Poetry: Seema Bashir

Research Scholar, Department of English, University of Kashmir

Resting snug between two calloused fingers
And a blackened thumb,
The dull needle of memory is pulled,
With brute force ; a silken thread
the colour of smoke,
 Lurks behind, like a serpent
coiling at familiar creases,
 Of time.
The rapid motion, the stabs and pulls,
Weave paisleys into,
 Mad anarchy!

(that series of infinitesimal presents
 In a perpetual line, of recurring pasts
 In a closed loop, and circular futures
 In a warped space )
 Is illuminated, in all its entirety,
In the arch of your brow,
that I decipher,
In the cracks of an inverse mirror.

A lump of angular coal,
 sharp on all its edges,
is pressed between the cold fingers .
A thin curtain of delicate skin gives way
 to a reluctant gathering of wary pilgrims,
trickling down the rugged slopes.
A few, stray into the unknown crevices,
illuminating the faint lines
Of fate.

A thousand and a hundred days
is a long time, to turn a woman
to dust and a man to stone,
or the other way around
(in the grave of a heart and the heart of a grave).
The April sun, cloaking
the chilly gusts of wind,
shines (unaffected) in spite of everything.
Albeit it pierces through the skin
more violently,
rummaging the deserted interiors,
to conjure up the hollow ghosts
of an empty past.

Graveyards are intriguing.
Vertical people, horizontal now.
Names in exquisite calligraphy,
and the epitaphs, hustled together,
 to fit onto the rectangular headstones
 (twelve by twenty four)
 How do you fit a life into a marble slab?
 (Do you plant the life in the wet soil and,
helplessly, watch the wild flowers grow,
in its life blood?)


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