Poetry: Sheikha A

Sheikha A. is from Pakistan and United Arab Emirates. Her work appears in a variety of literary venues, both print and online, including several anthologies by different presses. Recent publications are Scarlet Leaf Review, The Beautiful Mind, Literary Heist, Vita Brevis and Hobo Camp Review. More about her can be found at sheikha82.wordpress.com

Twenty-fifth Hour

There is an unusual speck – growing gorge
be like an ablating memory; the grief-less
world sleeps whilst many souls listen into
sounds the night-birds make; a winter out
side is seared by its own bluing frostbites,
all of the allure, mystery and enticements
produce a steep, yet wide, yet worn, yet
deep gurgling, frothing and consuming

I chafe against the lone quilt of my night;
downcast are the hues entrenching my sky
of a repetitive fantasy threatening overtake
of my rapidly vapourising sanity. Time spins
these moments into fresh yarns of hours;
the spindle legs rock on its knobby hinges
as a needle pricks loose a drop of an echo
entrancing me into the twenty-fifth hour’s


White heart on mirror – the pledge of
eternity. Red skirts over lime-washed
knees, skin toned for accommodating
multi-hued sunsets. I draw voyages over
my face every day. The wheels of
your conquests strike the uneven roads
of my country. You have me locked
into Bermuda continents where skies
and seas turn blind to falling canons.
The only landing visible: a map of
zero coordinates.


There has to be some equation to withdrawal;
late nights on red painted walls.

The streets outside have overthrown
the abstract art of composed suffering.

A friend’s break-up is showing me the way
towards glee, how utterly thirsty I have been

for a white cactus – to extract from someone’s
grief – knowing the world is one more times the

lonely, and there will be someone else
who the cosmos has pulled into its circle

of worthy to feel deranged from a blow
of estrangement. There will be someone else

who will scatter identically like me. But more
importantly, I won’t be alone in this

deft linking of fates.


How many men does it take to break fear
since hope grew a vein in a bladder – war is

what we go through when eye lashes fall off
with every blink. The skins beneath the chin

tell the neck it’s time to recollect the grave –
splitting rivers. It isn’t easy to watch hairballs

turn into miniature tumbleweeds with feet
getting caught in rough carpets. How many

premature cells fell – the beat in arteries
like cranberry pits. Lungs burst against

ribcage. You know it’s night when an owl
wakes up in the face of the sun. Raining

pancreas. Ready chair under a spinning fan
for a night long of chest coming under fire.


  1. Dear Sheika,

    Congratulations on your publication at Setu. You poetry is insightful. You give the reader something to ponder about. Great to see you here!


  2. Hello Karen,

    How wonderful to see your message here on Setu! Thank you for your kind comments on it. I miss Whisper. Hope you're doing well.

    Best wishes,

    Sheikha A.


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