ANOTHER NEW YEAR - 2008
Another new year has come,
And I ponder upon my fears,
What has the new sun brought save,
More unhappiness and tears!
Loved ones are no longer there,
To share a smile of joy with me,
Strangers, strangers everywhere,
Amid chaos, fuss, mayhem, frenzy.
Dishonesty and lies abound,
And virtue has no meaning,
Lust has obliterated love,
In this cannibalised living.
Come, O my heart, do not pine,
Or grieve or sigh or mourn,
Come, let us seek sojourn,
Somewhere -- where all is fine.
Perhaps I am a dreamy man,
Not suited for this beastly age,
And like birds I too must hide,
My real self inside a cage.
Let me inhale a deep puff,
Of a Havana cigar,
Lest I too lose my sanity,
In a world constantly at war.
Let me seek an escape route,
Into a visionary dawn,
Where the New Year heralds hope,
Along with a shining morn'.
(2) A CHALLENGE
Tidal defiance dares me,
the tides are red with blood,
camel’s eyes are lifeless lamps.
Being bleeds and Caesar-like,
drained of life I seek the hand,
For whose stab I march ahead.
They all say,
That they all know me.
Even my God,
does not claim,
He fully knows me.
Seeking love ruined me,
I accept no reality,
Everything fools us completely.
They cannot see the real me,
Their eyes lack the sight to see,
My heart's redness in the sea.
So let the sea laugh and roar,
Let stormy winds howl and shriek,
My grief is concealed in me.
(3) A DIALOGUE WITH MY MAKER
In the midst of night I lie, awake,
Unable to share what comes to my mind,
In the midst of all these thoughts You come,
With elation does ecstasy come.
You say You are always by my side,
Nearer to me than my jugular vein,
Tell me then the untold truth,
Tell me how one in heaven abides.
You say You made me in the best of moulds,
Then, reduced me to the lowest low,
You say You are the Creator Best,
That You are Unique from all the rest.
You say everything has been destined,
What for then is my daily grind,
What is this promise of heaven and hell,
Why do You speak from a hiding blind?
The perfect man You sent for us,
To save us from your Hell's abyss,
You say You are Most Merciful,
Then who stole my rest and peace?
(4) A DIALOGUE WITH NATIONS
In the Name of Allah (God) do I begin,
In the Name of the One Who is,
The Compassionate, the Merciful,
There is nothing like unto Him.
Then I humbly offer my salutation of peace,
To Prophet Muhammad, the harbinger of peace.
It's through him that souls are defined,
It's through him that souls are refined,
It's through him that all mankind,
Has received the Message of peace.
Sincere is my appeal to my fellowmen,
In all the wide, spread out land,
May my Lord give flow to my words,
So that you all may understand.
I appeal with a passage from the Quran,
addressed to us all as a whole,
"O mankind, adore your Gaurdian Lord,
Who created you from one soul."
And from that soul create its mate,
And from the two, made nations, whole."
Some are humble and some are great,
But it is up to us to remember,
That all of us have been made equal,
That in God's sight nobody is great.
We have become tribes and nations,
So that we may learn about civilization.
Some belong to Asia, some to Europe,
Some to Africa, some Australia,
Some come from the Americas,
Some even live in Antarctica.
But it doesn't matter where we come from,
We are all humans with the same form,
Our ancestral strains are all similar,
Be we at the two Poles or the Equator.
This is my plea to all men and women,
Who make the communities of all nations:
Let's not work mischief in the land,
Be it on the hills or the desert sands.
Let's help each other in doing good,
Let one and all earn their livelihood.
Let the rich share their wealth with the poor,
And be kind to the wayfarer.
Let us strive against exploitation,
Be it of man, child, or woman.
May all of us who are far and near,
Spread the message of peace and vanquish fear.
Let us pledge on every occasion,
That we won’t be lured by lust and passion.
That we shall strive against poverty and hunger,
And eliminate lawlessness on every border.
Let us all agree with determination,
That we all shall become one great nation.
United in the bonds of harmony and peace,
So that hatred and war-mongering seize.
(5) WITH KUKU
Ocean waves tide rushing nowhere,
Impressions of naked feet, drifting.
Shadows leaping frogs on lily pads
Bathing in summer heat wave.
I too sat by the sandy shore,
And met Omar Khayyam and some more
Poets, like Plath, where were you?
In the midst of the dark nights I lie,
Questioning sleep and why I don't die,
Perhaps I am still not alive.
Loyalty and that too in this age?
Open Sesame, is it that easy,
Split open my heart and see the rage.
Green eyes, blue eyes, brown and black,
Truth and honesty in all does lack,
Aesop's wisdom, dusty in a rack.
This Haiku poetry discussion was between me and Deborah Russell (Kuku) on January 16 and 17, 2002.
(6) A FLOWER CALLED DAPHNE
If you ask me about innocence,
I will say it is Daphne,
If you ask about chastity,
I will say it is Daphne.
A synonym for virtue,
Who else but Daphne,
An antonym for envy,
I will say it's Daphne.
A simile for truth?
A beauty called Daphne,
A metaphor for beauty?
A truth called Daphne.
In the garden of flowers,
There are tulips and roses,
But more than all there is,
A laurel called Daphne.
In this wide and vast world,
Many women have I seen,
But haven't seen anyone -
Anyone like Daphne.
In short, let me conclude:
There's none like Daphne,
A tribute to her Maker,
She's called Daphne.
(7) A GOOD WOMAN
That woman is really blessed who,
Has faith in God, in her own virtue,
Who safeguards her chastity,
Is kind, modest, sincere and true.
She does not get carried away,
By people who are false and vain,
She shuns pride, envy, malice,
With dignity she holds her sway.
She is quiet, simple in her bearing,
Pure of body, mind and soul,
She doesn't waver off the track,
To righteousness does she always cling.
With such a woman a good man can,
Conquer his self and the whole world,
Greater than Alexander* he can be,
Forever lofty in time's span.
*Alexander the great of Macedonia, Greece.
(8) A LITTLE WHILE MORE
Let the remaining years of my life,
Be - as Elliot says - measured in coffee spoons;
Let the moments not wring the heavy heart;
Let the aroma not stir up memories;
Let not Spring make me remember green,
Let not the evening moonrise blankly stare:
Let me carry on with whatever is left,
No confidante have I found,
Who can share,
Who can a sincere moment spare,
People think this outpourings of mine,
Are a poet's rambling in the vale of time;
The heaviness, like a rolling mill stone,
Is slowly grinding this heart of mine,
And very soon there will be no sign,
Left of whatever was treasured,
in my mind's deep and unexplored mine.
Let the medicine man's pills make me forget,
Let me not be aware of any regret,
Let me be lost myself for a little while more,
After which there will be no encore.
Let the singers sing their songs and stay,
Let the merry makers cajole and play,
Let me watch them and feel alive,
Not pine for what I could not keep in store,
After all this is for just a little while more…
(9) A PLEA
Is this earth the place You had for me?
From Firdous* and Eden, here? To be?
You know the secrets of the heart and soul,
Then You must be aware of my misery.
Let not the creation before whom all bowed,
Be confined to where it should not be,
You say You are able to track down a sigh,
If so restore my place with You, Most High.
*Firdous: The highest place in paradise as mentioned in Islamic scriptures.
O my Lord Allah,
When I hymn Your praise,
May the trees kneel,
And may the streams sing.
Give me the power,
To make the mighty bow,
When I praise Your glory,
May the whole world glow.
Make my pen mightier,
Than the sharpest sword,
Increase me in my faith,
Don't let me falter.
You are my Guardian,
My Saviour, my Friend,
I want you by my side,
To the very end.
(11) A RESOLVE
You strove to strangle truth with chains,
You strove to throw it in the pit of flames,
You tried to vanquish it with brute force,
You tried to make it sound insane.
Throughout history we observe how,
Efforts have been made to spread falsehood,
Yet truth has always been victorious,
Evil has succumbed and bowed to good.
Noah, Abraham, Moses and Joseph,
Elisha, Saleh, Solomon, Jesus,
Or be it Muhammad of Arabia,
They fought falsehood and triumphed.
In bondage tyrants keep humanity,
Ruling over them without justice,
But for how long has their reign been,
Didn't they, in a short time, perish?
I too will, with God with me, by me,
Stand out against evil, tyranny,
I will keep on fighting bravely,
Till souls in bondage I set free.
*The names of persons mentioned in this poem are of prophets and messengers of God Almighty.
(12) A RESPONSE TO ALEXANDER POPE
Pope’s Ode to solitude
"How happy he, who free from care
The rage of courts, and noise of towns;
Contented breaths his native air,
In his own grounds.
"Whose herds with milk, whose fields with bread,
Whose flocks supply him with attire,
Whose trees in summer yield him shade,
In winter fire.
"Blest! who can unconcern'dly find
Hours, days, and years slide swift away,
In health of body, peace of mind,
Quiet by day
"Sound sleep by night; study and ease
Together mix'd; sweet recreation,
And innocence, which most does please,
"Thus let me live, unheard, unknown;
Thus unlamented let me die;
Steal from the world, and not a stone
Tell where I lie."
(Pope, it is said, wrote this gem of a poem at the age of 12. It is undoubtedly one of the 100 best poems of the English language during the last five hundred years).
To be happy how much I try,
From birth to this day but why,
Have I have not been able to,
Succeed in my efforts -- I sigh...
I am not fascinated by this world,
Its temporal gains I don't desire,
I shun the falsehood on which it thrives,
And the vanity of people with fingers curled.
To me contentment is not peace,
The restless mind and heart don't cease,
To keep the soul and body engaged in tasks,
Till the day when my blood will freeze.
For, what if I am lamented or not:
Nothing is mine, aught is naught,
I was better off when I didn't come here,
Does it matter if I am remembered or not?
This was added more than four years later:
To live for others is the greatest good,
Which I found out after years had passed,
And to make our loved ones happy, carefree,
Is all that matters for now, for good.
(13) A ROBOT’S SONG
The sun descends and the day blackens,
Like the last scene of a disturbed dream,
Fading away into eternity.
No birds flutter in this dreary land,
Yet we stay on, like robots,
Programmed to function,
Performing our tasks with mechanical humdrum;
Devoid of peace of mind and rest of body,
It is no longer "to be or not to be"
There is something wrong, somewhere,
Either with you or with me.
(14) A STRANGE EXPERIENCE
From the sea, where fishermen dance,
After returning with their catch,
I heard a voice from the unseen say,
Heed your heart's call and then pray.
Pray for the downtrodden and the meek,
Pray that the strong don't mistreat,
The weak and the poor of your Lord's world,
Pray and pray, and nightly vigils keep.
Then I was shook by a mighty wave,
Its waters encircled me round my waist,
I woke up to the signs of warning and
Ran on and on in an attempt to flee.
Why do these spells come and seize me,
Why am I entranced by mystery,
Why do unknown forces of Nature,
Reveal much of the unseen world to me?
Answers? From whom should I seek,
Is there somebody who will help,
Someone, who will feel all that I feel,
And come up with shelter and safety?
At times there's no respite from pain:
Seeing truculent men, meretricious women,
Talking incessantly on diverse subjects,
Without wisdom, without an aim...
Moments of leisure, like a puff,
Drawn from a filtered fag;
Are brief, smoky and short-lived,
After the first, sharp drag...
Manic depictions all around,
This civilisation disintegrates,
Virtues and morals gasping for life,
Without a sigh or a sound.
Caesar bled for some like me,
Brutus' sword killed him too,
While Calpurnia* and Portia*,
For their men gave up the world.
The Queen of Scots* and Saint Joan*,
Symbols of silent valour,
And unblemished selflessness.
The rulers of the present world,
Talk of a New World Order,
Making many like me sad,
At their suave hypocricy.
A General with legions stays on,
Defiantly clinging to power,
While thousands have died for a cause,
At a mosque for someone's vow.
I see no end to the insanity,
Of powerful warmongers,
As my imagination reveals more,
Of a vain world gone crazy.
*The names mentioned in this poem are of men and women who are famous in Greek, Roman and English history.
(16) ALL MEN ARE EQUAL?
Classes of people:
Classes in airplanes;
Classes in cinema halls;
And classes in trains.
Yet the slogan is:
All men are equal.
A small Afghan girl,
Sells burgers, earns rupees,
She is a refugee,
Whom should she trust?
People are enjoying,
Vacation and holidays,
Giving money and spending,
on breezy hill stations.
All men are equal!
Sounds good to the ear,
And pleasing to the eyes,
But, are all equal?
The Afghan girl replied:
"My burgers, they are swell.”
(17) AN AFGHAN GIRL’S QUESTIONS
I met the little Afghan girl again,
The girl who sells burgers and tea,
Saddened and pale she appeared,
High on the hilltop of Murree.
Why are they out to attack us, she asked,
Why do the Americans blame only us,
We, who have been driven from our homes,
What more does the world want from us?
I looked around the hills around,
I stared at the valleys down below,
This little refugee in her helpless way,
Was seeking answers from all those around.
Tell me sir, the child questioned,
By attacking us, will justice be done?
Is this the way that God's law works,
Are the mighty created to oppress some?
The Twin Towers that came crashing down,
The little girl knew nothing of them,
She only knew she had burgers and tea,
How can her likes cause terror, mayhem?
(18) AN ALIEN TO MYSELF
The noises in the street outside,
Intensify my sadness...
Why am I alien to myself?
Perhaps the humming stillness within,
May share the secret,
Disturb me, disturb me all of you,
Is there anything else you can do,
Besides creating chaos and confusion,
Besides disturbing what can you do.
Keep on with your ways, and one day,
You will learn the folly when I am away,
Your face will then be full of tears,
That will roll down from eyes, astray.
The darkness tries to ease my worry,
The silence seeks to shield anxiety,
The pills -- they try to make me sleepy,
But your annoyance: how it jolts me.
You ask the stars above and find,
What a man faces in his daily grind,
You sit up one night and chat with the moon,
Then perhaps you will realise my gloom.
It's for your sake I toil endlessly,
Keeping the quiet night for company,
But even after the midnight hours,
All that you can do is come and annoy me.
(20) ANOTHER DAY
Another April day,
Toiling for a living,
In a city where,
Clean water is scarce,
Bread is costlier,
Make them prefer death.
There's little peace,
In this country,
Even though some claim:
With deathly smell.
In such circumstances,
Some souls, like me,
Still cling to,
Shouldn't we go away,
To a better place,
Where life is still sacred,
Where people do matter?
I see my motherland,
Being denuded and raped,
While I am helpless,
And have to withstand -
All the ugliness,
Of dishonest charlatans,
Who come into power,
And become Satans.
Is this the vision,
Of Allama Iqbal?*
No, it can't be,
No, not at all.
* Allama Iqbal is a well known Urdu poet who conceived the idea of Pakistan in the 1930s.
Damp and dull,
Even though the T.V's on.
Where to go?
Where are all my friends?
What's wrong O dejected heart?
Closed, and the curtains,
Are drawn over tainted rooms.
Everything is black,
Power failure adds to gloom.
I seek souls,
Who can understand,
What brightens up cold winters.
Cups of tea,
And some cheerful talk -
- But muezzins don't agree:
"Come to mosques",
The azaans are loud,
Let me warm myself awhile...
Let me drift,
Into dreamy worlds,
Where nobody fears Hell-fire.
There's no love,
In the hearts of some
Women -- they are feelingless.
They want guys,
Who can chat and flirt,
Take them on a shopping spree.
And the World Wide Web,
And dancing to drugged music...
Arm in arm,
They seek pleasure and
I can't satisfy,
Their ultra-modern cravings.
Let me be,
O my wounded heart,
This is not what the soul needs.
Let me be,
Wrapped in a blanket,
Hidden from a dreary world.
(22) ANSWER ME
I am sending a question to my Creator,
Perhaps, He will answer, with a revelation,
What more should I do? How many more a favour,
To end these years of extreme persecution?
It is Ramadan, the month of peace, blessings,
At such a time why am I enduring,
The cruelty being inflicted ceaselessly,
What else must I do to besides supplicating?
The world outside is seething with torment,
The ungodly tyrants are killing the innocent,
These warlords, these sons of Satan,
Want the rule of Lucifer, that is their plan.
In my home, where I come for peace of mind,
Rest, relaxation and some caring time,
There is this soul who hurts me the most,
Will my Creator not look on me and be kind?
(23) ANYBODY, PLEASE?
I look at the souls that are seeking peace,
I know not why God prefers to be silent,
I watch the nightbird, how it shrieks with a shrill,
Perhaps this is a reply of the Divine Will.
I look at a little girl who says she is hungry,
She comes and begs for an Iftaari,
Oh my Great Lord, I thank You for the favour,
It is through me that You do what You will.
I wonder why somebody has lost a father,
The pain of losing him is visibly greater,
On the contours and features of the smiling face,
How artfully is pain hidden beneath disguised grace!
Is it right for me to wander off like Siddharth,
To seek real peace in caves by running away,
Or is it better to stay on in this hearth,
And do everything that through me He fulfils.
The hours are passing by, so tells the clock,
Why should I care or wander off with the flock,
Let my Good Lord do what He deems best,
Let me forget I exist and take some rest.
(24) ARE WE LIVING?
Minds, greedily growling,
Hearts, like petrified stones;
Desire hungrily seeking,
More, more and more.
Platter after platter,
On the table of disaster,
These folks are always starved:
For them it doesn't matter,
The beings have to be carved.
Is this our living?
Is anybody out there,
Without endless desire,
Without undying craving?
Jesus the Messiah said,
When temptation shone,
That Man doth not live,
by bread alone.
We have pot bellies,
But, are we living,
For bread alone?
(25) A MYSTERY
The way your eyes show surprise:
Whenever you look at me,
Perhaps you haven't ever seen,
A calm sea, in your life.
Yes, I am mysterious,
As secretive as the night.
The wolves and the vampires,
Are scared of my presence,
The creatures of the underworld,
Appear in my absence.
Outwardly I am quiet,
Inwardly a marvel:
Of a strange, strange world,
You haven't explored.
(26) BACK TO THE OLD PLACE
Back to the old place again,
Where silent walls stare,
Like faces that have,
Since long forgotten my name.
Shadows emerge on the dust,
Like footprints of time,
Tiptoeing their way,
Like they must.
Oh that I had not been,
To be loved and remembered,
And then to be archived,
In time's hallmark of fame.
Green, yellow, brown,
Colours and life,
And a void above,
Leave me wondering,
What? When? Why and how?
'She' wants to be beautiful,
And sets about to be so:
Cuts her hair and dyes them,
Paints her face with different creams,
And wears masks,
In an effort to hide her self.
Reddens her lips,
Trims her lashes, colours them, and smiles;
Totally pleased with her own reflection.
Slips herself into slippery apparel,
Revealing what she is, inside and out.
Abandons her feet to high-heeled shoes,
That shake her hips and rock her steps.
Goes to a party and enjoys to the full,
The company of others, like her.
Laughs and smiles seductively,
At all -- all strange looking men.
Seen at her enticing best:
Is she what she set out to be -- Beautiful?
(29) BEFORE THE STORM
Dark and foreboding,
A tumultuous today.
Very few agree with me.
Why not wait,
For Nature to strike,
And cleanse all the pollution.
I look calm,
Just like the harsh storm,
Waiting to lash at the city.
Who is there,
To prevent us both,
Who wants to be sincere?
(30) BEWARE OF THE IMPOSTOR
Beware! O people of the world,
The one-eyed Impostor has come,
The anti-Christ with his own laws,
to misrepresent the Muslim nation.
Beware! O people of the world,
Beware of this one-eyed Impostor,
Who hides his face from everyone,
Who wreaks havoc and destruction.
Beware! O people of the world,
The tall towers have crumbled down,
The one-eyed man, it's his doing,
He is out to destroy every town.
Beware! O wise women and men,
The anti-Christ is out on the prowl,
Defaming religions and goodness,
Writing terror with an angry scowl.
Beware! O wise women and men,
Beware of the one-eyed impostor,
The final conflict has begun,
The time for the Messiah has come.
(31) BLACK AND WHITE
O floating denizens of domains, unseen,
Vampires surround my whole being,
O guardian angels of the Holy God,
Wherefore have you vanished from the scene?
O my beloved, when you look at me,
With a questioning stare in your starry eyes,
I am desperately lost, I seek support,
To come up with what you want as replies.
I picked up a fallen petal of a plucked rose,
And found a dewdrop hidden inside,
The mysteries of Nature are beyond reach,
An unwept tear in every flower glows.
A term has to be endured on this land,
Bearing everything flung by time's hand,
A result of red hot passion I am,
Moulded and fashioned in the form of man.
The murky hearted of this scum filled place,
Have forgotten the worth of spiritual grace,
Hiding their darkness they think they are fair,
Their black and white fighting to be in place.
Waves are good company:
Bored I am of neon signs
And the false ways of people.
(33) CARAVEL OF TIME
It sails away like a caravel,
On a voyage of no return,
Taking away my good moments,
Never ever to return.
It sailed away with my childhood,
I knew not why and when,
So will it one day, for good,
Take youth to its haven.
I have quite a few good friends,
As good as a man can have,
It will disperse them at different ends,
Leaving me alone to crave.
The good times that I have with them,
Will vanish completely,
On its misty tides will they all go,
To an unknown entity.
So, gone forever, down it goes,
Borne by the winds that close,
Some reflections cherished by me,
Will I see them again? Who knows!
(34) CHANGING COURSE
Through long and tedious paths I have come,
In search of the Truth that is only One,
Even the water of life I disdained,
Longing to be a part of the Eternal One.
Many saints and savants on the way I met,
And jokers and jugglers who laughed and said,
Here is someone at whom we can laugh,
Here is a pilgrim on whom we can't bet.
Then came some maidens, as fine as silk,
Fresh and ravishing like honeyed milk,
For a while they bewitched me with their charms,
Short-lived was their spell, soon did I flee.
Now I am at the point where the worlds meet,
Tired but hopeful, at Your great seat.
To choose becomes difficult for me sometimes,
As difficult as the dark clouds hovering,
Trying to shed rain in June;
As difficult as leaving a loved one,
After a long time spent together;
As difficult as watching the moon,
In unfriendly weather;
As difficult as for a flower,
Trying to avoid a bee;
As difficult as trying to avoid,
A gaze from beautiful eyes;
As difficult as forcing a smile,
From a heart heavy with grief;
As difficult as controlling,
The tear that overwhelms us.
As difficult as accepting,
That youth and age have merged;
In short I found it is hard to choose,
When there is little choice, left to choose.
Let's seek a place, somewhere, my heart,
Somewhere, where no soul belongs,
Let's speak out the pains we share,
The thousand and one wounds we have got.
Let the waves come and wash our words,
Let the clouds hide the sun above,
Let the sand bury the marks we leave,
Let no one hear the thoughts unheard.
Let's try to spend some days, carefree,
Without disturbance, without worry,
Let the body and mind blend with us,
Let the spirit be freed from agony.
I have dreamt that we can do it somehow,
Let's disappear for a while, let's flee,
Let those who claim they care about us,
Let them keep claiming, till eternity.
Silence, at times, sends shudders through me,
It is as if I can hear Hell hiss,
I am afraid of keeping such company,
Which to others is like bliss.
Solitude and sea waves,
City lights and plazas,
O, what a constrast,
The undefined path paves.
I tried my best to reshape,
The course of my destiny,
But I slipped, fell and got hurt,
As the Writer pulled a cape.
I came here to serve you,
But the tidal wave prevailed,
You just did not need me,
So all my efforts failed.
Oh, please let me be,
Let the noises hoot and shout,
Let darkness let loose its ghosts,
I have my Saviour beside me.
(38) THE CUCKOO AND THE PILGRIM
(A Renga on “Revelation” with Deborah Russell)
Deborah Russell: Cuckoo (C) begins stanzas. Emmenay: Pilgrim (P) responds:
In the nimbus of red sun
What colour are leaves?
Rainbow sweeps doubts
We are the best
Why look at colours?
I am what i am
My eyes crystallize colours
The canvas is white
White hides mysteries
Heart a prism
Soul is on the throne
Raw umber of flesh
Cadmium a midas coat
A Joseph-coat waits
Blind steep cave
Deceived by promises
Dream becomes reality
Rivers flow like shroud
Mystery of white suffused
That is the promise
Life water sparkles
All barriers broken
Isn't faith a mystic?
All men prophecy
Interpret dreams and translate
Yet only faith knows
Silence is wisdom
The Sufi understands
What is left to explain?
Silence a variant
Solace the definition
Do trees have wisdom?
Heartbeats are heard
By a chosen few
Ask the olive branch
Many eyes seek peace
Olive branches and ointment
Where is the mercy?
Mercy is peace
Deep are still waters
The heart is resplendent
The vineyard remains
Generations produce fruit
Is wine a liquid?
Matter becomes extinct
Ah, how will be Kauthar*?
Thirty five metres
Seeped in pilgrims tradition
Why I am not chosen?
Hallaj* said Anal Haqq*
They chopped him, he laughed
Where is his greater cross?
Weighs heavy within the heart
This necklace a cross.
* Zamzam: A water spring at the Holy Kaaba in Makkah, Saudi Arabia. Kauthar: The spring in Paradise where thirsty believers will be refreshed with heavenly water; Hallaj: Mansoor Al-Hallaj, a mystic who was decapitated and hanged in Baghdad, Iraq, for saying ‘Anal Haqq’ meaning ‘I am the truth’.
Deborah Russell is a well known American poetess whose poems can be read at http:/www.postpoems.com
Renga with Deborah Russell
Emmenay: Pilgrim (P) begins Renga and Deborah Russell, Cuckoo (C) responds:
Lizards, bats stare
Angel on horizon?
The sun rises in east
Where is the answer?
Western shadows melt
Eyes and heart rejoice
Wondrous signs appear
In silence of trees
The language of great mountains
Are there no shadows?
Sun swallows darkness
Valleys know the secret
Dawn of revelation
In absence of light
A photon of faith
Blackened mirror lies
Light is eternal
Ask the fallen dark wings
Cobalt crystal persuasions
Man becomes airborne?
Autumn's spell over
Ray of hope dazzles
Pegasus* left behind
The carnage of religions
Yet faith reconstructs
Staff obeys faith
A nation finds freedom
Mountains rise from earth
Crumble into deep oceans
Are stars infinite?
Comets are pegs
My world is above
Between here and there
Numerous tangents and lines
What measure is faith?
Infinite orbits wait
Hang on with trust
Limitless vistas smile
Is trust a resolve?
Creation in abeyance
We are venerated
What do I see?
The creator of all light
All galaxies bow
Faith wins battle
Lucifer's legion falls
(Renga with Deborah Russell)
Deborah Russell, Cuckoo (C) starts Renga as Emmenay, Pilgrim (P) responds.
Under cold moonlight
Tree shadows cross snowy street
Still stars in my eyes?
Damp misty, street light
Lone stranger puffs for warmth
Keats, Fannie - Destiny
Above stars in sky
My eyes travel the journey
This long night gallops
Cirius shines in the eyes,
Full moon cannot dull the glow,
Weary eyebrows dim feelings.
Millions of stars shine
Many poems write the night sky
Could this be heaven?
Lightning flash from afar
Storm threatens my very sight
Will your song comfort me?
Moon writes river song
Notes sparkle in movements
What poetry speaks?
Clouds float past soft moonbeams
Parallel our roads of dreams
On narrow woods path
Moonlight breaks shadow direction
Where is destiny?
Trees lurk like demons
Divine light of love helps
Will you be my guide?
Pitch black scene,
Howling of wolves,
Where is light?
What is this place O my friends,
What do all these scenes say;
Everywhere that this gaze goes,
Darkness leads the way.
For years have I sought truth,
And the sight to discern it,
Now why does the owl hoot,
Am I going astray?
Things were never like this,
Totally trapped am I,
The old lock does not open,
No matter how much I try.
Deep inside this heart of mine,
There lived a thing called hope,
Whereto has it disappeared,
As I slip down the slope.
(43) DESTINATION WHERE?
You left without a word of farewell,
Leaving me to cope with everything:
Pain, suffering, loss and memories,
All for what? To wrap up nothing?
Do you want me to travel far in time?
Tell me, if you can, from wherever you are:
Tell me, why you left me quietly,
Suddenly, without a reason or a rhyme?
Do you want me to travel far in time,
To find out about your quiet departure?
What more do you want to impose,
On me, already wrecked by disaster?
What did I not do to make you carefree,
To see smiles lighting up your being,
My bygone childhood and my days of youth,
What has remained - to see you happy?
You wanted everything your own way,
To a great extent you had your own say,
Mother, myself, my brother and sisters,
Of all, who helped you most night and day?
Even on the day before, you held your own,
Wanting me to be a sufferer,
When that too happened you increased the pain,
And left, sans farewell, to a realm unknown.
The grass decays and the rain effaces,
The grave is the last scene in this life's play,
But your spirit continues to pervade somewhere,
And after it my eternal question races.
Do you want me too, to don forgetfulness,
And embark on a quest, after your soul,
Or in a half-awake seance of a sleepy spell?
If not, tell me, where do you now dwell?
Grief, for me, has become a drudgery,
I want a break, even if for a while only,
What has life become if not misery,
With brief respites of a short-lived smile?
The darkness reminds me of Gray's Elegy*,
The country looks like one vast graveyard,
Destination where? To Heaven or to Hell?
Or to hang in limbo till the doomsday knell?
Questions I have but no answers,
This has been so in the span of years,
Silence mocks me, even my whisper,
Does not find a shelter for tears.
The talk of wisdom seems so fruitless,
I have to wait and abide as before,
To be here was never my choice,
And yet I must for a few days more...
When the wind stops howling like a banshee,
When the hyenas stop their wailing,
When the bearded impostor stops moaning,
This heart of mine will seek mercy...
The forgiveness for your body and soul,
To save you will I my Beloved implore,
From whatever agony and pain threatens,
And give you blest joys forever and more!
*Gray's Elegy: Elegy written in a country churchyard by Thomas Gray...one of the best poems in English literature. My learned, able and philosophical father passed away in his sleep on the 3rd-4th of December, 2007, in Rawalpindi. This poem is a depiction of my first feelings...
(44) DIANA: THE PRINCESS OF HEARTS
The years have so quietly slipped by,
When a fatal car crash claimed Princess Di:
Born among royals but simple in her bearing,
Lady Diana was like a fresh rose of spring.
Growing up, acquainted with the facts of life,
Fate had destined for her struggle and strife.
Demure and charming in an enchanting way,
Happily teaching children read and play.
She was not after riches, nor did she seek fame,
Knew nothing of power, the game for a name.
Many were the men whose hearts did flutter,
When in attendance, in company or beside her.
One of such men was Prince Charles of England,
Who was stunned by her beauty and sought her hand.
The Prince wooed her in all the ways he knew,
She fell for him thinking that his love was true.
The royal wedding was the talk of the lands,
A royal romance turned into a ceremony - grand.
Many assumed that they were made for each other,
Nobody thought that it would end in disaster.
It is surprising to witness storms in smooth seas,
And so it was to see the ruin of a family.
Charles and his Princess were drifting apart,
Tempting women and men were playing their part.
The Princess was loved and admired by one and all,
Those who hated her - they planned her downfall.
They spread scandals and gossips and rumours -
Was she 'faithful or not' to the man who was hers.
That she did not fit in with the ways of the royal,
But her endearing manners won the hearts of people.
Wherever she went folks thronged to see her,
None in her circle that could compare with her.
The Prince was busy in another romantic encounter,
He was spending his time with Camilla Parker.
The heartbroken Princess did try her best,
To make her marriage work - she failed the test.
The flower spreading its fragrance all around,
Diana, like an autumn leaf, fell on the ground.
Sad and unhappy she was simply helpless,
Unable to do anything to sort out the mess.
She sought solace helping the downtrodden souls,
Desperately seeking refuge from royal ghouls.
It was sad to watch her wrecked phase of life,
All that was piercing her heart like a knife.
It was then heard that a man called Dodi,
Had come to save her and make her happy.
The people who liked her were glad to see,
That she was once more joyous and carefree.
But some devils who were masters of fraud,
Were plotting to sever their frail life-cord.
And it happened in 1997 - August's last day,
The Princess of hearts met death on her way -
On the way to reclaim the joy she had lost,
In a crash did she and Dodi die on the spot.
Millions wept for her and mourned her loss,
And the royalty revealed its artificial gloss.
To this day her cause of death is not known,
Was it fate's act, or some plot unknown?
The name Diana Spencer shall be adored for long,
It will take ages for like-her to be born.
(45) DISCOVERING EDENS
Tonight, new realms we found,
Strange friends accompanied us,
Softly, time and we embarked,
Discovering Edens all around.
No serpent could seduce us,
No forbidden fruit did we taste,
No guilt tarnished our hearts,
Love and trust conquered haste.
The angels all, they sang our praise,
God's great wonders were revealed,
Inside our own lay our happiness,
The universe stood still; spellbound.
The fall on earth was overcome,
With the joy of blissful reunion,
Heaven and earth were down below,
The extreme height of ascension.
Lost identity was discovered,
Truth and beauty became known,
Within, without, it was all good,
In communion with the Only One.
(46) DREARY NIGHT
Dark and dreary,
Pimps and call girls,
Wait like vultures,
As a cuckoo,
Sounds its warnings,
Fed up I am,
Of all these scenes,
And these echoes,
And these faces,
My steps are firm,
I don't falter,
But I don't see,
Any ray of hope,
To rescue mankind,
And this planet,
From the forces,
Venus shines bright,
Red Mars stares,
Our moon is eclipsed,
By our own earth,
While our sun moves,
On disturbed waters.
Let me take rest,
For I have to wake up,
And work as ever,
(47) AN AFTERNOON WALK
The future stares,
Like a sparrow,
In time's spools.
Weather is bleak,
And veins leak,
A way some seek.
A man I see,
His tattered state,
A silent plea.
This is culture,
In the town I walk.
Wild wild dance,
Chat goes on,
Dusk to dawn.
Rents the air,
It won't rain,
I know it won't,
Will sweep the plain.
Some clean water,
Is all I want,
Where is it,
In this haunt?
Creasing wavy winds,
Is it Spring?
(50) FAR AWAY
Waves hide deep grief
How much this wind speaks
Paradise is far away
(51) FIE ON IT
I find myself,
Waiting for love,
In sky's caress.
I wrote emails,
But all in vain.
Of a long-lost love,
How many times?
Play it again?
If life goes on,
Just like this,
Then fie on it.
Deceived again and again,
Stabbed in the back,
Slowly -- Giving utmost pain,
Like wolves howling in packs.
I am one of those fools,
Who don't learn their lessons,
born to suffer,
At the hands of 'friendly persons'.
(53) WITHOUT YOU
Night-scent of flowers,
Rekindles my world of dreams.
Songs of love,
Echo in forgotten place,
A swish, a sash, dance.
Waltz with you,
Wishing it would never end,
What more did I want?
To work, work and work,
Not the other way around.
When you went,
You wished me just happiness,
But how? Without You?
(54) HUSHED BREATH
It's autumn as I and the bared tree,
Shake hands with barren destiny;
The stiff air enshrouded by vaccum,
Chokes our throats with impunity.
How many seasons have both of us seen,
How many sighs that were sung on the green;
How many a heart has vanished unseen,
Gulped by the storm of a muffled scene.
Even today the tree and I ponder,
On spring's ecstasy that made us wander,
The restlessness and the sleepless nights,
When our unfulfilled hopes took us yonder.
The lake with its lotus wonders is dry,
The enthusiasm of teenaged lovers,
Everything is sunk in autumn's depth,
Life is just a whisper on fate's hushed breath.
I am tired, oh, how I want to rest,
I am tired of your summer fest,
Tired of waking up to alarms,
Tired of listening to old psalms.
Tired of getting up and going,
Tired of trying, trying, trying,
Tired of knowing there is nothing,
That really matters to my knowing.
Tired of rushing off for work,
Tired of enduring hours of waking,
Tired of this sick and creeping feeling,
Tired of talking and arguing
Tired of struggling for a living
Tired of living... for a living.
(56) I CANNOT FORGET YOU
I cannot forget you:
No matter how I try,
To myself cannot lie,
Or ever be untrue.
I cannot forget you:
When I open my eyes,
You appear and smile,
And when I close them,
You are there all the while;
When I watch the day dawn,
I find you with me,
Even when it's gone,
You happen to be...
When I sit down to write,
Your presence hovers,
When I try to relax,
Your face - it shines bright...
When I turn on the TV,
Or play a CD,
You haunt me as ever,
With your memory...
When I go for a walk,
I can hear you talk,
Right by my side,
Be it road or park...
You don't leave me alone,
When I want to weep,
When I try to forget,
You stretch out and leap...
I try to run away,
From all that is past,
But your tug is strong,
It holds me so fast...
How can I forget you?
How can I flee?
Even though you have gone,
You haven't really left me...
Every breath that I take,
Goes in and comes out,
Remembering you as if,
You 're around and about...
So it is, these days,
I am engulfed by you,
It was you who left me,
And separated all ways...
Do tell me, can you?
What is this pain,
That makes me feel,
I am lost, without you...
…I cannot forget you.
Tide's music blends
Breeze hums quiet song
Where is the one I seek?
In the memory of a friend,
Tears giving life,
To the beginning of an end.
High treetops stare,
At the deep depths below,
The road keeps winding,
As the travellers go.
Perched on a branch,
You chortled and chirped,
Like a nightingale,
Whose song, I heard.
From whence did you come,
O lovely creature,
My grief fades away,
while listening to your rapture.
Who will understand,
The language that you speak,
Save poets like me,
Whose imagination you seek.
(59) IMPERFECT MAN
When the blemishes in the mirror,
Stare at me,
I am hurt:
Because I see who I am.
Nobody else knows, no one can,
But I am face to face with the man,
The man outside, the man within,
The man whom God calls a man.
(60) IN SEARCH OF PEACE
Liars, deceivers, plunderers stare,
Humanity likes naked, rendered bare,
Tell me, is this all fair?
One day, God willing, I shall rise,
And cleanse this world of wars and vice,
Will you O friend, be as wise?
Haiku and venting one's wounded heart,
Has no effect on these wild dogs,
Why not lure them into a sea of sharks?
Doomsday is a day that tyrants shall bring,
when there won't be autumn, winter or spring,
Remember that we are but hay in this wind.
No, defeat is not a way of mine,
To battle the odds is my rhyme,
O Lord, be there for me at the right time.
(61) WITH THE AFGHAN GIRL-II
I went to the house of the Afghan girl,
The girl who sells burgers and tea,
Beyond the roads, was a thatched hut,
Beyond posh villas, near the sea.
She welcomed me to her humble home,
Where a frail woman wished me peace,
She was her mother, and her father,
The crippled soul - he was swapping fleas.
There was warmth inside that shanty hut,
The little one rushed with a cup of tea,
Her old man called me beside his bed,
And asked about me and my family.
Then he asked about his land,
The land he was born - Afghanistan,
He was surprised to hear about refugees,
Still pouring into Pakistan.
Well sir, the weak, old soul told me,
You see how we are all carrying on,
If it's God's Will, it will be done,
Why should I curse humanity?
(62) WITH THE AFGHAN GIRL-III
I met the Afghan girl once more --
Who used to sell burgers and tea --
She had grown up...five years on,
Since I met her last in Murree.
She had an air of poise and grace,
With a shawl wrapped around for warmth,
Looking at me her sad face smiled,
And her speed slackened its pace...
"Salaam Saab Jee!* Where have you been?"
She asked while greeting me,
And ere I could say a word,
Looked up at the heavens, then me.
I was at a loss to say anything,
Her spontaneity baffled me,
She was questioning both me and God,
What her grim future would be.
"I hope you are doing well", she said,
"As for me, the going has been tough,
My homeland turned into a barren waste,
And Kandhaar's famous pommes* waylaid."
"See there sir, I do hope you see,
What the years to me have brought,
The hut down below where I lived,
Is not there, nor my family."
"In the name of terror the aliens came,
And bulldozed everything I had,
They took my loved ones away from me,
And left, without remorse or shame."
"What is terror sir?" The lass asked,
"And what is this war on terror?
Do tell me again for I long to know,
The crimes for which we are being tasked."
It was painful to watch the young maiden,
Looking at me, and the hills beyond,
And the questions to which she sought answers,
Were like thunderbolts striking from heaven.
I tried my best to explain to her,
All that she longed to know,
Taking care not to hurt her feelings,
In my own way did I try to convince her...
But she laughed and laughed after hearing me,
Like something inside had been set free,
Then she stared at me with a wounded gaze -
- A soul tormented by a memory...
Without her flask of tea and muffins,
She looked forlorn and betrayed,
I tried to avoid further questions,
But she kept asking, with a childish grin...
"I have a small radio sir", she said,
"I am better aware of the world now,
Thanks for trying to convince me,
But the warmongers shed our blood and fled..."
"They have made thousands like me homeless,
By driving us away from our native land,
They have destroyed lands and the peace around,
And still contend they are blameless..."
"I sell some soup and dry fruits here,
Cannot offer you a cup of tea,
In the night I work at a house,
Where an old widow lives on in fear."
With modest grace wrapped all around,
The young one bade me sit and gave,
Some pistachios and some peanuts,
And sat some feet away, on the ground...
Though Time had made her young and bold,
Her feminine beauty was not wild,
Her rustic charm and her free bearing,
Were untainted -- not vain nor cold.
I pondered for a while on Fate,
How it changes everything,
How the quill used by an unseen hand,
Rewrites Man's every crime.
With nobody to support her,
How this brave one was tackling life,
How many more beyond my sight,
Had become victims of war and strife.
As if to shake me back to earth,
She stood up and smiled again,
It was plain - her countenance showed:
That she had made a pact with pain.
"Soon, Saab Jee," she said, "One day,
God will bless us all once more,
I have full faith in my Lord above,
That my people too will have their way..."
*Saab Jee: Urdu/Hindi for Sir. *Pommes: Pomegranates, for which Kandhaar, in Afghanistan, is famous. Composed on August 30, 2007...
(63) KASHMIR: THE WAILING VALE
My wounds bleed, there's no end to pain,
All peace efforts wither in vain.
Fifty years and more, all I have seen,
Is blood being spilled on my wailing green.
The world just waits, it waits and waits,
As if mocking me at my ignored fate:
While mothers suffer, while sisters cry,
While fathers bury the sons who die...
There is no place, where I can seek
Justice; for me, very few speak.
I am Kashmir, the heaven on earth,
Will someone stop this violent mirth?
These bomb-blasts that ruin my hopes,
These guns that boom on mountain slopes.
I cry and cry out, for my freedom,
Seeking an end to persecution.
Will the world unite and take action,
Against blatant aggression?
(64) IN SKY’S CARESS-II
Yet one more day,
In this dreaded city:
The ghosts of night,
Have melted away,
The villains of daytime,
Have sprung back to life;
I and my grieving heart,
Seek refuge once more,
Away from all,
In a secluded corner -
- My own quiet world.
Cigarette after cigarette,
Absorbs my hidden pain,
Puff after puff,
Soothes me like rain -
Falling gently on parched land.
The woman in the TV,
Tries to cheer me up,
With her wide wide smiles,
In the Breakfast Show,
With her cajoling guiles.
All night long,
I kept on searching,
Kept seeking everywhere,
Peace, solace and joy,
But it was all in vain.
Even after sixty years,
This city has no light,
But the Breakfast Show woman,
Says life is bright!
Over trivial matters,
May interest the fools,
Who love wasting time,
I draw the curtains,
And hum Au Sangwyne.
Let them go to hell -
- That's where they are going,
Why fret or pine!
Let me fly upwards,
Where no fool can find me,
Higher and higher,
In sky's caress*.
* In Sky’s Caress is a thought in a poem by Deborah Russell. The poem is in my first book “Unheard Melodies”.
(65) IN THE BEAUTY OF YOUR HUE
A collaboration with Deborah Russell
(Emmenay begins stanzas and Deborah Russell responds:
You and I, let us seek fresh solitude,
Where there is no rush, where there's no dead wood,
Where you and I can see all the way we want to,
Where just talking gives peace and harmonises the mood.
Let us seek the warmth of sun and smell the light of each day new,
And confirm the beauty and grace of trees against the skies.
Let me see you happy and carefree,
Laughing joyfully at the surrounding beauty,
Where your eyes reveal the secrets of your soul,
And time loses its meaning and we feel eternity.
In the deep silence of understanding and earth's unity,
We continue to seek only nature's harmony,
Where souls weave in song's sweet brevity.
The music of silence being felt by us both,
The raptures of harmony all encompassing,
The understanding that can only be felt by our hearts,
The solace that only wisdom will unravel as a whole.
We cast troubles in the deep blue of the sea,
And leave worldly sorrows to set our hearts free.
I will watch you as you paint a world with your words,
Inspiring me to join in and share everything anew,
The strains and stress of a sorrow-filled world,
Drowning themselves in the beauty of your hue.
And even the trees give ear to your song,
A psalm of kindness that undoes each wrong.
The song that you and the birds will sing,
Will be refreshing to the soul as a life-giving spring,
Taking the mind to heights always dreamt of,
Fine tuning the melodies on happiness' wings.
A stream of clear notes that washes the soul and heart,
That cleanses the dark of eyes and makes a new start.
Come let us away to the place of the true,
And let us find what we always sought.....I and you.
(66) ON THE NEW WORLD ORDER
All the world's 'great' forces
Are up against Man,
To destroy innocent people,
In all the ways they can.
The big ones create 'heroes';
And let them on the loose,
When the 'heroes' defy the big ones,
They join to tighten the noose.
The rule of might prevails,
The meek are forced to obey,
Those who dare to differ,
Are removed out of the way.
Might is the New World Order,
As always the monarchs are out,
To create chaos, disorder,
And stifle the cries that shout.
The cries that demand justice,
The sighs that seek their rights,
Are heard by few, like me,
And one day -- We shall conquer.
(67) TANGY LEMONADE
A tangy glass of lemonade:
It stirs up a memory,
Of a midnight bus journey,
From Madras to Trichy.
Chilled lemon tastes cool,
On a humid summer's night,
Let me not rekindle,
The flames that have died.
Tonight I may go,
And sit on the beach,
And talk to the dim moon,
Of how the ebb would flow.
And while the waves lap,
The stretching sandy shore,
I may lie quietly,
And think I am no more.
(A collaboration with two poets)
days of sadness!
Days of sadness?
Days of sadness -
my days of sadness,
I am not anyone's
Nor anyone mine,
there's no h
in my sadness.
How I laugh,
Yes, how I laugh,
See, how I laugh,
to my sadness...
all my time of sadness.
Choose not sadness as your raiment
The time of mourning is long past
Time to wear a brighter garment
look to the future not the past.
For every thing there is a season
New love needs to find a reason
To come and visit you.
There is a time to mourn..hoping your weeping will not last too long.
Poeticpiers and RedStormy are two well known American poets whose works can be read at www.haikuhut.com
Harsh winds howl,
Ere the fast approaching storm.
Deep within something grows,
To grow again...
Why can't things remain,
Yes, the days keep passing by:
The traveller meets strangers,
His way moves on...
Rest is hard to find,
Wayside taverns abound,
No peace for the restless mind,
Always to be found.
Ceaseless struggle going on,
Wounding feeding upon wound,
Dreams, fancies, perceptions, facts,
A constant, weary roam --
A sadness, unknown,
Gripping, to be owned.
Smiling face in shanty towns,
Folks return greetings with frowns.
Drooping gait, heavy stirrups,
But head held high,
Himself his own, no one nigh,
Goes the pilgrim, unbound.
Weary heart and mind,
Cosmic blankness stares at world.
And dismal laughter,
Remind me of an old film.
In a gas-lit street,
Your presence still pervades.
And her fine love poems,
Lend life to a bygone theme.
Like a bright rainbow,
As you wave at me to soar.
Seems important than,
You and me in sky’s caress.
Dear reader, If you have enjoyed my poems or have suggestions then feel free to write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Text: ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. NO PART OF THIS BOOK CAN BE REPRODUCED OR COPIED IN ANY FORM, ANYWHERE, WITHOUT THE PRIOR, DULY SIGNED APPROVAL OF THE AUTHOR.
Publication Date: 09-25-2008
All Rights Reserved