Voices Within: Ayaz Rasool Nazki

Multilingual poet, scholar, translator, researcher, columnist, Ayaz Rasool Nazki is a man of all seasons with diverse interests in painting, photography, calligraphy, cultural history and manuscript studies, His dominant passion has been creatively engaging with the questions of identity, memory and aspirations in South Asia’s most sensitive and turbulent zone – Kashmir. A recognized poet in Urdu and Kashmiri with many publications, he broke into English with a very impressive translation of his outstanding father Mir Ghulam Rasool Nazki’s Sufi quatrains. His own collection of English poems ‘songs of light’ was published to critical acclaim. His English novel Satisar-the valley of demons that appeared recently has been reviewed extensively.


One by one
Wound by wound,
Please remove
All tapes, Band-Aids
Securely fastened
Let each gash open up
Each laceration weep;
Crimson red blood,
Drain the sinews
And end the drought
In the wilderness of my being
Let roses bloom
Let daffodils sprout.


flames came
riding the crest of wind
the book with blank pages
fluttered in my hands
pigeons had fallen to the ground
smell of singed feathers hung in air
iris enveloped the land
farmers missed the tulip days

yet another bastardizing year has gone
time is molesting itself in the woods
I have lost count of stars that go down
Let them sow the harvest of pain
Tulips red with rage disappear from the house tops
All rosary beads have been buried
Brilliant chronograms on foreheads erased
Time has come to ride the wind
And assemble in some far-off land
And celebrate another flock of death


having done the last soul
in the city of sun
they entombed them
alongside giggling infancy,
dreamy adolescence,
and creased wisdom
in the grand mansions
along the rim of the lake;
the last abode of the great demon
then they meticulously
hung down from each window
a freshly starched tricolor
and lit a bonfire
the final ahuti


I will sing a lullaby tonight
And lull my senses
In to sleep
I will keep an angel’s vigil
And guide my soul
In to deep

I will burn my body
And collect my ashes
Into a heap
Scatter them atop
The hills of faith
Across the meadows
 of belief
not a speck
shall I keep.


let us unlearn
whatever we learnt
from the manuscripts
painstakingly written
by ancestors
in cold and dark nights
let us begin afresh
the search for light
Voices Within - Complete List of Poets :: Setu, January 2019

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