9/2/16

Poems | Taseer Gujral

 Artwork : Matthew Bialer

1.
It was a strange day when
We had met for the last time
I do remember some fading details
Perhaps I saw some ants tracing patterns
in the ground, when we were together 
Or had we met midway
in the course of our walk ?
Was it morning or an autumn afternoon ?
All I can recollect now is the rustle of my dupatta
That had stirred you to look back vaguely 
While I ambled along
A barbet flew, plugging the gaps in our
silent conversation 
Or was it a thrush ?
But I do remember you stopped
and sat on a grey rock
Then prodding the ants from their inert activity
With your gleaming stick
You had traced a pattern
Or was it my name ?
And then you had said something , that is vivid, yes
Something you had said
While all I could hear was the wails of leaves
and your inevitable footsteps receding
into a leafy green haze


2. 
We have talked so much 
Words are dead bees
Yet songs keep pouring
Like honey
My lips are wet clouds
Flying over our silence
and
It keeps raining
It keeps raining


3.
Mother, sing me that song again 
Even when I was a child
I could never sleep on new sheets
They were like dead notes
of a beautiful ghazal
The familiarity of coarse threads, 
rung through my body like a thumri,
nascent and raw
Sing, sing again


4.
Not till I had watched
In rapt wonder 
Bees floating on light 
June afternoon heat,
did I realize how much 
I liked this sight

Not till I had felt
The dark in my bones
after the moon had swum in shadows 
And the clouds morphed into wet ghosts,
did I realize how much
I liked the feel
of wet monsoon lips
pressing against mine
in the dark
like a secret lover

I don't think I like winter as much
as the sight of cashmere and shawls
and blue teapots
inviting all cold to seep into their recesses
For some seasons we imagine we love
breathe in us for strange reasons
Reasons we had once forsaken
and never known existed


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