The Maiden Lips

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Pink Castle

Level by level
it’s arranged like a palace.
Like some outer skirts,
try to sheath inner stakes,
from touch of those who’re
not worthy of its fragrance…

Yet news of its beauty travels
around in moments,
captivating minds of cunning thieves
and those who wear their heart
on the rugged sleeves.

With only one goal
they pursue,
to posses an aura,
to surround self with its magic.
To know what is it like,
the love’s first kiss.

And in the center of it,
Behind all walls, beyond all borders,
rests a jewel, a crown awaits,
for a lover to pollinate,
the maiden lips.

– Dedicated to the spring.

Image credits: “Pink Castle” by Aminah Tasleem

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C percent amore

Sunflowers and a tree

You occupy my world, no matter where I see…

You are as refreshing as ice tea
amidst a hot scorching day,
of which even trees seem to seek
a drowning place.
Yet, for one who can have you,
wouldn’t wish
the days of summer to ever end.

You are as loving and carefree
as new monsoon rain,
post storms and thunderous flash,
screams of which scare both
living and undead.
Yet, for one who can have you,
wouldn’t wish
the sigh of clouds to ever end.

You are as rejuvenating as the soil
of a holy place,
one that has received countless
subservient seeking liberation.
For one who can have you,
would sure become
a seed turning in a new leaf.

You’re as tender as the breeze
blowing from high gardens,
for the one who has served life
in a closet.
For one who can have you,
wouldn’t wish
a return, to any other imprisonment.

You are as fragrant as an incense
burning at steeple of the lovers,
those who sought life after death.
For one who can have you,
would sure linger more,
waiting for winds to gust
fast with your kisses.

You are as encompassing as lake,
the eyes of the valley land,
open for one who’s never sighted
any miracles.
For, one who can have you,
would keep praising without a flinch,
till each corner leaks stream.

You are as inviting as bird humming,
singing new song every morning,
perching on ear drums of one
who’s drunk sleeping.
For, one who can have you,
would not just trip at melodies,
but dance with silent symphonies.

Yet, my beloved, I know not,
how to define you
like you define all…
Way you carry in your essence,
the pathway to my soul.
Nor I carry any idea,
to spell what your world’s made for…
But then, what do I know…?
Since, I merely dwell at cent
of the C percent amore…

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Yet, what I love of you, is speckle in the galaxy.

– Dedicated to the beloved, who we love all about, yet only like the one away from the ocean, like merely standing on the shore.

Image Credits:
1. Sunny Meadow – Stock image (GettyImages)
2. Pinching Galaxy – Stock image – (shutterstock)

Her Eyes

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“Eyes are portal to the soul.”
If you ever feel confused, or unsure,
and want to find out if you’ve really begun
to fall for someone,
then just ask yourself this…
how much you adore your beloved’s eyes…?
Enough, to dive deep in them and
make the world inside them your own?
Wish you enough, to see what they see,
what they reflect, what they rise and fall on?

My friend, told me that…
But I for one, never knew how one can ever describe the eyes….

I mean, how can you do it?
You gonna define its color…?
You gonna express how they shine…?
You gonna fall for its shape or its size..?
Or you gonna describe way they close and reopen…?

Like, what possibly any pair of eyes can do differently
that would make them stand apart
from countless others belonging to similar species…?

And then one day it struck me…
I knew one pair of eyes, perhaps, more than I knew mine.
It was the day I realized, “I know her enough…”
Too clichéd, yeah? I asked my self the same…
But it wasn’t like I fell for those beautiful gems,
right the moment I gazed into them.
It took its time. But to be honest…
It wasn’t fair, from beginning to the end.

I think, it’s really impossible to ignore
the raw beauty they possessed,
after all…

How could one possibly ignore one that saw the pain
like a sky mourning for the Sun after the rain…
Like reminding us, how often we don’t appreciate
worth of something until its far too late.
Eyes that would not just mourn but burn
the Sun within to set things right the way they can…
Applying herself like a dawn of hope in dark nights
of those who’d rather wish to sleep
forever under blankets of numbness post pain
than remaining awake to heal and change
for what’s left still, what can still be saved.

How could I have escaped the effect of eyes
that were inclined to see something positive,
something worth saving and cherishing
in every soul they ever met.
Like a sprout of a fragrance that leaves from the flowers
irrespective of whose surrounding they engage.
Eyes that saw things based on their intensity, their essence,
no matter caste, creed, color, background, ethnicity,
social status, or religious difference.
Like a wind tending the garden, touching all the flowers
with the love and grace, without splitting or grading them.

How can one turn an eye blind at way her eyes would see the world
like a living orchestra constantly producing symphonies…
Way her eyes would manage to see and read something to be learned
and kept as a part of soul out of even catastrophe…
Like her eyes would know exactly where to look, to find
a voice in silence, to find expressions in stoic and music in noise…
In totally bland and apparently common things of life,
that we tend to ignore trivially… they discover sense and poetry.

I think I can define…
Its color…? They’re rainbows and butterfly mosaics combined…
in a way that one can never keep its full spectrum confined.
They give life to world, leaking warmth in seams.
Its shine…? They’re an ocean with sparkling glitter of skies.
Reflecting both the golden hues of day and moonlight’s silver gown in night.
They give hope, they speak of light.
Its shape…? They’ve a shape of the sea shells, enclosing pearls within,
they’re made to carry even anomalies, that can emerge into exquisite.
Its size..? They’re limitlessly deep… pathway to the cosmos,
way to the galaxies, deep and wide than anything ever seen.
They give intensity to those who dwell just on cursory or surfaces…
And way they close and reopen…? Well, they keep themselves open like wells,
to contain the wishes, to encapsulate the moments, the vivid dreams,
moreover, they open like the wings of angels… determined to help spirits.
And they close on like the gates of palace and castles, saving everything inside,
from those who’re unfriendly and intrusive. Who try to malign a soul or mind.

I just love the way they sees things…
And never once yet it happens that they rise with a pride
or drown with keeping an air of numbness or vanity…
They are curious like the baby’s, wishing to know more and yet
as still and weary as an elderly’s piercing the hides to dwell deep.

Yes, I know from her eyes, that I love the world
that she inhabits in them, all that’s read by them,
world that these eyes reflect on,
but above all, I love the way they convert pain
into something positive,
way they forgive, way they rejoice, way they stare deep inside,
way they make one realize…
there’s more to world then what meets the eyes.
I do indeed, love her eyes…

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– Dedicated to the beloved’s eyes… (this poem is an ensemble piece of several small poems written on same theme).

Image Credits:
1. Soul Washout by Clarisse Litiatco (Deviantart)
2. Colored Eye Drawing by Kate Louise Powell (Pinterest)

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

Wind I am (Main hawa hoon)

– One of my most favorite ghazals, originally performed by famous ghazal singers – a brother duo of “Ahmed Hussain and Mohammad Hussain“, here it’s performed by mere 10 years old ghazal singing sensation, Azmat Hussain (not related) in equally chilling and effortless manner.

Translation:

(Where do I exist now, where do I exist not?
Even where I am found, really there I am not.
Who’s there – calling me now for a presence…?
Someone must disclose that here I live not!)

Wind I am, how am I
supposed to own centrality?
Neither wilderness is mine,
nor is garden’s tranquility…

In each drop of wine, lies
culprit behind my captivity…
Fragrance in each corner,
yet, outcome of my veracity…

See, how petals are showing
today the sign of luminosity?
Kissed, they were perhaps, by
inclining flow of my felicity…

I’m remainder, of a star fallen
from heights of virtuosity…
What harm world’s council
may cause to my tenacity?

(On my funeral, someone has
opened the gates of amiability.
No wonder why my coffin
has now lost its authenticity…)

With each passing second,
an urge blooms into audacity…
What a mess it has turned into,
from origin of simplicity…

– Dedicated to the fragrance…

(Ab kaha hoon, kahan nahi hoon main
Jis jagah hoon, wahan nahi hoon main
Kaun awaaz de raha hai mujhe…?
Koi keh de, yahan nahi hoon main!)

Main hawa hoon kahaan watan mera
Dasht mera na ye chaman mera

Mei ke har chand ek khaana nashin,
Anjuman anjuman sukhan mera…

Barq-e-Gul par charag sa kya hai?
Choo gaya tha usay dahan mera…

Main ik toota hua sitara hoon,
Kya bigaregi anjuman mera…?

(Meri mayyat pe koi roya hai,
Is liye jal gaya kafan mera…)

Har ghadi ik naya takaaza hai…
Dard-e-sar ban gaya badan mera.

– Original poem written by: Ameeq Hanafi

Urdu Version:

میں ھوا ہوں کہاں وطن میرا
دشت میرا نہ یہ چمن میرا

میں کہ ہر چند ایک خانہ نشیں
انجمن انجمن سخن میرا

برگ گل پر چراغ سا کیا ہے
چھو گیا تھا اُسے دہن میرا

میں کہ ٹوٹا ہوا ستارہ ہوں
کیا بگھاڑے گی انجمن میرا

ہر گھڑی اک نیا تقاضا ہے
درد سر بن گیا بدن میرا

عمیق حنفی –

Someone here has made a head to head comparison of both the original composition and child prodigy’s rendition.

Another young equally exceptional talent, from the same show Azmat rose as star, Ranjeet Rajwada
http://tune.pk/video/2554708/mai-hawa-hoon-ranjeet-rajwada-srgmp

Performance by original singers: Ahmed Hussain and Mohammad Hussain…

http://domaze.net/watch?v=7S7-12LIPTs

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