Poetry: Rizvana Parveen


A short fair woman
with a radiant face,
streaks of grey hair
on her knee-length plait
adorned with jasmine buds,
chewing betel quid
and sniffing snuff.
Her stories
longer than our childhood,
stories of kings and queens
and of magicians and
their magic wands;
her gleaming eyes
speed-reading us
with a pearly smile
tearing her life experiences,
spinning and weaving
them into tales.
I remember the
last time I saw her,
she was on an ice-slab.
Now, her dwelling a
desolate place,
some cracks are prominently
visible on the walls.
 English Ghazal

O wealthy folk, your power and wealth I desire not
my broken heart is unhealed by your wealth, which I desire not.
The ashes of my past continue to torment my mind and soul
my thirst is unquenched by the seawater which I require not.
These collected dark clouds however calm they seem
no doubt are filled with thunder and lightning which I aspire not.
Stumbling all along, my destination seems far off
this burning sun and stony path makes me weary but I fear not.
To guide in this dark and mysterious world
Rizvana yearns for a lover not.


Dust storms, sandy
dusty lanes
dust that deposits
on the gates and doors,
on the buildings and vehicles,
dust that fills
in the lives of
men, women and children
dust that gathers
on the minds and eyes
on the paths and feet.
Life, that begins with dust
and ends with dust.


As a child,
I hid a firefly
in an empty matchbox
to see if it could
efface the darkness.
I collected
pieces of myriad
colours of bangles
to make a kaleidoscope
of dreams.
I built
sand castles
on sea shores
to see if it could
resist the pressure
of powerful waves.
Memorable moments
become memories
and are captured by
inward eye.

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