What’s Left Of Us

And then it came to an end
An era it had seemed,
An age had passed us by
While we were together,
We had aged also though we felt it not
Because time stood still
When my hand was in yours.
Ordinary in real life
I was beautiful, I was magic
For your eyes only
That is how I saw myself,
Cherished.
And so life played it’s card
And we paid the price
Gladly we will pay it again
My heart on the counter,
Bleeding and beating,
Branded with your name on it
No one wants it now, it wants no one else.
And so it was the sweetest goodbye,
A poison welcome only from your lips,
Coping. Thinking. Learning. Mending.
That’s me, that’s you, what’s left of us.

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My Invisible Prison

Bound to the ground with chains of earthly scents

I feel like an outcast and I’ll never be let out again,

I saw the eagle soaring high above my head,

I wanted to get to it but it just fell down dead,

Why is it that whenever I’m alone, there is no one to be with me?

Why is it that wherever I go there is no one to come with me?

 

So let me go, just let me go,

I want to fly away like a bird,

I know I can’t but soon I would.

 

Fallen from my high perch in the clouds, I drift among the undead,

So I raise my hands in supplication but they cut off my wings instead,

 They want to make me their queen; they push me onto this throne of gold

I am shocked, I am scared and I have nowhere to go.

Why is it that whenever I’m afraid, there is no one to comfort me?

Why is it that when I feel so powerless, there is no one to fight for me?

 

So let me go, just let me go,

I want to sing a song like the thrush,

I part my lips but I’m silenced with a hush.

 

The creatures here are alien to me and  I am an alien to them,

They have never seen someone like me and eye me like a gem,

These are people with no god, no one to call their own,

These barbarians are feeding on each other’s flesh and bone.

Why is it that when I feel so lost, there is no one to show me the way?

Why is it that when I feel so overcrowded, there is no one to fly me away?

 

So let me go, just let me go,

I want to live my life as happily as a lark,

But here I am weeping, stumbling in the dark.

 

They see me crying and wonder what is wrong with me,

Any longer here and I will be questioning my sanity,

My heart aches and I’m homesick for the home is where the heart is,

I ponder over my imprisonment and wonder why I even exist.

Why is it that when I feel so isolated there is no one to give me company?

Why is it that when I’m bruised and injured no one has a remedy?

 

So let me go, just let me go,

I want to be as peaceful as a dove,

Not a cruel, heartless beast without love.

 

You wonder why I’m crying out from an unseen malady,

the reason being that I was a bird not that often seen,

the barbarians I speak of are the human to whom I was something new,

they captured me and tortured me till I was black and blue.

Why was it that when I cried out in despair, they called my cries a lovely song?

Why was it that I was made a prisoner in a cage for no fault of my own?

 

I no longer cry for my freedom for I have found it now,

have many questions unanswered for you to find out.

At this moment though, I chose not to dwell on my horrible past,

I do not wish to look at my mangled corpse that my spirit has sideways cast.

(Note: Published in the D.A. College official magazine ‘Sahil’ in 2006.)

better than perfect

There are no straight lines

in nature, nothing so smooth,

nothing so sharp as what I make

repeatedly, every day, every hour

because I seek to perfect

that which already is.

Casting moulds to clone the self

in the class, on the board

drawing straight lines again

and again the rest follow.

There was only one Adam, as was Eve but

all are Adam and Eve today,

not the children, mind, we believe

we are those sinners flung from heaven.

Such arrogance as that of the sea

consuming, raging, all of this

inside us, you and me.

Spheres, so compact, so efficient,

but no, cubes we prefer

because they fit in everything.

Viewing life upside down

through a teardrop, do you think

maybe it is right side up instead?

But I hold melted sand in my hand, glass,

wavering my vision, it is perfect I say.

So let it be, I am right

only in this world, to think

I can make the mould better again.

To have you

To have you would be awesome,

he said, to have you for real

my wishes would come true,

he said, everything I feel

will come to life, just a fantasy

no longer will it be.

To have you for good,

he said, if only you agree

I will spread my riches for you,

though little they may seem

to you, but if you would be mine

then no power could stop me

from loving you, holding you,

believe me you will see

that to have you would be awesome

he said, and I will make it real.

Almost like a child

Like a child he was

So innocent, so sweet

No person like him

Did I ever meet

But they spared him not

They took him away

So quickly they went,

Not a word he could say

All the hurt they caused him

Its scars were there

They wouldn’t leave him,

A never-ending nightmare

Like a child he howled

Writhing in pain

His blood showered on me

Falling like rain

Like a child he wept

As his shell fell apart

The capture of his freedom

Was a stake through my heart

Like a child he lay,

On my lap was his head

Like a child he cried

Fighting to come back

Like a child he grew

Afraid of death

As the angel of darkness

Silently swept

‘Go away!’ I cried,

‘To the farthest shore,

Go! Let my darling

Sleep some more.’

But his soul, black death,

Wrenched away from me

And his unseeing eyes

Lay for all to see…

Only A Moment

It only takes a moment

to stop a beating heart

for happiness to leave us

for lovers to part

 

and it only takes a moment

for good times to pass

when memories are erased

and the end comes atlast

 

and it only takes a moment

for joys to turn away

when doom walks in

and life walks away

 

and it only takes a moment

for the men to fall

as the women grieve

for they’ve lost it all

 

and it only takes a moment

for the walls to collapse

as the roof caves in

dust fills in the gaps

 

and it only takes a moment

as blood runs like water

the mother mourns her son

the father, his daughter

 

and it only takes a moment

for a child to pick a gun

when his toys have been destroyed

his heart burns like the sun

 

and it only takes a moment

of sheer insanity

for you to lose control

and your humanity

 

and it only takes a moment

for brothers to be divided

as the protectors face

all enemies united

 

and it only takes a moment

for the first arrow to fly

and so it begins

when innocents die

 

and it only takes a moment

for your city to burn

the roads become deserted

and ghosts haunt every turn

 

and it only takes a moment

when all you knew was gone

all you had, you lost

nothing has been won

 

and it only takes a moment

for evil to reign supreme

when the good has fallen

your soul you can’t redeem

 

and it only takes a moment

for darkness to descend

the spark of life extinguished

we meet the fated end…

 …but it only takes a moment

for a young heart to start beating

the spark of life is ignited

witness a new beginning

(Note: This poem and its Urdu translation were presented at the International Forum of Youth Poetesses, 2013, held in Baku, Azerbaijan by the Great SilkWay International Youth Union.)