The Fleeting Star

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I see you in moon’s,
I see you in star’s light,
as their glimmer blankets
the roads, homes, valleys
and ceaseless sky…
Reciprocating the eyes
seeking to extinguish darkness with light
“I am yours, just –
slip your fingers into mine…”

I see you in waves
I see you in tides,
as they run across the miles
and dance on bed of sea
infinite…
Reciprocating to the wind
that takes them into an arm
“I am yours, just –
slip your fingers into mine…”

I see you in rains,
I see you in cloud’s sigh,
that falls across the land
and holds under its spell
the magic infinite…
Reciprocating to the skies
that caresses them tight
“I am yours, just –
slip your fingers into mine…”

I see you in lows,
I see you in highs,
the ranges that are spread
atop the river’s spine,
as far as they see, the naked eyes…
Reciprocating to the sight
that chases it beyond all lines
“I am yours, just –
slip your fingers into mine…”

I see you in dreams,
I see you in rhymes,
those moments that carry
the poems sublime, with which
you compose symphony of life.
Reciprocating each heart beat,
tracing silage, for last location and sign,
“I am yours, just –
slip your fingers into mine…”

But you’re not here… my love,
you’re in my mind,
as a silhouette left
after the Sun has drowned.
– A light, that lingers,
even after star has ventured
far away.

In each moment that
I come closer,
I try to make you mine…
But you slip…
from my embrace
like I am trying to hold
a water or sand
too tight…

You’re a happiness that I find,
amidst a time when
one moment lapses onto another…
right at those intersections
where one line meets the other
to complete a circle.
And as much as I want
that moment to last,
I still find myself in void
after I loose your trail…
fortunately often
with moist on my lips to tell,
infinite did kiss the finite.

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– Dedicated to those infinities that every finite wants to hold on to, for as long as possible…

Image Credits:
1. Beach Photography – wallpaper (webneel.com)
2. Ocean Rain – Stock wallpaper

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Crossing the eyes, what gaze expresses, I seem to write (Chehray Parhta Aakhien Likhta Rehta Hoon)

– Only rendition of this excellent ghazal I found on internet is one performed by Ustad Hamid Ali Khan.
(For copyright reasons, I haven’t found nor was allowed to upload it on Soundcloud).

Translation:

Crossing the eyes, what
gaze expresses, I seem to write
For all I see more, the lesser
for senses, I seem to write…

All carriages of souls seem to
resemble ancient trees…
In place of an embrace, notion
of branches, I seem to write…

All manners of composing a
poem have become lost on me,
Mere broken rhymes and parched
lines, I seem to write…

What else would I rather do
in a distance from you…
On your name lengthy fantasy
scriptures, I seem to write.

Silhouettes of your locks,
keep me drowned in dreaming.
In praise of golden hues,
silver glimmers, I seem to write.

In crimson fragrant journey
to reach milestones of love…
Walls of piety traditions and
societal customs, I seem to write.

After meeting you, I’ll sure
reiterate you, state of the sky.
In nights of our separation,
new stars, I seem to write.

Dry flowers, wet letters, few poems
for wounds of separation,
For all gifts you bestowed,
pleasant appraisals, I seem to write.

Yet, eyes holding rivers at bay,
appear to keep smiling…
Till in name of beloved, Mohsin,
new sonnets, I seem to write.

– Dedicated to writers, that keep returning to one theme again and again because they haven’t expressed enough for it…

Chehray parhta ankhen likhta rehta hun,
Main bhi kesi baten likhta rehta hun

Sare jisam darakhton jese lagtay hain,
Or bahon ko shakhen likhta rehta hun

Tujhko khaat likhnay k tewar bhool gae,
Aarhi tirchi satrain likhta rehta hun

Tere hijar main or mujhe kya karna ha,
Tere naam kitabain likhta rehta hun

Teri zulf k saye dhiyaan main rehtay hain,
Main subhon ko shamain likhta rehta hun

Apne piyar k phool mehakti rahon main,
Logon ki dewaren likhta rehta hun

Tujhse mil kar sare dukh dohraon ga,
Hijar ki sari batain likhta rehta hun

Sookhay phol kitaben zakham judai k,
Teri sab soghaten likhta rehta hun

Uski bheegi palken hansti rehti hain,
Mohsin jab tak ghazlen likhta rehta hun.

– Original poem by renowned Pakistani poet: Mohsin Naqvi

چہرے پڑھتا آنکھیں لکھتا رہتا ہو۔۔
میں بھی کیسی باتیں لکھتا رہتا ہوں۔۔

سارے جسم درختوں جیسے لگتے ہیں
اور بانہوں کو شاخیں لکھتا رہتا ہوں۔۔

مجھ کو خط لکھنے کے تیور بھول گئے
آڑی ترچھی سطریں لکھتا رہتا ہوں۔۔

تیرے ہجر میں اور مجھے کیا کرنا ہے؟
تیرے نام کتابیں لکھتا رہتا ہوں۔۔

تیری ذُلف کے سائے دھیان میں رہتے ہیں
میں صُبحوں کی شامیں لکھتا رہتا ہوں۔۔

اپنے پیار کی پھول مہکتی راہوں میں
لوگوں کی دیواریں لکھتا رہتا ہوں۔۔

تجھ سے مل کر سارے دکھ دہراؤں گا
ہجر کی ساری باتیں لکھتا رہتا ہوں۔۔

سوکھے پھول، کتابیں، زخم جدائی کے
تیری سب سوغاتیں لکھتا رہتا ہوں۔۔

اس کی بھیگی پلکیں ہنستی رہتی ہیں
محسن جب تک غزلیں لکھتا رہتا ہوں۔۔

محسن نقوی

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…

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– 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

The Restless

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Look at these curtains
the gusts of wind jolt,
to slip themselves in,
to make their way into the home.

They barge inside,
to occupy the void,
and inquire me of the place,
where you used to sit and chat.

Passionate they’re,
they desire to see your heart
and feel your face.
I find myself stoic,
and perhaps they do too…

I wish to share with them,
few moments,
in hope, they may have
fragrance of requited love,
even if in fragments…

Since it were they who used
to play with your hair,
it was they who used to make me
fall for your scent.

It were they who used to
caress your cheeks,
and rendered me restless,
to do the same.

But they find out too soon,
that I don’t have
any reply for them!
Hence, they leave me,
untouched – in solace…

They too love you,
equally like me, perhaps,
but they can find a place,
where they can have their rest.

– Dedicated to the restless wind with calm essence, and calm ones with the restless sense, both seeking what they haven’t got enough of…

LINCOLN

Image Credits:

1. Windows – Laurent Pernot art piece.
2. Screen cap from movie: Lincoln.

 

 

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.

The First Drizzle

This poem is a response to Sidrah Kamal‘s radiating poem… Vapors of Love.

Rain by Danial Shah

Vapors of Love: Warmed in the air, served as the drizzle…

Lakes filled with salt
brimmed in still water
looking to shake dust.
As Sun lends a warmth,
drops become vapor,
With thirst of stream
comes request:
“Revive me first…”

Sun burns itself,
hunting for a miracle…
As flock of clouds travel,
filled with a passion…
Overriding star they say….
“You had your day…
It’s our turn.
But, you hide first…”

Clouds caress each other
celebrating in a
a chorus,
Disclose cheerfully
to the bystanders,
the breeze and the birds…
“Don’t you go…
Allow me, to confess first…”

Birds expecting,
a downpour to come…
Look into the eyes
of each other,
nod in a teasing voice…
“Let’s race today
to the home…
See who reaches first…”

Nest of flowers,
catches a sprinkle…
Drop after drop
leaking fume as it filters.
They inhale each other’s scent
and say in slip voice…
“I forget my love,
who fell first… ”

Grains of sand give
themselves to a drizzle.
As space in-between
vanishes in the air.
Melting each moment,
coming together,
they break silence…
“Kiss me first… “

Photograph Drizzling by Natthamon Thiemsri

Drizzle of Passion: Felt in a bloom, caught with-in the petals.

– Dedicated to the vapors, the clouds and the first drizzle…

Photo Credits:
1. Rain in Astore Valley (at Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan) by Danial Shah.
2. Drizzling by Natthamon Thiemsri