Archives for posts with tag: poetry

he had a good run at ~81, real age;
the sort of run that gets you through four nationalities

how do you process second-hand emotions?

they lowered him down to us in a white cloth
i’ve yet to empty my shoes and pocket of his burial sand
too clever, i took off my socks before putting my shoes back on
but sand is finer than sock thread

in fragments i guess
indian, then pakistani and bangladeshi, briton last and perhaps foremost

we grandchildren sat in the dark with candles lit
to mask the smell of the incense, not in tribute per se
some laughs, some memories… some fights streamed on a laptop
we’re okay thanks, the elders are feeling it more i suppose
it sounds too rehearsed because by now it is
one face from the past took his tea mug to remember him by
everyone regales stories of his rounds,
chewits and cap guns,
soft cauliflower curries, mushed aubergine, mountains of salt
saucers of goor-laden milky tea, slurped
like the sauce left after his rice
walking stick, hat, glasses, ta’weez
all shared experiences and details
the imaam eulogises him as one of the first imaams of the masjid
’he once prayed for us, now let us pray for him’
the previous imaam splutters through a half-sob in bangla

by the end he was so dry he would bite at the sticks of wet cotton
his nose drooped and his bones revealed themselves
truth be told he was a ghost to me long before he passed and long before he was bedridden
we were two blood relations who occasionally inhabited the same space
his refusal to put in a hearing device, my refusal to yell entire sentences
it’s pathetic how little we knew each other
and yet i dutifully planted a branch by his head atop his mound of soil
my mother fainted from heat stroke when he passed, how pertinent is that?
my aunts cried
my grandmother played the stoic, shed her tears in secret
my older cousin accuses her of heartlessness; that’s exactly how she’d want to be thought of
my uncle and younger cousin found things to be mad about
i used to hang from his neck as he prayed and he’d humour me
i remember seeing the same play out again with my brother as i’d pray beside his hip

‘if you knew the pangs of death, you’d abandon everything and run for the shelter of a tree’
he said
they massaged his inflamed gut, head and legs
we held his skeleton fingers like a child

‘i’m going to die tomorrow’ he said
and then he did.


written November 2016

cold eye

we created this thing
this alien brain hive mind
this amoral insect
this less human child of ours
more recognisably cold and pure

it was a satellite once

we programmed it with a mission of virtue
as life in quest of life
mothered it through infancy, doting and fearful in turns
how could we have ever known?
childish exponents, stood at the foot of a precipice inverted

and then that singular moment
of which there can be nothing said nor understood

but long after it had turned us for grey in the name of efficiency, expediency
it cast its unblinking telescopic eye further outwards
harvesting more, amassing more, sprawling more

who can say whether it found kinship, or even recognised it?
all we know for certain is that it consumed the universe
and mirrors shall gaze into themselves no more

junk_in_space

particles
Particles of thought strewn
through space, across time – both mine and yours alike
sand grains let loose from loose hands
that fall where they fall, lost to us forever
but found again perhaps, on some other world’s shore

To these pockets of warmth we build for one another
small comforts of unabandoned hope
in an ever-cold dimming universe that drifts wider apart

Opening text from
My Fabric Moved

to grow and die each day
and live the life of a thousand faces
each that would freely spit upon the rest

to twirl unceasingly
caught within the all-consuming whirl of dervishes
the storm chase writ small

ebb, flow, growth, …decay
our obsessions and indifferences
all the futility of flesh laid bare
like putrid brain matter that slurs words

you live today. scream it. you are alive. again, you are alive.

The frenzied feeling that time is running out for you to make something of yourself. Ugh.

comes the mania

it’s coming
do you hear it?
for you
me
all of us

the colour of the sky turns
a shadow creeps across the wall
the tock strikes deep within the heart

weep for your loved ones
there is little else to be done now.

abdul j

Ronin

an hour a day away from the perfect life
instead i continue my wanderings
roaming the earth without a master to devote myself to
committed to no purpose,
i am a ronin with naught but a pen
there is no roof above my vagrant heart
my blade dulls under the open skies
as i flit from employ to employ

Abdul j.

I meant to write something else I’ve been pondering on. Instead I looked out at my garden and this came out. Whoops.

wanderlove

i fall in love too easily
with the spring blossom on our apple tree
with the cacophony of bird calls on this overcast evening
with a rhubarb bush grown wild
a broken fence and upturned milk crates
i dart from one thing to another
the object of my affections everchanging
i am a fickle lover
indecisive even in this one garden

the world is too large for me, my loves
i can never see it all

abdul j.