Does Love even exist ? You often scoffed at the word Smirking at cuddling youngsters Looking askance at lovers looking deep into each other’s eyes You giggled at Heer Ranjha and Sohni Mahiwal’s tragedies Watch the sun embrace imminent death each dusk Hear the brooks whisper about being lost in the ocean It’s vast expanse opening up for each little stream Estuaries and bays hugging the chilling winds Watch the moon fade away on dark nights Love can wipe the frost from a steaming mirror Love can fight all the nasty demons for you Love knows instinctively what knowledge can’t teach you Love let’s you eat their favourite fruit even if it’s the last one on earth Love is !
Had He Eaten ?
How are you ? Have you eaten , rested ? It’s either a mother who asks you this Or else ,the one who cares . Sometimes they need not speak It’s in their eyes ,those loud question marks Written in dialects of oozing love Painted with dyes or organic colours Block printed like Gujarati Ajrak Or Sanganeri from Rajasthan , Painstakingly etched with Kalamkari from Machhlipatnam Pure vegetable tints With no toxic chemicals Her eyes open, her ears alert The thud thud in her rib cage Hardly letting her breathe Was he sleeping ? Should she call him To check if he ate ? Was it too early To start worrying She covered the dishes As well as her nightmares With delicate beaded doilies Of translucent net Who asks her this question Is my question ?
(Prompt inspired by the title of Menka Shivdasani’s poetry collection)
Amorphous without focus No structure at all Just frazil on a choppy sea Your treacherous love Balancing on the foaming froth Dashing on the thrashing cliffs Heaving like a curvaceous bosom Thundering on the blackening clouds It won’t accumulate or settle Just like frazil on a choppy sea
Prompt - Of Minds and Treasure Chests
#CeWoPoWriMoWE April 28
I keep my love for him padlocked Safe in the cavernous old chest Neither Burmese teak nor Kashmiri walnut It’s those sepia tinted letters Carefully concealed beneath sub conscious layers Of the busily ticking mind Those are the living soul of my treasure chest My loyal slave My crafty mind It pickles and embalms his love for me It serves it up on moonlit nights It camouflages my tears with quivering smiles I prance across the trembling bridge To put a fresh lock on it The clasp is rusted as are the nails But the perfumed whiffs of his love remain In the crushed petals of dusty roses
A Soldier’s Epistle
I don’t write them any more Those painstakingly inked heartbeats On an inland letter of a strange sky blue Or receive those fancy first day covers Envelopes with a character and an attitude The endless waiting near the letterbox at the gate For the postman in his faded khaki uniform Wobbling precariously on a rickety bicycle Peering short sightedly through thick glasses Snatching it from his weary hands,hiding under the staircase And devouring all the words ,mincing them like keema to gobble up Each love brushed syllable ,each visual painted in blood ,each tear drop Distilled liquor,from male eyes that rarely bother their lachrymal glands Letters that were life giving breath ,holding me tightly ensheathed In layers of chenille,cuddly soft,protective messengers of emotions A world lay between those neat cursive writing lines in royal blue Reassurances that you would be home from the line of fire soon You nod sleepily in your armchair now, grunting in monosyllables Gazing unblinkingly at the overused television screen ,a snore escaping Your quivering moustaches;Do you remember the letters you wrote me From icy pickets,stench of kerosene ,sound of Chinese songs in your ears
You can’t ever go wrong with it Can you ? After a severe drought of feelings in life Or a deluge of rivers soaked in brine After a punch in the sore guts of the heart Or a vacuum where he had lived inside your being After the chill of bone shattering winters of despair Or a mercurial moon hanging in a terror stricken glow It’s Love that heals hearts in May It’s love that keeps your mists at bay It’s love that tickles cherry blossoms to sway It’s love that wards off all your grey
Lily Swarn, multilingual poet, author, columnist is a gold medalist ,university colour holder, radio show host and Peace Ambassador. A Trellis of Ecstasy , Lilies of the Valley, The Gypsy Trail and History on my Plate are her highly acclaimed books in different genres . She has won over fifty international and national awards and her poetry has been translated into over 16 languages .Her Urdu ghazals are put to music .