Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Harvest and hankering

Can we not light up a fire
and see each other’s gaze?
Can we not make noise
like those good old days?
Can we not break into a song
when first snows alight?
Can we not be awe-less
and fear not the night?
Can we shut out the guff
rulers let fly at us?
Can we summon to mind
poems of harvest and hankering?
Can we paint wistful meadows
in bold colors of concord?
Can we sit and laugh
in the midst of this curse?

© Sameer

Friday, July 30, 2010

Scarlet puddles

Woodlets are cold once again
Nights are drawn-out again
Death rattle is here again
Burying grounds are busy again
Scarlet puddles have formed again
Bowmen appear on trees again
Wildly shooting at dreams again
Each bird is a foe again
Birdcalls are grievous again
Darkness at dawn again
Nighttime at noon again
Clouds bursting once again
Old men crying yet again
Savage wilderness once again
Hop-skipping puddles time and again

© Sameer

Sunday, June 20, 2010

One more

One more smokestack is smokeless tonight
one more child put six feet under
One more mother is wringing her hands
one more son is inhumed tonight
One more joy is trampled upon
one more lad is overhung tonight
One more bullet to the heart
one more woeful home tonight
One more sombre evening
one more starless sky tonight

© Sameer

Thursday, June 10, 2010

To my old bed

I smell wild wood trees
possessed by buccaneers and bulbuls
criss-crossing each other
along heaving paths
I see bee-eaters, their iridescent wings
like violin bows upon the track
fringed with tall pines
like sharp arcs into blue Eden
I hear sounds being chargrilled
in the timberland, so green
surrounded with dug-outs
as deep as war sorrows
I walk into my vale
self-same over the years
cacophonous and comforting
if only to fell happily
into my old bed

© Sameer

Monday, May 31, 2010

Why?

Mother they promised me
honey from the bee hive
and I ran to savor some
mindless of the night

They gave me not a single drop,
instead put
honey-color death beans
in my mouth

I kept asking for some
food and they kept
spraying me with arrows
till I gave up

The longbow man roared
and turned to his men
wiping away blood, he said
my violence conquers yours

Mother I think they killed me
But I know not why
The thinnest crescent
of a moon saw me bleed

© Sameer

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Fig and the cartoon bird

A cartoon bird flaps its wings
in a doodle as old as dirt
Looking high and low for perch
across a glum-looking portrait

In a wood and canvas canoe
I drift along the bird
Looking for shiny moorage
by a phony familiar island

I forget what season it is
as I chase the cartoon bird
I wade on,
as it soars, abstracted by the trail

As it reaches a tiny garden
to halt upon a fig sprig
Kissing wasps on a fruit
gape at the bird’s beak

Figs deny to grow in winter
shy of sky-smelling snows
Adam and Eve robed in leaflets
once rambled about the sky

The bird pierced a lilac fig
to jab a wasp deep in it
Drupe is often confect
for the lover lives inside

© Sameer

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Liberty

Past prairies full of dewy grass
on a hummock east of sunrise
Next to boughs laden with cherry
in the rouge of concealed groves
Far from a million churlish noises
where stillness strokes the soul
Beyond the bounds of barley fields
deep in woods of rose-ringed parakeet
In the land of shiny caterpillars
cocooned from the ogre-ish uproar
Across streamlets with slippery cobblestones
underneath cliffs of last year’s snow
There is a hint of hope
and it is stark

© Sameer

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

At the last gasp

Was it effortless?
like your smile
Did they wake you up?
one last time
Or was it quick?
like a burglar in night
How many wings did it have?
Grim-reaper or arch-angel
Did you float or glide?
was it heady, like dope
Could you see our eyes?
from the cheese-like moon
Is it hot or is it cold?
beyond the stars
Do souls have foot-prints?
in the kingdom of heaven
Is it limitless hence?
are you weightless tonight
Will they let you see God?
from an opening in heaven
I’ll see you in the cow-slips
by your distant grave

© Sameer
~Dedicated to my amazingly mad-cap friend Sel├žuk, who passed away earlier today

Published in Poets' Basement -- CounterPunch Magazine, USA -- on the weekend May 7-9, 2010.
www.counterpunch.com/poems05072010.html

Thursday, April 22, 2010

April sprinkle

Rain -- cold small beads
come slanting down
on Zero Bridge,
upon old waters that flow beneath

Wet almond blossom
in night-long showers
scattered in bolshie gardens by the Dal
stamped upon by everyday ghosts

Bloodshot glower in black skies
Men in sand-bags with sad, cold eyes
Spring showers upon ugly bayonets
early rain on parched souls

Moist, hidden graves in deep, distant woods
under damp raspberry trees
Dead sleep in rain-swept dark
the undead roll in stone Hamams

Rain spatter on familiar roofs
Rainy sounds like idle words
Rain-color puddles on the boulevard
No rain songs to live it up

© Sameer

Sunday, February 28, 2010

For the baby

Stones, that fly thick and far
like poisoned arrows in some war
A million rocks to wallop the foe
no kind souls to hear the woe

Stones in drizzle, stones in snow
pale evil mist on each little bough
Noise in alleys, tumult in the village
Stones to scare, stones to pillage

Double edged swords, our bold stones
Beneath all broil the city still moans
Stones that hurt, stones that maim
Fanfaronade without any shame

Slings and canon to pluck the stone
old lake shore, a virgin battle zone
That random shot in some head
aimless bricks and more of red

Rock pigeons on Hazratbal dome
Tiny nests in chimneys, back home
covered in some dark foggy soot
shaken by endless funereal hoot

Princes’ waltz and paupers die
Are peace pastures in the nigh?
Shall we always torch our shawls?
Let's throw some scooped snow balls

Sameer