Pomegranate River

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Maybe it was a river of pomegranates and not tears
Maybe the earth did crack up–like the black broken wings
Swallowing her inside
And maybe the seeds tasted like love
Or perhaps, there was something to long for under the rubble
So does Persephone wait to return,
Or does she wait to come back
And does Hades wait for her to come back
SO he can have her, and then can recoil back once again–
Into the suffering he has been cursed with
Do they break away once they break down
And did She break him like He broke her heart
Maybe it is all a false memory of deceit
Of an affliction which neither knew of
And maybe Spring longs for Winter
As Winter yearns for Spring
But there is nothing in return
And nothing is lost, but everything is lost
And that is what the fall is–an evil act
Of prayers which mean nothing

The river was of pomegranates which tasted like love

Faqeer, Beggar

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Beneath the statue of the Old Beggar with a hundred lines sculpted on his face
I sat like art–waiting to be created,
I–who had written all the stories
Of the fires which had burned the town hall
Where the dancers would do the silent Waltz
And of the blind man–who saw everything and heard nothing
Of the women–who sang in chorus, of love which was not meant for them
Of children, who stopped playing because of the scars
Of the sculpted swan, with its ugly broken wing
I sat there like art, waiting to be drawn
I–who had heard the choir boys singing
While the Woman in the green dress had repressed a smile
And left the room–for she was torn
Because she had come from nowhere and had nowhere to go
And she slept in the dingy streets with torment under her sleeves
But I sat there like art–waiting to be designed
For once, long ago–I had lost my way in the ruined valleys-
With empty houses and unbothered streets
So beneath the statue on the Old Beggar with a hundred lines-
And an expression of solitude frozen on his face
I sat like art–waiting to be composed
For I knew all the stories, because I had written them all
Of you and me, and me and you
And I sat there like art–because
I knew of all the endings, right from the very start

Adha Afsana

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On the Silk Canvas–were stories painted in gold
Of purple clouds and pink dots in the sky
And cherry colored fountains where people came to–
Throw the yellow coins, and make wishes about forlorn times
And the Painter would stand by the window and glance
Over the shifting blue rocks–from beneath the arid ground
While the silver bird–would often swing by
And stare at its shadow–which looked like that of a broken man
And now and then a hundred unknown faces
Would stare inside the glass door, and find a pungent silence
Hovering over their heads
On the Silk Canvas–were stories rotting away
Of orange doves hanging by strands of black threads
And orchids of grey fatigue tied with white ribbons of defeat-
They arrive at the doorsteps of a brown house made of clay sheets
And the Painter would stand by the glass door and glance
And shut himself away, recoiling once again like a frigid tapestry

 

Sang e Marmar Kai Pahaar, Mountains of Marble

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Here we are again, at the crossroads of fire.

And the mountains of marble seem so close and yet they are so far away. Each time, we stand with brazen memories which are nothing more than hazy blurs. Or pungent dreams which suffocate us and haunt us because we held on for too long. And silhouettes—frozen in the shackles of time, desire and thoughts. We know too well that if we touch them–they will break away. Each time–we think it is not the end. It is not anything, it is nothing. So we become forlorn and hide in shadows of our own selves. And that’s why we are who we are.

That is why, we are just lingering trains, going from station to station, going through murky tunnels into the abyss which we call the end. Because this train goes from station to station, never stopping for longer than intended and never late but never on time either.

And we are all submerged in circles are time, rushing towards the City Fair, thinking we will have one final go on the Ferris Wheel, one final go before they take it down. But we reach there just before they run out of tickets. So we just watch from down below, the mesmerized faces with languid bodies clinging on to the sky, laughing. And we leave knowing we will never come back to it again, because it will be gone and there will be no more tickets to buy.

Little do we know that there is a young red head boy on that Ferris wheel–who wants to stay up there because he knows too well–when he comes down–the hole in the floor will eat him up. And he is scared because that hole will swallow him up and take him nowhere.

Or that girl–who has that recurring dream–right out of the cataclysm, where she sees that forsaken stairway. It goes somewhere, but she does not know. But she knows too well for she never took it. She never intended to. And now it haunts her. Because everything is jaded and everything is cold.

And how often do we stand and stare at the possibilities and feel and say things we were never meant to. And how often do we want to run away, because we had to. Because it is in our blood, our genes. And we cannot stay because we are not meant to. Because we are broken pieces of what we are, and will be and were.

There were two hundred plain red canopies in that stranded ground which no one goes to anymore. Who were they for and why? Were they a vivid dream or were they not? They were empty and they had no purpose. And She would often break free from her melancholy and visit them. And sit and stare at how the sky looked from the red canopies and try to form a question towards the sky–which only asked her more questions in return.

Far off somewhere, music was heard but it meant nothing. It never did. And She just stared, dancing as a lifeless form, knowing quite well how it will burn the canopies. For She was fire–meant to burn out and fizzle away. And She would stop to sit in random trains–which went nowhere and try to figure out where the stairs went. Every time She would be the one to get tired and get off in a rush. Because deep inside her–there was a simmering hole which could never be filled.

So here we are again–at a crossroads which can take us to the marble mountains where nothing exists. Because the soil has been love famished for the rain but the rain, it ceased to fall because it was tired of falling again and again. So both lost–and there was a storm. On the other end is a stairways which never existed. So She takes the path leading to the mountain and atop the marble mountain–She would go and dance–a lifeless form, because that is the only thing She knows. And that is where no dreams haunt her and no trains leave her. And She wants to sit on Ferris Wheels–which are about to be taken down. There, She will laugh one last time and disappear.

 

 

Gol Si Dunya

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Of all the stories–this one makes the most sense. It is the story of coming and going, of circles and commotion, of pictures and pastels and moving trains. Like all stories–no one feels anything and everything happens all at the same time. Like most stories–no one leaves and no one stays. Like no other story–you wait and you fail.

In that dusty room with the dull walls entrenched in gloom–pictures of happy ghosts stared at him. There was smoke but he was not smoking. There were fire flies–thousands of them and they suffocated him. There was a door–which was closed and from the other side he could hear voices of people and laughter and he could not go see what they were and listen to their stories for he did not know what they meant. But the door was not locked–it was just closed. And he did not know the faces of the people even though he saw them everyday–every night–every moment. He did not recognize them. He did not understand the language they spoke because he was not who he was.

There was a storm which brewed somewhere outside the window which was halfway shut–because there was light but not enough light. Outside was just an empty sky–which told him nothing. Outside were children playing on the grass and riding the swings–and he could not tell if they are happy or sad, red or blue, living or dead!

And there was a sparrow which always came to sit on the big willow tree outside his window. It would just look at him with dark melancholic eyes–and he would smile. Because it reminded him of things which were never to happen. Was he happy or was he sad? Was he living or was he dead? Was he a sparrow or was he a firefly? Was he the sky or was he the sea? Could he feel or could he fly?

Those who were outside the room would keep knocking, trying to get in–to peer and to color him purple. They did not realize that time was an abstraction–and there was no time and if there was, they were out of time. His room had no clocks. Just walls which seemed perturbed. And still–there was knocking on the door–they could enter, for the door was not locked and they would stop momentarily and start knocking again.

He did not know anymore–whether it was day or night? Summer or winter? Whether he was or he wasn’t–for he had no mirrors or music or color. He was a vivid figure, a shapeless form who was stuck in a room–that was not even a room but a block.

The storm had taken over him. There was lightening and thunder. And anger and wrath. All, everyone spoke to him in were languages unknown and foreign to him. And he never knew what it all meant. Because he was a paroxysm of empty unhinged feelings.

And every day, before waking up–he would see choirs and songs and bards–and roses on tall trees. There were paintings of naked Greek women and Roman men–and orgies of filthy rabid dogs. Angels sang hymns about the absence…the great Absence. Regret lamented and Glory prayed. And on a rusty bench–a red haired girl sat and kept staring dead at the horizon. And she would always wait for him to come and she would wait for him to leave. So he sits in the yellow train and passes the hazy shadows and pastel colored buildings but the train always goes in circles…

He would wake up in sweats–in the room which is not even a room but a block of clay. And there is smoke around him–and a thousand fireflies dancing above him suffocating him. And from outside the door are noises–unfiltered laughter and conversation. And he does not understand what it all means.

It is a story like all stories. No one enters it and no one ever leaves.

Hum Tum

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Would you like it if you met yourself outside of you? Would you like yourself? Would you talk to yourself? Knowing everything about this other being that stands close to you–knowing the thoughts, the deep dark secrets? The broken dreams and the hundreds of graveyards you carry within yourself?

Now imagine if the two of you ran around each other–deflecting each other and then finally–away from each other. You want to merge into one but they hold you back with chains and you can not fathom anything anymore–you cannot understand the disillusionment which prevails in the disoriented and macabre surroundings because it seems that you have seen it all through a screen before.

But the two of you linger outside of each other and this is no imagination.

And you both walk away–in despair and in a hallucination of bright white lights and rivers made of cushions of pink threads and a sky made of golden silk. But that is what it is–a hallucination–because there are little children floating giddily in mid air bleating ‘You know it never stays the same’ at you like fairies.

But you both know–it never stays at all…

Now when you enter the opposite ends of some Holocene wonder ebbed in fragile glass–you both remember the multitudes of vacant memories all piled up as debris–but it is not your fault. Because you both can clearly see yourself as one touch starved child running amuck with the silver horses at the edge of the sea. Or the love famished fox–when it stood alone and stared deep into the green bushes of the lush jungle. Or when the people–like clouds would cease being clouds and turn into dusty rooms where no one could enter and no one could leave.

And you both remember the clowns when they gathered around and sang you happy birthday and there was no one else there but balloons and candies and cake. And in the tragedy of simplicity you both can see all the times which were, are and will be– but pulled away from each other.

The sparrows in the air hover–and tell you that they see you–that you both are still not magnificent and you are both still a long way from each other. There is a Watcher watching you and it is silent. And thus–you are silent.

And you both remember touch–all kinds of touch–good and bad–taken and given–forced and longed–and neither of you are magnificent. And miles away—there is still a hollow sense of nothingness.

And so you both come back to where it all started and see that people are dancing with feelings and singing around in a virginal glory–and they all cry because they can feel so much of everything that the weight of the world crushes them beneath and they are out of breath. And both of you stand apart from each other–watching it all, and you have seen all this through a screen before. And you both who are denied each other–try to merge as one–cannot decipher any of it, because on the edge of reason, nothing remains.

So you give one last look to each other–your own selves–a look of knowing, of understanding, of deception, of flawed love, of shadows and you both know. One of You disappears in thin air while the other one of You–has never been more alive–so it walks away in a half.

Hypnosis

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I saw you in the dream again last night! I saw you stand up and fly away. You had turned into an orange bird and you flew too close to the sun. And I saw you disappear.

I woke up and realized you look like me, talk like me and smiled like me and i felt you–you even felt like me. But you were not me.

I keep hearing the same old song again and again and again. It reminds me of pastel colored hills which I saw when I was a child. And now the child is all grown up and even the dreams are not pastel anymore. They are set in orange overtones. And the song is sung in a foreign language and I do not know what it means–but it is on repeat. Like death–it is on repeat.

There is a broken pencil on my table and I keep looking at it because I cannot remember why I put it there since it is not mine. And it sits there, forlorn. I know I will never use it because if I do—I don’t know what will happen. I think whatever I write, it will come to life. So it sits there–not moving, broken and forlorn.

I eat sugar–I have been eating sugar for three weeks but I do not know why. It crunches like gravel between my teeth and the white glass–I engulf. I think there is a plum tree growing inside me but that has nothing to do with the sugar. It has nothing to do with me as well–because the tree has green leaves and I sometimes can feel them tickling my innards. Soon I will be able to pluck the plums and make jam.

The opaque lantern is lit and there is light. And I can see. You are still there–looking away, your face towards the wall. For a decade you have been sitting with your face towards the wall. And for a decade I have been having the same dream. And for a decade I have been making plum jam. Now there is so much of it that it drips from the walls–which are made of plum jam.

As the macabre desert tries to engulf our house again–I reach out to you but stop myself because it is suddenly so still around me that I sit down and listen to the wind outside and decode what it tries to say to me. It has a message for me–I know who it is from…It is from the bearded goat which lives across the ocean. They will slaughter him tomorrow and he sends his regards. I will send some plum jam to his family.

The moths are back and they dance around the lantern. How silly–there is no music anymore and they still dance–on repeat. Till the get close enough to it and burn to ash.

And just like that—the match between day and night ends. I go to sleep and I know the dream will come again. Maybe it is all the sugar I have been eating. There will be no day or night for another ten years and then I will wake up–and sit with you, facing the wall–and eat plum jam.