Footsteps echoed on the floor
Closing in, unhurried and certain.
Who’s coming, Love or Death
You cannot guess. Within the walls
Of old bricks and values
On a bed unslept for ages
A guitar rusts unstrung.
Films of dust thickening on it.
Footsteps unhurried and soft
Down the corridor, closing in.
Hanging empty from the ceiling,
Their weavers gone or dead,
Like this dusty walls and the room.
Who’s coming, Love or Death?
Do you know who’s coming? Thick blood
Flowing out from your heart.
Then the footsteps stop at the door…
How I wish that you would hurt me no more,
I have lived through a century of pain
And now my ties are severed clean.
I have bled, pale and dry like death
Turning blue with each of my anxious breath,
But now I’ll know not to wait for too long.
For life I know keeps moving on
No matter what, we have to live
Through the lonely days and empty nights
Until death will greet us cold with no time
To shed one longing look behind
And with silent tears in our eyes
Share one last kiss and say, ‘Adieu!’
How I wish that I could stop loving you.
Where are the clouds? Where is the moon?
Why is the sky so dark and bare?
What has happened to all the stars?
The softly blowing wind stood baffled
For a blink, musing what to say
And then in silence flowed away.
Then a voice from below the ground
In a flat monotone replied,
“This is a barren land with no shadows
And no light. Here no moon adorns the sky
As the night arrives and the days too
Are no less gloomy, for there is no sun.”
(Inspired by the status by Pervez Ahmed after the earthquake on 18th September, 2011)
Ashen faces running down, panic reigns
As a sudden tremor shakes the ground
From the feet of the Himalayas up north
To the far lying southern shores.
Millions of people all around run at once
Toward some open space, each trying
To outrun the one in front, for dear life.
The ground, the trees and the buildings trembled too
With everything we have overbuilt
In the name of growth and prosperity.
Continental plates waging war down below
That is Nature in her solemn ways saying, “Hello!”
When the wind is driving the clouds
Towards the north-west corner of the sky
Like a shepherd driving his herd
Towards the distant pen at dusk
And there is no trace of the sun,
Green leaves grow pale in fear of a storm.
I can sense too that a storm is looming
Over the north-west horizon.
Yet I feel no fear as I face the wind and say,
“Come, you can take nothing away from me.”