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Saturday, July 31, 2010

dean was not the monk who went up in flames in saigon

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he was six-two, lean, handsome, outgoing
she was six, lithe and both popular
theirs was a storybook romance
and the envy of everyone in high school
then one day horsing around
he fell off the tree and severed his spine
denial, anger, agony, pain and
long periods of therapy and treatment
followed, but acceptance eluded him

he moved into his own apartment
and slowly re-learned to live in his prison
watched movies and listened to music
all day long and even chatted on yahoo
laboriously tapping out alphabets
---he had plenty of time on hand
but the doctors and therapists
could not teach him to live within his body

his fondness of movies wore off and
he developed an interest in current affairs
learned of a world beyond his window
that would never be his and the more
he learned the more agitated he became
of politicians and generals and
kings and emirs and their imbecility
how could they live in halo isolation
and care not for the teeming hungry
and the billions under privileged
then one day.........


at the funeral parlour viewing
he had a smile playing on his face
almost angel-like and at peace
his mother came over and said
'my dean is free now'

for dean c and thich quang duc (1897-1963)

Friday, July 30, 2010

phoenix's quill

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Rastay mein aik bhooli huvvi shak'l dekh kar
Aawaz di tau lub pay koi naam bhi na tha'
- Munir Niazi (1936-2006)

On coming upon a forgotten face one day on the road
I called out, no name would come to my lips
translation - Khalid Hasan


a broom, a quill, leaves
and capricious swings
of shamal-chubasco

[aao chai peelo, kuch kha lo, youN kiyouN badaloN ko taktay rehtay ho, you kiyouN her aahat per kaan dhartay ho, kis paighaam ka shiddat se intizaar hay tumhaiN

have a drink, grab a bite, why do you stare at the floating clouds, why do your ears prick at every tap, what is that message you intensely wait for]

in the tusnami nano seconds
of cycle's aggregate
hitting from shumal-uttar
snow and cold democracy
flooding junoob-dashin
desert and heat tribalism

a broom, a quill and winds
can remove all leaves
so ensconced, if allowed...

existence and
can be so fickle


a tribute to munir niazi


Thursday, July 29, 2010

love orphan/ish'q yateem

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love - blind

ish'q na'beena

andharay maiN

love - august

ish'q khud'dar


bay zaar

love- juiceless

ish'q piyaasa


tishna lubb

love - delusion

ish'q faraib


khud faraib

love - heritage
in denial

ish'q virsa


la waaris

love - solitary

ish'q tanha

hum, tum

tanha, tanha

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

hi rani

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last evening
we took our seats
as the maestro
sang ghalib and
an assorted medley

she was
in my line of vision
and whenever
our eyes met
there was a glint
in hers

at the break
she walked over
and said ‘hi t’

ravages of time
had changed
the hour glass
into a barrel
and it took
some effort
to mentally chisel
the accumulation
of two decades
and when finally
it worked
i said ‘hi rani’

Monday, July 26, 2010

verbivore folklore

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motion on mucous
of deceit
over hurdles
deaf and mute
in bazaar of life
sheep-koala folivore
before succumbing to...

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a penchant
for flesh
dead or alive
in jungle or senate
celevore all....


sufi or pig
austere or
content or
folklores all....

om om om

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Sunday, July 25, 2010

Conversation: homar al alooj - Sitting On the Political Fence

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t: i was just reading an article by another uncle abdul
t: another wannabee ibn warraqite...thought i would respond...then had second thoughts
cd: why?
t: he belongs to islamwatch
cd: so? yes I know them
t: well just a quick glance tells me that they play with the truth the same way a jaahil mullah does...pick n choose n smash
cd: yes
t: and are too much on one extreme
cd: that's what annoys me so with mr. Rajkotwala
t : am SO wary of ANY born-again types
cd: you are absolutely right
t: the born-again zeal gets in the way of reason...khair...let us see where we go with this
cd: :)
t: hey what is homar al alooj beady is rapping about
cd: an obstinate fool or a brilliant mule
t: hmmm... wasn't alooj according to baghdad bob just a gadha?
cd: yes, a stinky gadha no less
t: and homar?
cd:a homar doesnt stink, he just kicks and brays

t: so that would be bush-blair as homar? no forgive me blair is a poodle
cd: (lol) a wimp of a wet noodle
t: and saddam would be the stinky one?
cd: depends on which side of the fence you're sitting
t: or the late asad or ibn asad...sorry am deluged by the third world tin pot dictators
cd: what's in a name anyway...despots are tyrants just the same
t: yeah whether they win by 99% all by themselves or with the help of supreme court;)
cd: (gotcha)....their win is their people's loss


t: you mentioned perfume and is too strong...get headache...perfume is different
cd: five sense need to be addressed...smell is but one of them
t: true but what if the central processor is what if a person does not have a functioning mind?
cd: then one needs to use the auxiliary one...multi task if necessary
t: this is leading somewhere?
cd: functioning minds are rather relative. malfunction is also a function
t: you believe in the predictability of unpredictability?
cd: again depends on which side of the fence you are sitting. creativity come from chaos
t: fence?
cd: crystal balls went out of fashion centuries ago
t: shhhh... i have one ...but back to fence for a moment
cd: fence, wall, borders, divide
t: we walk in a tightrope...a trapeze
cd: or bounce on a bungee
t: aha! wait...yes... fences divide...the tightrope was an individual's trudge through life...
back to perfume
cd: didn't they say no pain no gain? yes perfume is much nicer...(inhales ..exhales) sighs
t: my fav is no perfume...or the absence of one on a freshly scrubbed body
cd: for an asthmatic that is a the too much of even a good thing is still too much
t: yes moderation is the key
cd: in everything
t: about the only thing that does not hurt in excess is moderation
cd: but then that means sitting in the middle...or maybe on the fence
t: not necessarily - think of moderation as an absence of extremism - live and let live?
cd: extremism is on both sides of the fence, if it isn't this then it is that

t: or one more cliche - to each his her own
cd: opposites here do NOT attract
t: hate is that... not the other side of love
cd: the other side of love still divides
t: and attracts israelis palestinian
cd: kashmir
t: they are undecided puzzled and confused ...don't know which suitor to go for
cd: if they were men they'd be able to marry 4
t: four marriages are passe fact marriages are out...commitment is in (Q bit wrote an article on desi)
cd: (eh? I didn't understand that?)
t: Q bit argued in the article that marriages are a thing of past [link]
cd: lol commitments? mistakes are also committed
t: semantics — ouch!!
cd: (laughs)
t: did adam and eve go to a registry? or to a priest?
cd: priest weren't created yet they just had each other and the apple
t: so we created a god in our image
cd: not even in ours ...we think higher of ourselves
t: explain this
cd: we correct God...we ascribe things to him...we interpret his words...we shove intentions down his throat....the created becomes the creator...and while he had the best in mind for us...we give him the worst
t: if i was adam i would not have eaten the apple;)
cd: hindsight is 20/20
t: there you shot down a brilliant and unique insight:)
cd: sorry,
hangs head in shame
takes all the blame
with that rhyme, lame

t: please don't drown me in humility ...i cannot be adam - heck am trying got be an insaan - and that is so difficult
cd: smiles...niyyat is all that matters

Saturday, July 24, 2010

unending work of a monarch

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stored in memory cobwebs
chasing scents, wind and nectar
pulsating chromatic waves

the one found in a jar
in the attic was happy, once
....................and alive

if butterflies dream
what happens to their dreams?


the social genus
perky, fresh, aflutter
an object of desire
for those with a disparate net
drifloating joy
of life's unfinished work

the words in the folder
flaky dreams on frayed paper
frozen sighs, welled tears
unuttered affirmations
clogging memory cobwebs

midnight on the caribbean beach
when ocean comes alive
gone is the idyllic sun bathing
under the shade of the umbrella
with pina coladas and sun lotions
the waves now rise and fall
an unending percussion
slapping the resolve of the shore

timeless, inconclusive

the words, waves, the butterflies
never ending work and
the butterflies within
sans antennas
you, me, them
before and after
we metamorphose
we whirl

Friday, July 23, 2010

hauteur's hubris

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amputated vibrations of probationary impulses
angst ridden probes at the tentative remains
of purblind speculations rediscovering elephants
blind in dark, unseeing in daylight
unperceptive, unrepentant, incognizant
hindenburg ego matching zeppelin imbecility
merrily reassuring the world is not awhirl

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Know What Am Sayin'?

Be sincere; be brief; be seated - Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Good things, when short, are twice as good - Graci�n

A short saying often contains much wisdom - Sophocles

Brevity is a great charm of eloquence - Cicero

Brevity is the soul of lingerie - Dorothy Parker

The quotes above serve two purposes. It adds words to an article so that the kind editors would overlook the requirements for minimum verbiage here. And it also reflects on the writer’s mind-set. Know what am sayin'?

What is it with some people and their speech? Know what am sayin'?

As communicative beings we grow and use communicative skills to convey our hunger, anger, love. From the infant's first lungful cry to the animal grunts in the bedroom the distance is not all that arduous.

In a foreign land, not knowing the language we can still communicate hunger. In restaurants I have used primitive sign language to order food. In meetings, we use non verbal language.

But majority of the times we use words to communicate our thoughts – structured or broken – depending on the company. Both are okay with me, but what irritates me at times is when certain words or phrases are abused. Know what am sayin'?

As readers we come across words that send us scurrying to the padded room. The pharmaceutical companies that make drugs for ulcers and blood pressure must have invested in programs that enhance abuse of the written language.

As if that is not enough increasingly we hear these abuses in conversations and on radio and television. It is discomforting enough when teens tell their parents 'you don't know nothin' dad.' But when a grown man interjects after every second simple sentence 'know what am sayin' I feel like introducing the speaker and the greasy side of the wrought iron pan.

Everyday verbal communication includes colloquialisms, slang, jargon, and idiom. The time when hunter-gatherers made do with grins and grunts is past. Though I wonder sometimes.

The use of expletives in everyday usage alarms me too. I have written about it in Duck, Man Duck!

Would I prefer to be rained with ‘know what am sayin’ or with a plethora of expletives that tell me and others to go forth and make love? Neither. I’d rather be uncommunicative.

Or, perhaps at some chance encounter, I may garner courage to tell someone who wants to know if I understand what he is saying with 'I do, but do you?'

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

words for my other son: lazy musings on the importance of the right turn

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they turn
round and round
pirouetting around

the door knob and
the wheels turn
but the eagle
circles for prey

the propeller
and the earth
both rotate
the top
gyrates though

the earth
like the sun
also revolves

lobbyists spin
ballerina swirls
as does
the swizzle stick
in the martini

and while the world
rotates around them
dervishes do not eddy
but whirl

and in whirling
they touch gods

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

smiling differently

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pound of flesh is passe
shylock today
is much more subtle
and the one in my veins
demands love
for love

dasamukha ravana
demands hate
with usurious interest
for deeds of the dead

we live
under the same roof
breathe in the same air
and smile differently

Monday, July 19, 2010

Los Dias de los Muertos: A Day To Celebrate the Dead

A drizzling rain falls like tears on the Mourning Day;

The mourner's heart is going to break on his way.

Where can a wineshop be found to drown his sad hours?

A cowherd points to a cot 'mid apricot flowers. - Du Mu

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A day between October 31 to November 2 is celebrated in parts of Latin America and Asia as a day to commemorate those who passed away. Los Dias de los Muertos was an Aztec custom originally and is a national holiday in Mexico now.

It is not a day to mourn, rather to celebrate life. Death for them is continuation of life. Graves and graveyards are cleaned up, families bring flowers for the dead, toys for the young ones. It is a day to joyfully remember the deceased.

"We can't fear death,'' said Sylvia Ornelas, a member of Teatro Familia Aztlan, a theater group that does plays for Day of the Dead and whose members included the friendly skeleton playing with the children at the festival.
"Death is a shared destiny," Ornelas said. "When you can recognize that, you can celebrate life.''Leslie Griffy

Friends and family recall the wonderful memories and good times they had. Mariachi bands play songs, tequila is imbued. If there are poets in the family they write calaveras, "short poems mocking epitaphs."

It is also a national holiday in Brazil. In Phillipines this is called Araw ng mga Patay. In both countries it is celebrated more solemnly than in Mexico. In Poland this is called Zaduski.

The Chinese have Qing Ming Festival which is veneration of the ancestors. It is usually celebrated in early April. And here the Roman Catholics celebrate All Saints Day on November 2.

The sub-continental Muslims celebrate Shab e Barat, in mid Sha'baan with a twist. They visit the graveyards to offer prayers for the deceased. I don't know if there is a similar event in Hinduism.

Death and Life are part of the same cycle. We live to die: die to live.

bird on a leafless tree branch
musing rumi like
undaunted by warring truths

each person's truth
estranged in a cacophony
unabashed, proudly owned
wandering friendless in sky

the sun rays denied comfort

truth, volition and violation
owned by zealots
in the company of living
smile at death
the surviving truth - fullmoon blanket

Sunday, July 18, 2010

in a few words

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kun fa ya'kun

a welled tear

abhi mut jao

light within light

kaash waq't thum ja'aye

say more
with less
her smile

a flash freezes
that moment
-- long hours
of discourses
fail to discern

a grin, glare
smile, frown
even silence
conveys more
i'll be silent

Saturday, July 17, 2010

monday masks

commuters in monday masks
measured movements
zombie eyes

a child with a disney backpack
looks up and our smiles clash

at the office there are
more monday demeanors
sue wants to know
'why are you so upbeat?'
- 'half full'
'half full? mondays are so long'
- 'yes but friday is only four days away'
'i dislike Mondays'
- 'half empty?'
she rolls her eyes

Friday, July 16, 2010

timeless tales

hey koi khareedar? achchaa hay maal, lay lo!
achchaa hay maal sasta hay maal, lay lo!

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yeh mad'd o jaz'r zindagi kay
the ebb and flow of life
subterranean constraints
in their tenuous hold
their master's dreams, desires
nightmares, she says!


high noon in a dark church
the first in the Caribbean, sir
flaking stone slabs, benches
covered in layers of dust
strafed with dried pigeon droppings
creating mar's surface maps
the walls witness to fervent
prayers, pleas and sighs
of worshippers long dust
now peace ................ silence
and pigeons with no olive branch
pigeons remind me of jamil naqsh

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aisay hee guzray sajdouN ki baaz-gasht sha'aer e mashriq nay suni hogi musjid e qurtuba kay sukooN ko darham kartay hu'aye

(a similar echo of past reverence
the poet of the east must have heard
reverberating in the peace
of cordoba mosque's courtyard)

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in the marketplace sun
idols and ideals
competing for (market) share
freedom and choices aplenty
horns and speakers in competition

'my god
comes with better warranty, man'

'listen sir
your salvation lies with my god

kiosks selling bootlegged marley
t-shirts with pictures and puns
the wrinkled, gap toothed cobbler
with a smile and an afro cap
the big mama selling fruits
sounds of life's disarray
lining the street in sun

hard to imagine
a year since earth trembled

Thursday, July 15, 2010

serpent flames

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over the grave
of some unknown soldier
who obeyed orders, (perhaps
not of his conscience, or
he may be weak, dare not disobey)

over the torch
heralding an event
flickering a path in lifeless dark
so we know how, where, we stumbled
(how'd it help a swollen knee
an aching bone, you tell me)

of mirth and joy
in child's eyes, mother's pride
in beloved's dazzle,
in eye's red cobwebs
of a mourner
(or of hangover's angst)


in serpent's smiling eyes
those flames sans soul
chill the bones

pass me the blanket

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


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scintillating eyes
acuminous, unblinking,
pulsating, focused

the only curiosity alive
- when the body loses vision
what'll these eyes see

while pundits debate sages
long after we're gone
these probing eyes will
continue their search
will only pursue you
in after-after

kya kiji'aye in aankhouN ka
tiktiki baaNdhay her sheh ko
takti rehti haiN her soo

tajoos'soos reh gaya jo ab
tou srif is baat ka aye humdum
jub yeh palkaiN bund ho ja'ayeNgi
khaak hogi hum aaghosh khaak say
laikin yeh matlaashi aankhaiN m'ri
phir bhi tujhay dhoondaiN gi
phir bhi tujhay hee dhoondaiN gi

Tuesday, July 13, 2010 the end of the day

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at the end of the day:
and how about another cliche
when all is said and done...

it's only a matter of time
when we turn to dust or ashes
don't ask me what if
the body is put to sea

pick up some dust, some ashes
tell me its religion, nationality

baat lamhouN ki hay
phir hum tum phir
khaakh ya raakh hoNgay
phir hum tum phir
such kay samund maiN
sada ghar'q rahaiNgay


we will continue to paint
the other in shades of hatred
am sure it is ordained
--written on some tablet
oh! words have such longevity


those who seek love, understanding
samjhota, prem, pyar
would be shunted, called names
and condemned to the fringes
this is life too where
cliches reign supreme
like un-ordained prophets
dancing in desert's rain-storms


i will go for green tea
wait!... it is called green tea

Monday, July 12, 2010

delusional insanity*: montreal september 13, 2006

kuch to kaho
kuch to kaho kay log kehtay haiN
yeh ho kya raha hay duniya maiN*


the first umbilical cord cut at birth
parents gush, fawn and coddle
then at some point interests diverge

there is another cord, not visible
of communication, love and bonding
when rusted, things start going wrong

was kimveer** a neglected child?
a spurned lover? undiagnosed?
storms must have raged, undetected

what made him let go?
why do innocent get caught?
fate or destiny?

so what do i do as i drink my coffee
write this and push the queries away
how can his parents, the victims' parents
ever make sense? are they doomed
to live on for ever in torment?
why are so many queries
brewing in my morning coffee?

* Kimveer Gill the Montreal shooter

** Kimveer Gill's web site

Sunday, July 11, 2010

unfit to drive: on barely missing an immovable object

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wordpeckers get away with murder
not that they are above the law
many in the past have drunk poison
been hanged, persecuted, driven to drinks
for perceived hurts, blasphemy or worse silence.....even married off
their pondered word-disassembly
fitting square words in round premises
would send passions soaring and
lead the air out of legends-in-mind

hurt so much - the victims laugh with them
can see from the peak of everest
to the tip of kunya kumari and places
in between, sunderbans, jaisalmer

write of darkness in searching eyes
predict things that come true without rhyme
can peek into souls that sends shivers

but by mixing thinking with driving
these stargazers are a menace
let us keep the world safe
from their innocent hurt
tattoo their forehead - unfit to drive!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

some more names ii

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So many names,
there is barely room
on the walls of the heart,
from The Names, by Billy Collins
in some more names, billy i wrote: am moved you have a way with words why is your world so confined to the US, and some countries across the big pond?
five years since
the exclamations came down
and the survivors made peace

the innocent continue
to suffer from ripple lashes

the evil twins throw barbs
milk the towers, we survive, pay
pray and whine - lucky we are
removing shoes, emptying pockets

millions fare worse
death, poverty - living misery
while culprits debate for ever
surveys, polls support
six billion views

our world has changed
...there is more suspicion
fear, mistrust - phobias rule
killings and bombings galore
in the name of righteousness
and we're ever more suspicious
of neighbours, the unabated legacy
of the exclamation's dissolution

Friday, July 09, 2010

dream sculpture

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i froze my dreams solid
as whims and doubts
then chiseled from the top
a face with high cheekbones
smiling eyes, framed by
yaar-wrinkles, full lips
to break into a smile
at slight flutter

slicing, i move to the base
cutting a pedestal with motifs

as the dream sculpture
is unveiled later that evening
amidst exultations and praises
i summon modest smiles

long after the reception is over
my dreams begin to deliquesce
i erase a tear or two
and leave to gather more dreams

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Thursday, July 08, 2010

where does amor vincit omni fit in?

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a high wire act over elated dust
prayer poles, oars of wistful murmurs
negotiate life's tightrope - crossed
with bravado, faith laced lunacy,
and skepticism tinged fear
gingerly afloat over the ground
beneath the wire

today, blindness shrouds and not much
remains discernible - the end of the rope
ground, net, hope - all distant sighs

they walk in trepidawe laced with hazy hope
unsure of what beckons and yet happily
the simpletons tread the trapeze
stunned blissfully in their make-believe world

when our time is up, we go down

and despite nurtured beliefs, misgivings, delusions, wishful thinking, conditioning, prayers without wings, they're individual fables of mirth, joy, sadness, melancholy and bravado - alive for others - dead within — a speck of dust on the vast shoreline of this universe...ignorant, unaware and un-recognizant of sun's spread nor moon's carpet...floating and the whim of currents

hay insaaN ki qudrat maiN na insaaN hona! fiq't sahil-e-alam ka zarra hona

what of purpose, goal, religion, life, living
and arrogance - amor vincit omni...
but tell me love, where does love fit in
in a beached rudder-less boat?

Wednesday, July 07, 2010


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as the scent of Queen of Night*1 carried softly by the breeze
whirling, dancing, pirouetting, the discreet nomad carries
his home within his heart and mind, a home that has no walls, no roof
a home that cannot be bulldozed, a roof that cannot be brought down
by any righteous tyrant

from the shores of Kanya Kumari to Thar desert across the divide
the endless dunes of Rub al-Khali, the thatched straw huts in Jaisalmer
pseudo- replica homes in Defence, the pink sands of Harbour Island
wilderness of La Romana, the volcano of St. Lucia
the nomad is at home - within, no walls, no roof - euphoria
validating, embracing long as the muscles, in trust throb

dur, na nashaimun*2, na talab oonki
shaheen*3 bhi nahiN, Khuda*4 bhi juda
kaisay mismaar hO, kaun mismaar karay
basayra junooni mun mOji ka

cascading laughter and tears, rough seas and inclement weather
broken and mended relationships, waves upon waves of sunrises
tempt him to newer frontiers long as the muscles, in trust throb

1: Cestrum nocturnum - raat ki rani
2 & 3: Iqbal's couplet-
NahiN tera nashaimun qasr e sultani kay goonmbud per
tu Shaheen hay ker basayra pahaRON ki chatanON per
4: Sunnis killing Shias...Muslims blowing up other believers/non-believers in the name of a God that is not my Merciful Allah

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

parliament and king

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in the spine-shiver chill of snowy day's darkness
flame-drowsy sun filtered by smoke prodded
with inebriated bravado re-ignites
inklings of cognition

under the masonry arch at noon, oblivious
the pauper and the panhandler hold court all day
seeking, demanding change, swigging from paper bags
passing somber verdicts on each passersby

the pauper in patented discards confessed
to the panhandler of loves lost, women conquered
in gap-toothed slurps

fortified, the panhandler boasted of his days
in faraway sai-ho-minh, in pre-syndrome days
how he would kill the natives for not smiling

as dusk fell they'd walk over to the scott mission
to slump in dazed stupor until the sun returns
when they will drink, harass and brag anew

* parliament and king - a T.O. intersection

Monday, July 05, 2010

the other finger**

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in (com)motion the finger
weaves, wriggles, writhes, waivers
bristles with indignation

probes pioneering paths
deft touch, amorous quiver
thundering sighs inaudible

deny the poet* a pen fingers in blood he'll use

an artist tactile i know
paints his heart with fingers

know a language sans grammar
it does more than writhe or quit

but thanks anyways, OK**


*: Mataa e lOh o qal'm chinh gaee tO kya ghum hay
kay khoon e dil maiN dubo lee haiN oongliaN maiN nay

** this should be very obvious

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Dance partner: humraq's

dance partner

a collage
of colliding dreams
trembling touches
brushed kisses
scintillating embraces
overlap a mirage reflected
in the mirror over the fireplace
as the fall breeze rustles leaves
in rhapsody

this magical mirror
mirrors mind cobwebs
and continues its charade
in the face of truth asleep
partnering facades and illusions
for a few spent moments
as the hands around the waist
and hips, arms and nape
tango tremulously

next day's sun
ushers its own truth


khaab, muhabbat, nafrat, bahar, qa'rar, fa'rar,
aaeena e haqeeqat maiN larzaaN her ak's
pasand ka apni apni milta hay jahaaN
ik mafhoom her nigah e mutlaashi kO
phir doo'kh ki yeh judagana rahaiN kaisi
her wazah kay lOg raq's e azli maiN jahaaN
saathi bantay haiN chund sa'atouN kay liyay

Saturday, July 03, 2010

mendicant's imploration: a requiem for the undead

(a fermenting poem)

forget you? how can i? tasted your fragrance nor felt the reverberations of the rhythmic pulses in waves as you trundle by my wall-less abode, eyes set on horizon, hint of a smile, walk on air past me

you glance not at my art display: coins thrown at random, shiny, dull, face up or down, inscriptions, dates...coins that travel in disdain, in hope, casually to fall and hug my rag, passersby look at my art display furtively before rushing away

i sit here...meditating meanings...conversing with flies...shadows dance around me all day, from one side to the other...they shrink and grow again only to be swallowed by the ever lingering darkness of the heart unaided by ordained meanderings

forget you? how can i? tasted your fragrance nor felt the reverberations of the rhythmic pulses in waves as you trundle by my wall-less abode, eyes set on horizon, hint of a smile, walk on air past me...glide past my canvas...i search every day...not for coins...for an inkling in your eyes...why do i feel denied...who is more dead?

Friday, July 02, 2010

under the minaret

nearly six decades have gone
and what do we have to show
a rusty bloated bomb
an occupying army
a bankrupt ideology
and abdul sattar edhi?

am not swayed by big buildings
roads, dams and bigger egos

the distraught mother is still
stirring the same darkened pot
and the hungry dazed children
w(e)arily dream of biryani

from the tall minarets
descends through chanting fog
praises of the bhagwaan

Thursday, July 01, 2010

An Injured Tom-Cat In a Gunny Sack - Translation of a Saqi Farooqi Poem

The original in Roman Urdu: Khali Boray MaiN Zakhmi Billa - Saqi Farooqi

Jan Mohammed Khan
________________this is no easy journey
in this empty gunny sack
________________life suffocates
jute strands pierce the heart
and on the foggy cornea
coins of moonlight cascade
and darkness overwhelms the body...

Today on your bare back
________________who'd lit the fire
who'd fire the coal
who'd blossom the blood stained
flowers of strife?

My fiery claws are listless
________________today the journey is not easy
presently this path abruptly will stop
at the dirty pond
and ensconced in the loneliness of my coffin
I'll embrace sleep
water to water, dust to ...

And you'll have to move on ...
________________move on as if in trance
and you cannot fathom that invisible sack ...
________________you can't recognize your own sack
Jan Mohammed Khan
________________this is no easy journey.


Links: Saqi Farooqi : A Poet's Progress by Faruq Hassan

An Injured Tomcat in an Empty Sack translated by Frances W. Pritchett

A Wounded Cat in a Sack translated by Hifzul Kabir Qureshi

An Injured Cat In An Empty Bag translated by Rafey Habib

The Wounded Cat in an Empty Sack translated by C.M. Naim

A Wounded Cat in an Empty Sack translated by Faruq Hassan

Cat in the Sack translated by Alamgir Hashmi