میں اگر زیست کی

اس کہانی کو

تصنیف خود کررہا ہوں

تو کردار میرے بنائے ہوئے

کیوں نہیں ہیں،

 

یہ کہانی ورق در ورق

باب در باب

میرے تصور کے برعکس

تبدیل ہوتی رہی ہے،

 

میرا احساس خود مجھ کو

جبری مشقت کا قیدی

بنائے ہوئے ہے،

 

مگرآسمان محبت میں

ہلکی سی جنبش ہوئی ہے

اور مجھ کو یقیں ہے

میرے حصے کی روشن کرن

میرے زنداں کی جانب

روانہ ہوئی ہے۔

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High, Hermit, Hook, Heal

I’ve written it mouthfulls and am yearning for brevity but am liking the start of the process. Hope things will improve with practice and time. The post is again courtesy the kind one I’ve mentioned in the last blog 🙂

The sky falls flat in my feet

as I pluck star after a blazing star;

I blow them cold, so they cannot char

your finger-tips.

Then I take you high,

leaving my ego with the townsfolk.

_______________________________________________________________________

I lose you somewhere in the ether;

your eyes, kohled with star-dust

turn blind on me.

_______________________________________________________________________

I’m a hermit,

living another time and space

beyond the din of the earth’s ridicule,

even the reach of your apathy.

________________________________________________________________________

Yet, on certain moonless nights

a Polaris keeps me hooked to the fire;

a yearning comes to crush it kohl,

to heal a wound,

to grace a pair of eyes.

 

 

 

Words in agony

Quenchless words flap their broken wings

but they fall short every time they try a flight

from the dry, rigid terrain of my brain;

their squeaking beaks pierce holes in my soul

yet their pain remains confined.

Clouds cover my thoughts but it seldom rains.

Instead they languish in travails, I pray they be dead

lying in the deathless embrace of the waiting white sheets.

Progression Of An Elegy

A poem is coming;
oozing through a tiny opening
of the block —

a bullet hole
from the left to the right hemisphere
in the skull of this Waziristan child.

A poem is coming
wrapped in a blood-stained sheet
upheld in a charpoy
over the shoulders of the bereaved
of a drone strike;

is coming,
screaming to be heard,
staggering under crimson curlicues,
intruding onto the blank peace,
of your apathy.

An evening to remember

It has been quite some time since I last attended a function of sorts at the Pakistan Academy Of Letters, so when I received this sms of invitation from Khurram Khiraam Siddiqui, the PAL editor of English I had to go there for one doesn’t always come across a person of the stature of Zulfikar Ghose, the US based poet, novelist and essayist, whom the gathering was arranged for.

I was fortunate to arrive earlier at the Editor’s office, meet the honorable Ghose sahib and exchange some pleasantries with him. Thats where I got my hands literally on a copy of the biannual anthology of the Pakistani writers, ‘The Pakistani Literature’ where translations from a variety of Pakistani languages as well as original English works of the prominent Pakistani literati are published. I flipped through pages and was pleasantly surprised to see the publication of four of my translated poems from Pushto. I conveyd my gratitude to Mr. Khiraam who enhanced my delight by showing me a heavier anthology which included pieces of translations as well as a selection of the original Pakistani English literature from 1947 to 2010, that again included a translation of mine. I requested for the contributor’s copies which the Editor generously handed me with compliments.

The function itself was a wonderful experience. Ghose sahib recited poems from his latest collection called ’50 Poems’ published by the Oxford University Press. In between the recitals of his inspiring poetry Ghose sahib delighted us with interesting anecdotes pertaining mostly to his experiences in life. There was a question-answer session in the end which again was full of information as we came to know how writers born in the third world are assigned labels in the West and how it limits the scope of a writer.

The modertator Khurram Khiraam Siddiqui (left) with Zulfikar Ghose (right)

It was an evening to remember and one would like to be a part of such enlightening gatherings more often.