The Insurmountable

Angel-Falls-Venezuela[1]

Had there been a huge wall of rocks
to scale between us…
we would’ve built stairs together
even if by piling all our possessions,
to nail a pole, holding the flag of surmounting love…
for we intended to never harm
the vines or twines of nature
that surrounded us,
and built us a nest – a safe haven when
we were most withered.

Had there been a mighty ocean
to swim between us…
we would’ve built a bridge together
even from straws spread across the shore
to cross and discover love-islands we adored,
for we intended to never harm
the trees that guarded us
and protected us
from the storms when
we were most scattered.

Had there been a gigantic mountain
to climb between us…
we would’ve formed the ropes together
even from shreds of clothes covering us,
to reach the peak intensity of our love…
for we intended to never harm
the nature that kept us enclosed
and sheltered
from strong winds that blew when
we were light feathered.

Had there been a blinding fog
to swab between us…
we would’ve inhaled it all together
even at cost of the senses that empowered us,
to establish purity of an unending love…
for we intended to never harm
the weather or the seasons
that were always kind to us,
showering their blessings
as dew and sparkle when
we were most dry and arid.

Had there been a breathing volcano
to pass over between us…
we would’ve built clouds and thunders together,
even by evaporating ourselves into a thin air,
to soothe a fire in mountains from rains of love…
for we intended to never harm
the geezers of nature,
and fountains of warmth,
that kept our world soothing, and
filled our wells with compassion, when
we were most abandoned.

Had there been a thick forest
to maneuver between us…
we would’ve explored its maze together
even by forsaking all we regarded dear,
to prove what pulled us together was more
entwined than anything that appeared
for we intended to never harm
the decorum of territories or foliage patterns,
that kept us segregated
from the beasts and the demons when
we were most befuddled.

Had there been a puddle of quicksand
to crossover between us…
we would’ve built the wings together,
even by forfeiting our right to stumble,
to own the sky which hosts pairs of birds forever
for we intended to never harm
the sacred grounds, ambiance or atmosphere,
that kept us close and tight among those
we called our own, when
we didn’t know even a definition of love.

But alas, my love,
we couldn’t do that…

For what we faced
were man-made
impediments and sanctions,
those fences and barriers,
such encompassing restrictions…
that were perhaps,
more mightier than the oceans,
more higher than the mountains,
more blinding than the fog,
and even thicker than the forests…
or any other resistance in nature…

For those
hand drawn borders fractured the free sky
we would have created ripples of love in…
and hefty piles of traditions drowned the boats
that carried the love’s offspring,
Those sanctity of religions,
restricted heart beats and thoughts
that made one come close to beloved.
And those nailed shackles of
color, caste, creed, and background
that managed to bind everything together
except love…

The world we live in
still ranks people,
and relations on basis of everything
that comes along
involuntarily bound to us
since an incident of birth…
And somehow they become so
relevant to keep our souls in
chains and cuffs;
For justification of
our hearts to be sealed behind the
the walls and fences invincible…
to keep us apart forever from what our
souls crave, from our heart’s hunger…
no matter how much we intended or
geared towards all the passion and love…

Or
Perhaps,
we didn’t know how to try better, my love…
May be we gave up way too soon
like the weaklings
before
we could give chance to something,
we read in books, tales and poems,
didn’t they preach us
“only thing insurmountable is an unending love”.

– Dedicated to “Love – insurmountable”…

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Art/ Image credits:

1- Angel falls – Location: Venezuela
2- Embrace – Artist: Tomasz Alen Kopera

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I found…

This poem is a sequel to the poem: Lately…

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“What I needed most was really a lightness to swim, the day I earned my wings.”

I found, for every being,
who loves the rivers and sea
or the oceans for their storage
of fragments of history,
dives deep in, to recover the debris,
sometimes ends up becoming it.

I found, for every being,
who loves the ruins, ancient structures,
and the abandoned places,
in search of a treasure we all seek,
digs deep in, to recover a peace,
sometimes ends up succumbing to it.

I found, for every being,
who loves to fly in a dream,
weaving flying carpet of fantasy
that breaches walls and boundaries,
falls deep, if no attempts are made
such that reality turns in.

I found, for every being,
who loves to lend a visit to galleries,
or to listen rhythm of a thundering,
gives a lot in, to acquire the wings,
forgetting, one takes home back
more than one ever brings.

I found, for every being,
who loves interacting with seasons,
be it an autumn, be it a spring,
keeps longing, to re-create, what
no longer exists, till day, one self
turns  into an object of yearning.

Similarly, I found, for every being,
how love is still a necessity,
like an air for human to breath on,
blood for a vampire to quench on…
flesh for a beast to feed on…

That no matter what,
even when one’s not oblivious
of fantasy within, of all the consequences,
one would not stop,
till demise is reached,
of all hope lurking still somewhere in shadows,
or of the lover seeking a resolution.

In one way or another, it would go on,
till sun of yearning, and moon of longing,
keep drowning, yet to rise again
from bed of ocean.

ocean-ruinscool-funpedia--amazing-ancient-cities-at-the-bottom-of-the-ocean-pemesyvu[1]

“Quite like that I found myself there, way I found myself in you… Deeply embedded.”

– Dedicated to discoveries one stumbles upon, in the journey of love…

Image credits:
1. An underwater sculpture by artist Jason deCaires Taylor, entitled ‘Resurrection’.
2. Sculpture discovered from an Ancient Egyptian city named Heracleion or Thonis.

The Word

This poem is a response to a rhythmic one written by Miss Tayyeba Irum.

Pal Szinyei Merse, Lovers, 1869

My World,

Remember how you once,
imprinted on my soul,
like a word,
from the spirits and the angels…
breaking defenses,
forcing me into a submission.
Making me forgo of everything,
I did to replace an inevitable.

Remember how you once,
carried me on your lips,
like a word,
forming wishes,
and hefty prayers…
capturing me into a vial of existence.
Not leaving a moment from sight,
not letting it evaporate in thin-air.

Remember how you once,
made me carry, an instrument,
like a word,
to repel insurgents…
To bleed a river that would
never surrender,
but live to sail vessels that carried
the messages of love.

Remember how you once
kept me close to your chest,
like a word,
said but yet in a muffled texture.
Like a pendant unfolded in a secret,
to reveal two faces of one mirror.
Like a letter that is kissed,
right at the moment of its arrival.

Remember how we once,
used to savor each other,
like a word,
that lend strength,
to march forward,
to put on with the trials of the world.
To replenish on everything we loved,
to endorse all that mattered.

Remember how we once,
used to wear each other,
like a word,
that would command
even fumes of heavens
to be acquiescent.
For them to seek a resort,
in embraces we referred as our castle.

Remember them,
before you revisit how
we came to state,
where…

You dropped me
from your eyes,
like a word
of an aged sinner,
stilliciding from the walls of
a confession chamber.
I wish now just, to become,
your only redemption.

You erased traces of mine
from your tongue,
like a word,
of poison imbued curse…
Forsaking everything that
was responsible to make
you indulge in cadence.
Now, I live in pages, as a song,
waiting to be sung.

You uttered me,
like a word,
of an extinct language…
found only written
in crypts hosting
docile sarcophagus.
Leaving me in ruins,
like an echo restless,
forever sentenced to linger.

You eradicated me
from your memories,
like a word
of an alien dialect,
accidentally heard.
Now, I too seek an exile,
from contours of enslavement,
hoping a déjà vu may occur.

You lost me
from contours of your eyes,
from grips of your fingers,
like a word,
written in a book forbidden.
Now, where am I to be found,
if not in sand or in depths of the ocean.

You foreshadowed my demise,
like a word,
from Monarchs and Caesars,
self-fulfilling,
ceasing an air out,
planting a last nail in coffin.
Honor your word now, and return,
my shrine to your temple!

Give nomad a courtesy of last word... make me a part of your final touch!

Give nomad a courtesy of last word… let beloved leave on me a final touch!

– Dedicated to outcasts and exiled… the words, waiting to be said, waiting to be written.

Image Credits:

1. Lovers (Pal Szinyei Merse) 1869 [Blogspot]
2. The martyrdom of St. Sebastian (Hans Memling) [Flickr]

La Douleur Exquise

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This time, she visited his doorstep in veil. She found him happy like she always wished, like she still prayed, like she thought of him as right before passing out each night. This should have made her happy — but actually it didn’t.

It was like a gardener watching own garden from a distance… Watching plants, trees, all flowers flourish, right the way they’re supposed to, but still without presence of one who perhaps did everything to make it happen. Whole pain was centered around a singular moment, when whole world comes to a halting point. That aura of strangeness engulfing, feeling alienated to something you always considered yourself a significant part of…

She stood there still, watching him with a constant gaze, like he’s her’s still, but just behaving strange. She’s expecting a glimpse of torment. How come he be so happy, that his eyes are not yearning for her face… For all the happiness he can have, he was perhaps not allowed to be happy this much, that there’s no sign of agony for void she left… It’s often strange with women, they start to doubt their worth, for not what man’s going through, sadness or happiness, but when it happens to be without them.

The dream she weaved, had perhaps became a reality for him with someone else. No lament could compare the one where you don’t know you should either be happy or sad.  ‘It’s different, it can’t be’, she assured herself, as she watched him getting into his car. He fades from her sight, just to get more engraved in her memories.

Somewhere at the distance, the late grown lilies were watching grey clouds, floating far from them, they had missed the spring.

His car was standing outside the park they used to meet daily, where they used to read poems to each other, such young hearts – like all the art and literature in world was a sky and they were birds floating together and freely in it…

He’s engrossed in a book, that suddenly his hand reached the right pocket of his jacket, to pick the cell phone out, he read something and just started smiling, he began to admire the world around like some tree who had got a glimpse of a new spring. He soon re-engaged himself back in to the book he was reading… Book’s cover read: “Kafka on the Shore”.

He lifted his eyes again to watch in distance, something he noticed but didn’t pay heed to mere few moments ago… A silhouette of a woman standing alone, completely firm and still, like those statues in a cemetery that often relate more to alive than to the departed… He shifted back to his book again, but then in very next second, started to type something on his cell… pressed a button, looked one last time at his surrounding, and then left the park, driving his car far from it, leaving book he was reading right on the bench he was sitting.

The gusts of wind, played with the book, like it was their’s. They had its papers fluttering into rhythm of a thunderous sky, it was hard to know who’s complaining who.

In his car, he read the same text again….

“We can’t be together – forever, but God knows I wish you to be happy forever…”, it was her last message.

He opened the side window of the car, for his eyes to converse with breeze… He can pretend to be a happiest person in the world in all public places, but he was certainly a fail to copy the same in solitude…

His fingers traverse his cell phone, to open a folder of draft messages,
“Everything would become possible, if we’re together, forget all your fears, just be with me… ‘we’ can make it forever!”, the last draft read.

He presses the button, but not to send, assuring himself again, “she knows it already… she knows she has to make a choice… she knows there’s not a thing in this world that I won’t do for her…”

The wheels of the machine, were making sure he was reaching somewhere, but it was hard to figure if it was a direction, once wished.

“We will create plaques here holding our favorite poems…”, she once said to him in a park, not knowing, how it would come true…

Stillness_by_Eckhart_Tolle,_on_a_Park_bench_plaque,_facing_Sacramento_River,_Redding_CA[1]

– Dedicated to all the possibilities and impossibilities that we create ourselves, just to put up a fault in stars for them… “It’s never over, when you know, you’ve no valid reason.”

This piece goes along with a poem, posted few day ago: “The Yearning“.

Image Credits:

1. Anaïs Nin – Potrait
2. Stillness by Eckhart Tolle, on a Park bench plaque, facing Sacramento River, Redding CA.

 

The Yearning

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Heart yearns, for days and nights,
of that love and solace again…

Once used to whisper the name
with every gasp of a moment…
like some classic sheet
having a pen pressed.
Heart yearns now for
that open rib cage again…
To play like gramophone,
a symphony without fail…
For how much longer, oh my breath,
from syncing a rhythm, you’d refrain…?

Once used to calm volcanoes all,
erupting beneath the skin…
like snow quilt covering mountains,
turning into an inclined plane.
These eyes-dry seek to reflect
that wet smile again…
To launch an avalanche that allows
rocks to catch, drift of streams.
For how much longer, oh my sight,
from melting a placid stone, you’d refrain…?

Once used to roll in the hair,
used to wake from the slumber,
and put into one with the same…
Now hands crave to hold,
those pale fingers again…
to dance along sea lines,
to compete with the waves…
For how much longer, oh beloved ocean,
from touching your shore, you’d refrain…?

Once used to emerge as words
fittingly dripped in grace,
and eloquence… carrying weight,
of air, softness of droplets.
These ears wait to catch
that voice, humming poetry again…
To linger on motion of walls,
where echoes leave the trails.
For how much longer, oh my serenade,
from breaking this silence, you’d refrain…?

Once used to show both the joy
and the pain, felt everything,
like a journeyman, traveling,
to end up at a new place…
The soul longs for
that vulnerable body again…
such as it can taste the pathos
of love, passion and attachment.
For how much longer, oh my life,
from facing a mirror, you’d refrain…?

Heart yearns, for days and nights,
of that love and solace again…

Maine-Monument-Central-Park-Reclining-Male-Nude-940x575[1]

– Dedicated to a yearning heart…

Note: First lines are shamelessly inspired from both Maestro Ghalib and Gulzar sb’s: “Heart yearns for days and nights of solace again” (“Dil Dhoondhta Hai Phir Wahi Fursat Ke Raat Din”).

Image Credits:
1. Sculpture in Staglieno Cemetery, Genoa Italy.
2. Sculpture in Blanca Valbuena, New York.

Weather and Whether…

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“Lets ride today to the east coast…”
whispered the wind, blowing in spree…
Perhaps,
Weather is today, pretty nice with me…

The clouds gathered around,
they too formed up a gang,
like a couch made of snow…
An invitation extended:
“Just lay on for a while, like a retiree…”
Weather is indeed, pretty nice with me…

And here I smell the earth
at its driest now,
yet there’s a hint of spring,
right before rain’s to perch
I hear, grains of sand iterating…
“Like a fume, set yourself free…”
Weather is a darling to me…

But tell me, my love…
How come weather is one needed now, to narrate this…?

What happened to days,
when our morning was about
watching the other rising from sheets,
uttering the playful words
in half-slept voice…

Your expressing the dreams,
my interpreting possibilities….
our paving the way for the stars,
just for them to sink
right into our grasps for kissing…

Poems we read each other,
whispering the name of other in between,
chasing dreams in time,
like moths chasing moonlight
besides a flowing stream…

Your warm embrace,
your stretched arms and glow,
like a cherry tree dripping,
a hallmark of the evening…
and mine becoming…
like a lost bird making it home,
after day spent in wandering…

When whole room was delighted,
just like soul with-in,
catching you hum,
lyrics of songs and eternal sonnets,
My smiling just gazing you do that,
your knowing this and biting your lips.

To that twinkle of your eyes,
that laughter in rejoice…
that made my heart beat up
like some orchestrated choir at church,
faithfully deepening…

Look how potent they’re,
that even weather reminds me
of those moments spent,
in your presence…

When our eyes, and
not the weather was one to tell us,
our conversations were like seeds,
moments born of them were fruits,
ripe enough for savoring…
to satiate our hunger for rare,
to fill our quota of belonging,
in a manner,
as though we were always one,
existences apart in life before
were mere colors,
awaiting to emerge as a rainbow.

But out in this weather,
I still feel a void… I seek…
fragrance that accompanied the wind…
countenance, that used to emerge in formation of clouds…
fumes, of drizzle, that used to freeze the time,
and rain that used to seize the moment…

I can’t drown in weather,
or the memory,
nor I can communicate with wind…
or follow-up with clouds,
or keep the rain’s avid timing….

I gather,
No sea can trace the depth of eyes,
and only drowning in them,
can sooth the volcanoes of heart,
that can never be calmed by wind,
clouds or the rains…

Though weather is nice today, my love,
I need you to show me,
how can I be nice to it…

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– Dedicated to an inviting weather and the reluctant subject…

Art Credits:

1. Rainy Weather – Painting by Victor Figol
2. ‘The Black Mountains’ – Freddie Ardley Photography

In lines of your palms, have me engraved forever (Apne hathon ki lakiron mein basale mujhko)


https://tune.pk/video/122289/apne-hathon-ki-lakeeron-main-jagjit-singhwwwurduatishcom
– Performed by man who contributed his entire life in making Ghazals a popular house-hold genre, Jagjit Singh

– Soothing performance by Rajesh Panwar

Translation:

In lines of your palms, have me engraved forever…
If yours I am, claim me, like your destiny forever…

You have arrived to quiz me, on meaning of loyalty…
Your simplicity might end up killing me, however…

Sea I am, sea-shell I am, I am pearl, a diver too,
Just call me for yourself, pick a name whatever…

You have seen nothing beyond the surface of mirror,
Pondering on yourself, you may lose me forever…

Matters less, I stay same tomorrow or I do not,
You may tarnish me all you want today, like never…

Hope I don’t split myself to possessors and bidders…
Should you choose to surrender me to myself, ever…

If thorn I am, tread carefully and observe distance,
If I am flower, decorate me in your vase forever…

I am like an asset of house left unlocked, my love…
You just step in sneaking, to steal me whenever…

The word on annulment of love, is never a word final,
Please do recall me at your pleasure, whenever, wherever…

Then ale is too soft, I may even sip up a poison “Qateel”,
Just assure, someone’s around to embrace me however…

– Dedicated to beloved unsure of owning what’s forever their’s…

apne hathon ki lakiron mein basale mujhko
main hun tera nasib apna bana le mujhko

mujhse tu puchne aya hai wafa k mani
ye teri sada dili mar na dale mujhko

main samandar bhi hun moti bhi hun gotazan bhi
koi bhi nam mera le k bulale mujhko

tune dekha nahin aine se age kuch bhi
khudaparasti mein kahin tu na ganwale mujhko

kal ki bat aur hai main ab sa rahun ya na rahun
jitna ji chahe tera aj satale mujhko

khud ko main bant na dalun kahin daman-daman
kar diya tune agar mere hawale mujhko

main jo kanta hun to chal mujh se bachakar daman
main hun gar phul to jure mein sajale mujhko

main khule dar k kisi ghar ka hun saman pyare
tu dabe paon kabhi aa k churale mujhko

tark-e-ulfat ki qasam bhi koi hoti hai qasam
tu kabhi yad to kar bhulanewale mujhko

bada phir bada hai main zahar bhi pi jaun “Qateel”
shart ye hai koi bahon mein sambhale mujhko

– Original lyrics by: Qateel Shifai

اپنے ہاتھوں کی لکیروں میں سجا لے مجھ کو
میں ہوں تیرا تو نصیب اپنا بنا لے مجھ کو

مجھ سے تُو پوچھنے آیا ہے وفا کے معنی
یہ تری سادہ دلی مار نہ ڈالے مجھ کو

میں سمندر بھی ہوں موتی بھی ہوں غوطہ زن بھی
کوئی بھی نام مرا لے کے بلا لے مجھ کو

تو نے دیکھا نہیں آئینے سے آگے کچھ بھی
خود پرستی میں کہیں تو نہ گنوا لے مجھ کو

کل کی بات اور ہے میں اب سا رہوں یا نہ رہوں
جتنا جی چاہے ترا، آج ستا لے مجھ کو

خود کو میں بانٹ نہ ڈالوں کہیں دامن دامن
کر دیا تو نے اگر میرے حوالے مجھ کو

میں جو کانٹا ہوں تو چل مجھ سے بچا کر دامن
میں ہوں گر پھول تو جُوڑے میں سجا لے مجھ کو

میں کھُلے در کے کسی گھر کا ہوں ساماں پیارے
تو دبے پاؤں کبھی آ کے چرا لے مجھ کو

ترکِ الفت کی قسم بھی کوئی ہوتی ہے قسم
تو کبھی یاد تو کر بھولنے والے، مجھ کو

بادہ پھر بادہ ہے میں زہر بھی پی جاؤں قتیل
شرط یہ ہے کوئی بانہوں میں سنبھالے مجھ کو

– قتیل شفائی

– Also performed in classical rendition by Pakistani Singer Musrrat Nazir