Ayaz Rasool Nazki (Voices Within 2023)

Ayaz Rasool Nazki is a multilingual poet, scholar, translator, researcher, columnist and is a man of all seasons with diverse interests in painting, photography, calligraphy, cultural history and manuscript studies, Ayaz has been able to carve his own distinctive niche in the literary world, voicing a sensibility that is at once postmodern and traditional, without belonging exclusively to one or the other. 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. In English ,his notable works are Satisar, a novel of historical fiction, Songs of light and Tree without a nest both poetry anthologies.

 

Hiroo Onodo

 

It emerged

From the corners 

Where it lay hidden 

And gathered around the trees 

And atop the bushes 

Over the hillock 

And into the undulating 

Folds of the meadow 

Overpowering the retreating 

Rays of Sun 

In a while all was dark 

 Birds stopped chirping 

Before retiring to their nests 

In the trees

In a while all was quite

Silence ruled.

 

I looked around 

And saw nothing 

Then it sprang from the black

 a tiny dot, a glow worm

The last defiant soldier 

Hiroo Onodo of my night!

After all war was not over 

Light was not vanquished.

 

(Hiroo Onodo was an imperial Japanese army officer who did not surrender at the end of war in 1945 and continued in combat mode for next 29 years in jungles of Philippines)

 

 

Spring Time

 

At the advent of spring

My mom would clean the house

Remove the cobwebs

Dust the rugs

And the straw mats

Wash the linen

Mud paint the outer walls in light blue hue

And usher in the spring

 

Can you keep

the spring on hold for me?

 

I have things to do 

before I open the door. 

I have to pull away the fog 

from my eyes 

I have to melt the frost from

around my heart.

 

Can you keep 

the spring on hold for me?

 

I have to store away the woollens, 

the grey landscapes, barren fields

bare barks and dry streams of my being.

Before I usher in the new dawn.

 

7th Floor Apartment

 

Time came to leave.

The cosy hut

 the bank of stream

The majestic mountain

 overlooking the hut

The pair of Golden Orioles

playing little sneaky games

The flock of Pigeons

always cooing

Mynas and House Sparrows,

All companions of a decade.

 

The apartment

In a cluster of high rises 

Overlooks the street

 the busy road

The traffic,

taking off and landing planes

The chugging trains at appointed times.

 

And then it happened

A butterfly knocked at the window pane

A honey-bee buzzed around

A pigeon scouted the little balcony

And chirping birds woke me up!

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