Saima Afreen (Voices Within)

Saima Afreen is an award-winning poet who works as Deputy City Editor with The New Indian Express, Hyderabad. She was awarded the Charles Wallace India Trust Fellowship (2019) in Creative Writing at the University of Kent, the United Kingdom, and the Villa Sarkia Writers’ Residency, Finland (2017), where she completed the manuscript of her début poetry collection Sin of Semantics (2019). Her poems have been published in reputed Indian and international literary journals, and she has participated in several literary festivals in India and abroad. She received the “Writer of the Year Award, 2016” from Nassau Community College (SUNY).

Rubai

Dreamless eyes wait for you in vain
To lose everything and nothing to gain
Even if to play unfair games
Come! Oh, come once again.


A Registry of the Sun

Let me stay in the darkness
a little longer

we can catch
the sun dripping
between letters, its blaze
a home I fictionalize

as much as a face, cracked
like the diamond buried

in each heart, the glint
sleeping in the alphabet that adorns
Nankana Sahib.

Nankana Sahib -- A city in Pakistan where the first Guru of Sikhs Guru Nanak Dev was born


This Celebration

The sky holds several feasts
each day--a draft of light
its dress shifts

over a vast kingdom of grass
unwalked, fresh, waking up

waiting for wild flowers to find
an instrument in your voice, your face
turns into their language. The lips

taste sunlight for the first time--
it casts silhouettes into gold
an assembly to pour more
of the sap that sits on the tongue
before it rains in the morning
locked within. Your bani summons

a portrait of your song. Too clean. Too bright.


Fairy lights against gold in water. Is it real
to see yourself so clearly? To feel
water without the stale petals,
without the rust of years?

Bani -- Hymn, voice 

Voices Within-2020 :: Setu, February 2020

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