Monday, 3 July 2017

Like a weed
sure of the sunshine on its little leaves
caught unaware crushed
under the sole of a boot
imprints itself bleeding,
lamenting the last breath that never would count as fragrance,
into dust brought from distances
and earth meets earth
in death
I melt.
And through an open window
in the sultry summer
that brings in no air
the ocean calls out me.
The ocean calls out to me, I melt
and break into water.
Broken bits of myself
crawl down my back
tracing the names scribbled on my spine
lose themselves in the leftover of a rain
clinging on to my curls
in the dark
bursts into contours of the sweet salt other
of moistness of distances, places
people, names
time and moments
to die longing for the ocean.
Soon, sighs
the part of me left back to write.

Thursday, 5 January 2017

The most beautiful sea: hasn't been crossed yet.
We are on boats
Toppled over each other
Holding on and trying
Looking out for a shore
Dying looking
Under the shade of Alan Kurdi, the first
Second, thirds and everyone that follows
The umbrella name
Till we soak the blue red
And leave no sea to cross.

The most beautiful child: hasn't grown up yet.
Curled up in a womb
Trampled by boots righting the wrongs
Blood chromosome home you us i me
Wrong wrongs
The most beautiful died a foetus
Never to grow up.

Our most beautiful days: we haven't seen yet.
Pitch-pellet-black eyes
Burns as we fight for the day
The day the cold of your shadow
Numbs no child of ours
The day you do not want us to see.

And the most beautiful words I wanted to tell you
I haven't said yet.
Cocoons of privileges and insecurities and power
Drown screams
Cull out ink from blood
But, listen
Our words aren't far.

- 8 December 2016

Sunday, 9 October 2016

Let's distract ourselves.
There's Dal.
The chinars.
The apples. The 'kashmir ki kali's.
No. Please, no negatives
Look, our paradise.
Ours. Ours. ours.
The swollen faces
Redder than apples
No, not ours
Pellet fed.
Stones fight and guns win.
Trace the frail ups and downs
In the whistle you hear
They distract themselves with
Waiting. Years now.
Drawings left by stones
Before they took to the streets
On shanty walls. Dark.
Stones can only ashen
Drawings, never bright
Children, they are.
A lullaby crawl through the floor
From the door it returns
Silence of the curfew
Beyond the door
Burns a void.
Void lulled to sleep in cradles, never cry.
Kalis, stripped. Raped.
Killed. Left to live.
Smirk at you
Your admiration
Your songs of love
Scream. Scream in rage.
Distract yourself.
Can, will you?
Dal. Pellets.
Chinars. Blood. Jhelum.
Unrest. Kalis.
Paradise and stones.
Freedom. Blood.
Music. Bleed.
Words. Bleed.

Monday, 15 August 2016

I see you every morning
Waving at the school bus that speeds past you
Looking up from the little heap of sand
You are to burden yourself with
You wave
Everyday you wave at them who live your dreams.
I remember you
From my late night walk
Your eyes clinging on to the kulfi I held
From the truck that carried you into darkness
Your eyes still haunt me
The kulfi tasted a little less sweet that day
A little bitter
Yet I did knew well, the bitterness would die, soon
Sigh! What am I.
And from nowhere we meet
I feel your little fingers pulling down my sleeves
In words I do not fathom
You ask
Your eyes plead.
Akka, I shiver in the familiarity of the word
Kneeling down you touch my feet
As I fumble for words
Do not, I say
Get up, I croak
And as we part ways
You, with the tiny pack of cookies with the last 3 left
Wondering if Amma would let you have it
Already looks out for somebody next
And I think of a 3 year old in a parallel world
Whose childhood spills over my phone gallery
Whose fingers hold crayons and toffees
And walk away not daring to look back at you
Making up verses about you.
An empty verse that ends saying
How skin that spread over my feet you touched, now,
Burn a little.
Burn, it did.

Saturday, 4 June 2016

He rambles
Shares secrets with the air
The voices he converses with, unheard
In vain he tries still
To heal the screams of lives buried under the city
On whose nests and blood it was built.
Mirror shows nothing pleasing
The world spats pity
An insane tramp.

Sight veiled by curtains of blood frozen in time
He sees remnants of what once were
In everything that beams today
Iron rods of confinement in spotless glossy glass panels
Graves under plastered roads.
Blind. Insane.

At times he stops walking
Shouts. Hurls abuses.
At cement blocks and bricks that stood on homes
At wheels that ran over hearts
At us who never are haunted by those screams.
Haunted, not. Us.
By the hungry little feet
That walks more than they can
Selling their childhood
By the street hawkers’ voices
Sounding a hundred years old
Echoes of the abandoned well
Choking on thoughts of survival and debts
By the lives that withered
Without waiting for winter to fall
By the hands that wilted their being
Tearing the last layer of skin
That would keep them warm
To let them die in sleep
Cold meat frozen alive

At times he stops walking
To look at the sky
Hurls abuses
For dying a little by each night
A little less dark
A little less large
Hiding the stars that once he counted.

Insane. Haunted. Blind.
He rambles
Shares secrets with the air
Laughs watching us burn effigies of ourselves
For not being what we pretend to be.

Sunday, 2 August 2015

Lullabies Of Dark

What were your last thoughts
As you breezed through the darkness to sleep?
I wonder
Wishing to see you through the dark
Your smile that walked with you to sleep

I sing
Amma. Her voice, echoing within me
Distant. Nearer than the past
The same old couplet, I sing
I pick the words wrapped in love
Place them in my sky
And watch them shimmer, my stars
Were you lighting up yours too?
A sky?

The fingers.
Mine. Yours. Ours.
We share a silence, a pause
Only your breath speaks
My heart records
Capturing the moment, forever
My lullaby. Your breath. Our silence.
Voice sans noises

Were you feeling safe?
Were you feeling loved?
My fingers trace a smile on you
And I,
Breathe to your rhythm
And lay awake, as you sleep

For those million times
You wrapped your arms around a void
The thousand times your eyes searched for me
My voice, to give words to the voices screaming inside you
For the moments that couldn’t be spent with you

As I drift off to another sky with the clouds
A promise, I leave
The moon will sing for you
My lullabies of dark
And we’ll share our sky
Memories. Moments. And the shimmering stars. 

Thursday, 4 June 2015

Strangers Still

I widen my lips
But the mirror frowns
I push my eyes to the spring
To the corner of memories
They rush back to join the lips
The mirror smiles

You saw my smiles 
A few tales of mine you read
But never did you taste the blood that inked them
And yet you say you know me 
But, we – strangers still

Cause you never saw my scars
The darkness, a blinding deafness
My tears, a violent deep blue sea
My fears, choking roots of an old oak
Whose remnants - scary

I never talked to you those nights 
I abandoned myself in the dark
My fingers went past you scrolling through the contacts 
To end up in silence

You know not my wounds, but, 
The pale left over skin that stretched itself to mask it
Yet you say you want to heal my wounds
The wounds my eyes told only to the night sky 

Read my tears etched in the emptiness amidst the stars
You would, I wish
Only if you could!

As you go around trying to paint the dying leaves green
I stop you
Spill the colors and set fire to your brush
Crumpling yellow – sigh of the fall 
Its beauty, dearer to me

I put them down on paper
The scars. Darkness. Tears and fears. 
Send them to you

My paper boats smile
Sailing through the rain puddles
They whisper their worries
Will they reach you? 

The wet words, would you understand them? 
Blurred, scattered, raw thoughts
Would you run your fingers through those piercing pieces
And paint my heart together?
If you could we could remain not strangers

If. If. If. 

The irony laughs
And strangers, still we remain

a void that
never could be