
Can it be
To fall out
Of a home
You’ve always called home
When the landlord
Of His Heart
Decides
To throw you out
And say:
It is done.

How easy
I ask
Do you think
Could it possibly be
To find
The curtains, red, of your passion
Lit by fire
That extinguishes never
Even after
You’ve sprayed
Countless bottles
Of healing water.

How far
Had we come
And how far
Are we now.
But do you see
The scars
I still have
Just about everywhere?

And right now
You stand
And ask
How easy
It was
For me to move on
It was not
Easy at all.

free

There comes a time when
Deleting people and numbers and letters and songs
Becomes easy.
As if,
They weren’t entire chapters in your life but were
Mere sentences.

(And sometimes, you have to call that upon yourself.)

A Sonnet on the Starry Night.

One, two, three stars so bright
Come lay next to me, and count
Twinkling, sparkling before your sight
Tell me, what do you think of this amount?

Spurting beams of silver so fine
Soft trails they leave while playing around
Tell me how you like their shine
Or does it leave you too spellbound?

Twenty, thirty, this might never end:
We can count and count until morning calls.
Their smiles say they do well understand
There are less chances we might name all.

It might also be true they know secrets of God
And so they dance, His love they applaud.

This is the last one for the Writing 201 challenge as it finally ends today after two weeks. Our form was “sonnet” and theme “pleasure”.

Ghosts of our love.

I make the world’s best coffee.
I know this because you said it.
You said it because you meant it.
You meant it because you loved me.
You loved me why?

I stand here in my house – once what meant “home” – and shiver like a leaf
Because the enormity of this place seems terrifying without you and I feel I can’t do without my roots.

Walls shake as your laughter echoes, the defenses I had made come crumbling down
I can no more understand where to look for you – or not to – as my feet take me running round and round

My ears are ringing now with a voice that isn’t yours, my vision blurs with something that should be tears
My mind is on fire and my heart in a sea, and my room and its clock and its bed and its floor
And your pen and your shirt and your watch and your sheets
And your smiles and your eyes, and your eyes, and your eyes.

Then you come and hold me – out of where?
Whisper something soothing like a prayer;
Running your fingers through my hair, you hold my gaze and say: “darling, please take care”

I listen to you and sit down.
Cross my legs, bend my head, begin to count.
I notice that my breathing calms and the knots in my body do unknot
As your scent enters into me and your soul takes a spot.

Of our home- Dreamsville.

Once upon a time in Time,
A man came panting to our town
His eyes were red and head tousled,
On his face was set a frown.

He said, “I have come from a land afar
To question you of your false fame, sire!
My feet are tired but my heart won’t rest,
Until I get my answers – oh, need is dire.

You are people of a town so great
You live and sell, and play with dreams
It is here that they are born, from here do come
Our hopes and goals and smiles and screams.

But I have been dreaming now a dream for long
It seems to me  like a thread without end.
I toss and turn and shoo it in sleep,
But it goes nowhere at all, my friend.

Tell me why you spun dreams so eternal
Why for us humans you did not care?
Our capacity to hold untold is controlled
We can only bear too much of despair.

O people of Dreamsville! You say dreams breed here
Why can’t you find for me a closure to this nightmare?”

Hearing his plea a woman from our town
Stepped forward, smiled, and began to speak:
“Dreams, my man, are portals to great truths
They surely aren’t much for those who are weak!”

“When we send you a dream, it is for you to complete
Interpret correct or not, but to follow its lead
When you see a dream that seems everlasting
Go ahead and nurture it with struggle’s feed.”

It’s almost 4 a.m here. It took me an hour to write this one but it’s important to me because I thought I could never write a ballad*. It’s not perfect but it’s a try, and it was FUN creating this whole thing. It is in response to our poetry challenge 201: Neighborhood, Ballad, Assonance for which we were supposed to write anything related to a “neighborhood” or sense of it, as a ballad like it was done in the formative years.

* ballads are dramatic, emotionally-charged poems that tell a story, often about bigger-than-life characters and situations, and their rhyme scheme is a-b-c-b.

Sad whispers of the mo(u)rning…

 image5

Move him gently

Anything might rouse him now.

No prayers nor bells

Nor any voice of mourning.

The shrill, demented choirs of wailing shells,

And bugles calling.

I should die, I think.

His face bears a wrinkled smile of completeness.

From this heart: all evil shed away.

But his sights and sounds; dreams happy as day;

And laughter?

Is he so hard to stir? Was it for this

That he slept at all?

Did he sleep at all for this?

 

(Written in response to Writing Challenge 201: Found Poem. This is a kind of poetry composed of words and letters you’ve collected from elsewhere, and arranged in a way that it gives a different message. Our theme for this was “faces”, which I’ve used in two ways. One is the face of this person in my family that I saw yesterday. He is awake but he is not awake. He is just….there. Second is the face of the greater thing that leaves us all helpless before it. Nature, death, disease. Anything like that.

Our assignment also included the task of adding a chiasmus which is a reversal in lyrics. I invented one in the last line. Apart from that, the words of this poem have been taken from four random classical poems of English literature including Futility, Beautiful Old Age, The Soldier, and Anthem for Doomed Youth.)

An ode to the place in my imagination I cannot capture in words.

You keep me alive.

I struggle to pull you out from my mind and in letters mention

So to retrieve from subconscious this perturbing suspension.

 

To give you life I strive.

Clinging to the planets of an unconnected galaxy,

I get to spy your most mystical majesty.

 

Like a boat adrift but not lost

Sometimes, a warming flame in frost

You are laughter, pain, rain, darkness and sound

You are everything I am without border or bound

Perhaps a dream to be kept, or what will once come out

You are the only destiny I will ever care about.

 

(In response to writing 201 challenge which asked us to write an ode using metaphors on places only we knew, a special route, or a space we wish to inhabit. On “map”. I used this chance to write about this one thing I cannot write about. It’s something that is, but is not, and is real yet so far it is almost unreachable. A place I cannot map in my mind but one I cherish nevertheless. Poetry format: Pindaric. Rhyme scheme is abb–acc–ddeeff.)

Lamerick

Once upon a time, a silver doe

Came out of nowhere into the snow

To the pool it walked

Harry followed, shocked

Limerick ends. Next you’ll never know.

This in response to the the Writing 201 challenge which required us to write a limerick (9-9-5-5-9 syllables, a-a-b-b-a rhyme scheme) on ‘imperfect’ but guess the only thing imperfect is the poem itself, lels. Used enjambment. The theme, in case you can’t recall (or haven’t read), is a chapter from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows where the pretty thing comes to his rescue while at the forest.

The-Silver-Doe

The universe smiles with me.

“Sea waves kiss my feet. I bend to hold wet sand in my hand and close my fingers for a while to feel. It slips away when I open them again but the lines on my palm glitter with a soft silver gleam. I turn back and night shifts and I find myself in another place. There is no sea, no waves, no wind. But the inside of my hand glitters still. I lay back down and find grass beneath me. Soothing and serene. I touch some strands to gather green. It tickles, softly. Your name I write then, on my skin, and smile. The universe smiles with me.”

Written in response to writing challenge 201: “Skin”. (Write a prose poem using internal rhymes; choose whatever meaning of skin speaks most to you.)

Truly Yours.

To you, I want to give flowers–I don’t mind that being cliched–

Roses, wrapped in ribbons. Letters, soaked in perfume. Stars.

Unnecessary though it might be, I want to tell you again and so often

Love, how much I have come to love you that I’ve now begun to live you.

Your thought is my drug, your memory is heaven’s mercy,

Your presence is an air without which my lungs parch up.

Oh the Sun of my universe, the Light of my soul!

Undying is my adoration–like a forever flowing ocean.

Remember this: my gift to you is my heart. I am yours.

Some day you’ll see. That some day, we will be.

Written in response to Writing 201 challenge: write something about a gift, use a simile. Poem form: acrostic. (The first letters of each line together form a special word which is the theme here.) Hi.

Lost in losing.

cry for help: unheard

you were so busy scrolling

mom. she needed you.

needed_raHaiku #14 ~ Written in response to writing challenge 201: write a poem about/against/in homage to the screens in your life using alliteration somewhere in 5-7-5 format. They used the words ‘addictive, comforting, inescapable’ for its glow. I’ll add destructive, distancing, and definitely depressing to it. Image via fotolia.com.

From last course: Bestow, please.

flut·ter·in no·more

people so passionate,
their hearts thrumming against their chests
as new ideas play their flutes
and the visions of their imagined golden outcomes
lift their feet to the skies.
dreams
gleam in their eyes
and words fall from their mouths so easily: the earth is their pillow.
they need not fear the world because the world fears them.
while i,
on the other end,
put my head on my knees and cry by the unknowing river
because the butterfly i had once sheltered in the cave of my stomach
has died of dark and doesn’t flutter.