The Barren

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I was unclothed,
raw and skinless.
The bones seem to hang
to each other,
like they’re tired of holding
their own weight.

Felt naked for so long,
it started to reflect.
Growing insensitive of screams
surrounding my presence.
I had no nerves to feel,
nor any pores to sweat.

I was akin to a carcass
of an animal,
left by the hunter,
after being done with the play
for which it was preyed.

Perhaps, that’s what
they referred as the cost
of abandoning those
who did swear on your love.
Time wandered through me
like a mice in maze.

Here I was standing,
amidst a home of birds
and the nest of people.
They’re calling me
by my name,
but I had no idea
of what it did sound like
any more.

Is there still a life here?
waiting to be kind
to someone who’s seeking
a warmth in a cold,
if not a shelter in summer’s.

Where most saw,
stack of wood piled up
before bonfire
gets commenced.
A star, still saw here
a scaffold for a structure
yet to emerge out of eclipse.

The fire it is,
in its heart,
that’s warming me,
so that the burned one
may live once again.
Folding time to a junction,
where spring too knew,
what they call now – the barren.

– Dedicated to the stars, both of earth and the heavens, that show up time and again, to rekindle the dry flame.

Image Credits:
“The Barren” – By Aminah Tasleem.

Trampoline of Hope

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The Fallen Angel – I look for you, to rise again…

My love,
If I ever escape from your pull
remind me, like a Star,
how I need your charm,
to remain like a moon,
rather a dull rock.

If I ever get lost amidst the way
remind me, my love,
like a Sun,
how I need your direction,
to remain like a journeyman,
rather a mere wanderer.

If I ever begin to drown in ocean
remind me, my love,
like a steadfast sail,
how I need to work the waves,
to remain like a swimmer,
rather a sunk weight.

If I ever begin falling from grace
remind me, my love,
with a holy spell,
how I need to tend my wings,
to remain an angel,
rather a devil’s advocate.

If I ever feel defeated in battle
remind me, my love,
like a trampoline of hope,
how I can rise back,
to remain in knight’s form,
rather than a mercy rag.

If I ever start loosing a grip
remind me, my love,
like your hem’s knit,
how I need a safety net,
to remain like a mountain,
rather than an abyss.

If I ever begin to break in skin,
remind me, my love,
like one sculpting,
how I need to collect shards,
to remain composed as a piece,
rather than one fallen apart.

Remind me always,
my love
of our days,
the tears we shed,
and laughs we had,
moments we made,
for all time we spent.

But, do bring me back,
from depths of darkness.
For you’ve to remember this,
light is needed the most
at the gloomiest.

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The Flying Angel – It’s your spirit that always keeps me propelled.

– Dedicated to the beloved – who fills our heart with hope and joy, never giving up on us, no matter what.

Image Credits:
1. Fallen Angels (Cover art) – tophdgallery.com
2. Angel in Sky – blog.gggodonou.me

Paper Boats

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One day I saw,
a person from my window.
A man double my age,
walking down an opposite lane,
wearing a black rain coat,
amidst the hot day’s temp…

He stood beside a pole,
started looking down a road…
Perhaps, he was waiting for
someone to be there,
or may be, it’s where
his ride was to stop.

Day after day, I saw him
repeating all the same,
came no ride to take him,
nor came any friend.
I wondered what was it about
that made him stick
to a single frame.

And then one day he broke
his pattern all same…
He did show up to be there,
but could no longer stand.
He sat there still,
till an eve’s end,
even when his body started
showing signs of pain.

What would mount up
I wondered,
to such a resilience.
Though, I lived my life
across the docks,
yet never saw any person
pulling an act like that…

Like a novice, who spent
majority of his life at pier,
watching boats all day,
making to and forth in circles…
It was hard to see a man,
not showing pedigree of passengers,
but instead a sign of a carriage.

One day he didn’t budge
from its posture,
he’s still as a milestone,
for the whole long day…
Curious, I ventured close,
to see if he’s doing well,
I found him having, apparently
his last few breaths…

He did notice my presence
in his surrounding, and
hinted me to give him a hand.
He pulled me closer to self,
with little energy he had left.
And uttered few words in my ear,
that hardly made any sense.

I saw smile in his eyes,
like a glittering silver fountain,
as if, of a soldier that has won
all fights, all the battles…
Till I saw that shine began
to gradually faint,
before I could register
it was a parting stance.

As he died, I felt,
I had lost a friend,
yet I reflected, I knew nothing
much about that man.
In few moments, I noticed
he had something
enclosed in his hands,
A paper in his fists,
something tightly clenched.

It was a letter written,
perhaps, with a red fountain:
“I’ll be there my love, with you,
for we have to follow what
we weaved,
and dance once again in a rain
that made us fall for each other
at drizzling…
I know you’ll be waiting!”

I recalled, I used to think,
one day I would become
an architect of a vessel,
that may offer wanderer
a ride to the destined place.
Little did I feel before
that man was a vessel too
for a soul’s fate.

It was then, I realized,
he waited for the beloved,
like a kid,
who after creating a paper boat,
drops it into a puddle of water –
standing still after the rain,
looking out for the wind,
wishing it to be sailed…

How few of us ever know
that a promise, the journey,
matters more
than an eventual place.
That it’s attempts that make us
know the love’s true strength.

Suddenly, sky started to cry,
like it was too attending a funeral.
I don’t know whether it was
to greet or to bid him farewell.
Right with noise of first thunder,
his last words started to make sense…
“Dream, create, rejoice…
Don’t leave stones unturned!”

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– Dedicated to my maternal grand dad: Mr. Sadruddin Sohani (who passed away two days ago, loosing his fight with Cancer, but winning a war called “life” – by spending it like a King, till the very last moment).

Image Credits:
1. ‘The Harbour’ by Aminah Tasleem.
2. ‘Together’ by Arefin03 (Deviantart).

Too many seasons encircled around (Kitne Mausam Sargardaan Thay)

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Translation:

Too many seasons
encircled around
to make me a spring…
Yet, perhaps, it was I
who prolonged, moon’s
return from eclipse…

An echo of silence there was,
along, hollowness of sound…
I know not, for how long
I sat in wilderness of union,
unaffected!

The bond of bed parted
with the rest, by splinter
made of a piercing memory.
Dream woke up in its infancy,
to adjust sheet and pillow drifting.

Today, wrestles with me
the fragrance of flower,
drenching me whole day.
The flower that once took time
as much to bloom
as less to wither away.

Colors settled the mood,
conversations too met halfway.
At what juncture,
pushed by a river of life,
I lost what made me, away…?

Gathering very ashes
of regrets, I formed,
my shore, a separate island.
What not passed through there,
surrendering to rumor:
“No wilderness”.

Applied pain, torment,
regrets, brokenness,
all that sought fixture.
Used everything at disposal
to weave image of the future!

This only dawned on sober,
at the moment of inquiry.
What struggle it is
to defend the heart
once it’s out from a hiding.

Once used to feel
carefree, right after
placating my heart…
Now I bargain with
pieces of wreckage,
that insist to stay apart.

– Dedicated to missed moments

Urdu version (original poem by Azm Behzad):

کتنے موسم سرگرداں تھے مجھ سے ہاتھ ملانے میں
میں نے شاید دیر لگا دی خود سے باہر آنے میں

ایک نگاہ کا سناٹا ہے، اک آواز کا بنجر پن.
میں کتنا تنہا بیٹھا تھا قربت کے ویرانے میں

بستر سے کروٹ کا رشتہ ٹوٹ گیا اک یاد کے ساتھ.
خواب سرہانے سے اٹھ بیٹھا تکیے کو سرکانے میں

آج اس پھول کی خوشبو مجھ میں پیہم شور مچاتی ہے
جس نے بے حد عجلت برتی کھلنے اور مرجھانے میں

بات بنانے والی راتیں رنگ نکھارنے والے دن.
کِن رَستوں پر چھوڑ آیا میں عمر کا ساتھ نبھانے

ایک ملال کی گرد سمیٹے میں نے خود کو پار کیا.
کیسے کیسے وصل گزارے ہِجر کا زخم چھپانے میں

جتنے دکھ تھے، جتنی امیدیں، سب سے برابر کام لیا.
میں نے اپنے آئندہ کی اِک تصویر بنانے میں

ایک وضاحت کے لمحے میں مجھ پر یہ احوال کھلا
کتنی مشکل پیش آتی ہے اپنا حال بتانے میں

پہلے دل کو آس دلا کر بے پرواہ ہو جاتا تھا.
اب تو عزمؔ بکھر جاتا ہوں میں خود کو بہلانے میں

– عزم بہزاد

Special thanks to Miss Hira Jamil, for pointing me towards this poem.

Image Credits: Apartment Window (Stock picture)

Lately…

This poem is a response to Miss Aminah Tasleem’s melancholic words in poem: 7:49 AM

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Lately, I’ve been tracing,
the footsteps on shore,
before waves come sweeping.
I found, those who submerged,
gave great thought before drowning.

For, I’ve too been swimming,
in river of memories, lately,
I felt touched,
by carcass of bodies,
they’re animated, steered by beasts.

Lately, I have been roaming,
corners of capital,
where people went missing.
Found there myself,
facing mirrors haunting!

For, I had been discovering,
statues of stone,
etched in abandoned places.
I related, how they’re frozen
in pangs of longing…

Lately, I’ve been dreaming,
about lands in fantasy,
a place where humans met
the guardian angels,
I gather, angels were relocating!

For, I’ve been wishing
days from a tranquil memory,
when ruled the living,
but I heard fragments urging…
‘let us be, stop chasing!’

Lately, I have been smiling,
in public appearances, the
shows of avid performances,
leaving each a note,
“Few acts worth remembering”!

For, I’ve been visiting,
the markets, to shed some old stuff,
just to feel light-weighted.
But, I ended up acquiring, what was
left by someone migrating!

Lately, I’ve been reading,
poems of secluded artists,
now no longer writing…
I found, nips become frozen,
when memories start unrolling.

Lately, I’ve been writing,
poems to those who’ve parted,
even when none’s answering.
For I found early,
when ducts open flood gate,
one shouldn’t be resisting.

– Dedicated to late time recalling…

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Image Credits:
1. Boat alone – stock wallpaper.
2. Solitude – stock wallpaper.

What one refers to as “Angels”…

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When a bird flying high,
fell from the sky…
having burned its wings,
it broke a new sigh.

The trees asked,
each other…
“who would help the bird now?
Would it ever walk – let alone fly now?”

“Where are the clouds now
for providing a shade?
Where’s the breeze now
for which bird sung the praise?”

Acid rain of bleakness occurs
and like the wound it hurts,
When air of hopelessness
lurks, it spreads the fears.

Yet in very wounds
enters a light,
in darkness we meet those,
who support
and back our fight.

Fallen bird was helped
by few kind and generous ones…
Their presence was no
shorter than of miracles.

True it is,
when they say
charm of presence works,
it’s not a myth,
what they refer to as “Angels”.

– Dedicated to the angels of course…

Dear all,

Today, this blog has completed a year of its existence… I certainly have lots of people to thank for it. Because without their presence, their constant support and encouragement it might not have survived – let alone thrived and been this populated.

My first thanks is to all the readers and frequent visitors… Thank you for being there, I will try not to disappoint you…

Now like, every structure has its foundation, there’s been people here who have continuously backed the serenades of this lazy dreamer.

My special thanks to…

Areesha Khuwaja, for convincing me to create a blog and giving it a boast by posting my poems along her original art work.
Maria Imran, for standing by and encouraging in all endeavors through out from very beginning…
Lala Rukh, for always showing up with words of encouragement and praise.
Sonya Kassam, for her kind words, comments and inspiration.
Aminah Tasleem and Tayyeba Irum, for appreciation and anticipation of more writing from my end.
Shereen Aljarrah, for her support and elegance.
Maryam Hannelore, for continuous support, motivation, and generosity.
Bob (rjl2727), for his friendship and motivation.
Sidra Kamal, for her gracious acts, encouragement and sincerest comments.
Miss Maqsood, for her continuous encouragement and motivation over my mediocre translations of great Urdu poems.
Moniba, for her classic taste and unbeatable standards…
Asma Zia, for her words of appraisals and inspirational scene write-ups.
Hina Arshad, for kind words and encouragement of poems.
Hira Jamil, for words of appraisal and support.
Aima Yusaf Jamal, for her appreciative comments.
Daman-e-Zehra, for her praise and relating poems with other poems,
Mr. Wajahat, for encouragement and support.
Miss Rida, for thorough and detailed comments, appraisals and encouragement.
Sahrish Iftikhar, for kind words and praise of poems.
Miss Himani B, for kind comments, esteemed taste and inspirational poems.
Miss Chatty Owl, for her reading the poems way they are meant, and endorsing the translations.
Alice, for always picking up something new in a poem to praise it with.
Huda Bukhari, for her nice and detailed comments along discussion.
Pamela and Bharti Singh for appreciations and kind comments.
Ihsan Jaffer, silent yet a regular visitor to endorse the poems.
Hira Nazir, for her generous comments and motivation.

Thank you to following again for their original poems so well written, that it enticed a response in me:
Maria Imran, Aminah Tasleem, Shereen Aljarrah, Hira Jameel, Sidra Kamal…

I hope I have not missed mentioning anyone… Nevertheless, I am truly grateful and thankful to each soul who has been here…

Stay Blessed and Keep Rocking! 🙂

Who are the angels, who are the birds, I don't know... I know only of one who did draw wings with me on snow...

What are the birds, who are the angels, perhaps I don’t know…
If I know, then it is those who did draw wings with me on snow…

 

In such a way, walls of my life did collide with someone (Yun zindagi ki raah mein takra gya koi)

– Performed by non other than Ghazal legend: Mehdi Hassan saheb.

Translation:

In such a way, walls of my life did collide with someone…
Like canvas of darkness is spilled of light by someone…

That stroke, first bump into each-other, what can I say?
How unique was the situation be-felling, what can I say?
That crash, that shock and the awe, I do remember…
Her appearing cold and indifferent, I do remember…
Irremovable such an ink, way it’s inscribed by someone…

As she crossed her eyes with mine, she got all frost.
Stepping into realm of her thoughts, she got all lost.
At defenseless stance of mine, she showered her compassion.
Perhaps, the way I suffered, too stirred up her veiled passion.
As close to an extent of feeling the breaths came someone…

With such love and affection she brushed my guard,
Like destination itself chose a journeyman’s heart…
In tenth of the moment, such lightning got struck…
In all veins to my heart, her fragrance got stuck…
Curls leading to a trance were waved at me by someone…

Ask me no further, state of my heart in the pittance…
Ask me nor of those nameless desires now in emergence…
A stranger in a life, became a fuel for soul’s fire…
An accident unpredicted, became sole subject of desire.
Path waiting along destiny is revealed to me by someone…

– Dedicated to serendipitous collisions…

yun zindagi ki raah mein takra gaya koi
ik roshni andheroun mein bikhra gaya koi

woh haadsa woh pehli mulaakat kya kahoon
kitni ajab thi soorat-e-haalaat kya kahoon
woh kehar woh ghazab woh jafa mujh ko yaad hai
woh uski be-rukhi ki adaa mujh ko yaad hai
mit-ta naih hai zehn say yun chhaa gaya koi
yun zindagi ki raah mein takra gaya koi

pehlay mujhay woh dekh kay barham si ho gayee
phir apnay he haseen khyaaloun mein kho gayee
bechaargi pe meri usay reham aagya
shayed meray tarapnay ka andaaz bhaa gaya
saansoun se bhi kareeb thee mere aa gaya koi
yun zindagi ki raah mein takra gaya koi

yun usnay pyar say meri baanhoun ko chhoo liya
manzil nay jaisay shauk ki raahoun ko chhoo liya
ik pal mein dil pe kaisi qayamat guzar gayee
rag rag mein uski khushbu bikhar gayee
zulfoun ko mere shaanay pe lehra gaya koi
yun zindagi ki raah mein takra gaya koi

ab is dil-e-tabaah ki haalat na poochiye
be-naam aarzu’oun ki lazzat na poochiye
ik ajnabi ka rooh ka armaan ban gya
ik haadsa tha pyar ka, unwaan ban gya
manzil ka raasta mujhe dikhla gya koi
yun zindagi ki raah mein takra gya koi

yun zindagi ki raah mein…

Urdu version:

یوں زندگی کی راہ میں ٹکرا گیا کوئی
اک روشنی اندھیروں میں بکھرا گیا کوئی

وہ حادثہ وہ پہلی ملاقات کیا کہوں
کتنی عجب صورتحال کیا کہوں
یوں قہر وہ غضب وہ جفا مجھ کو یاد ہے
وہ اسکی بے رخی کی ادا مجھ کو یاد ہے
مٹتا نہیں ہے ذہن پہ یوں چھا گیا کوئی
یوں زندگی کی راہ میں ٹکرا گیا کوئی

پہلے مجھے وہ دیکھ کے برہم سی ہوگئی
پھر اپنے ہی حسین خیالوں میں کھو گئی
بیچارگی پہ میری اسے رحم آ گیا
شاید میرے تڑپنے کا انداز بھا گیا
سانسوں سے بھی قریب تھی مرے آگیا کوئی
یوں زندگی کی راہ میں ٹکرا گیا کوئی

یوں پیار سے اس نے مری باہوں کو چھو لیا
منزل نے جیسے شوق کی راہوں کو چھو لیا
اک پل میں دل پہ کیسی گزر گئی
رگ رگ میں اسکی خوشبو بکھر گئی
زلفوں کو مرے شانے پہ لہرا گیا کوئی
یوں زندگی کی راہ میں ٹکرا گیا کوئی

اب اس دل تباہ کی حالت نہ پوچھیے
بے نام آرزوؤں کی کی لذت نہ پوچھیے
اک اجنبی کا روح کا ارمان بن گیا
اک خادثہ سا تھا پیار کا، عنوان بن گیا
منزل کا راستا مجھے دکھلا گیا کوئی
یوں زندگی کی راہ میں ٹکرا گیا کوئی

یوں زندگی کی راہ میں۔۔۔۔

– Original poem penned by Masroor Anwar.