Poetry Blog by Shifa Maqba
In the lonesome backwoods behind our vintage house
We buried our souls deep just to have ghosts around.
But phantoms, they startle, howl, scream and weep
Way past their bedtimes because the night doesn’t seep
Into their cavities where they safeguard our souls,
Slick with the glossiest sweats; caskets of gold.
And that’s what they’ll ever be-
Friday 12th February 2021 11:12 am
I saw you clad in your colourless plaid dress,
Ambling about those three islands in a fantastical bay,
The ones you spoke about when poetry found its renascence
Through your hands, which fed elegiac suns
Their share of glint and gold dust.
I like to believe that the pigments of your dress escaped,
Only to seep into the roots of freedom a...
Tuesday 2nd February 2021 6:10 am
In the memory of all the flames that ignited coastlines,
The strings of dazzling Christmas lights,
The long-forgotten chronic normalcy,
The countless ceremonial wreaths—
I realize that from one beginning to the next,
We often overlook the vast expanse of nothingness.
Our stories swing from one pole to its antipode.
The aftermath, a distant folklore.
But every grocery store receipt,
Monday 28th December 2020 2:22 pm
I stole the soul of the moon,
Kept it unclothed to illume
Dark, deserted manor rooms
And fireflies that forever loom
Above fifty forsaken tombs.
I secured that piece for me,
Kept it between creases deep
And verses of revered poetries
Written on the tattered leaves
Of my hands rickety.
But then came a shooting star,
Its hands stocked with bits of its ...
Friday 27th November 2020 6:37 pm
Streams of consciousness,
Trapped in a panoply of celluloids
And abandoned plastic films,
Catch my eye.
I share them on the big screen
Where silent silver stills breathe
And glide across skylines
They inch closer to me.
The starry-eyed starlets seal
The gulf that lies
Between our eyes,
And fill my ears
With secrets and whispers
That I've heard before
In theatres, studio...
Saturday 24th October 2020 11:06 am
A lonesome vagabond
Whistled away through his life-
Through autumn, summer and the cruel cold.
He lived a life, so kind, so benign,
Myriad pathways he could've chosen.
Pathways adorned with petals of roses,
But a bed of roses would've given him no thrill
Through summer fever and winter chills.
Today he lies in moth-devoured drapes,
At the edge of the very road that gra...
Tuesday 20th October 2020 2:02 pm
I weave daisies
Into garlands and wreaths-
Where toil appears easy,
And tempests breezy,
Where sour fruits are glazed in honey.
My fingers claw
At the garlands they birth
Till petals fall
And blend seamlessly into the dirt.
They blend seamlessly into the dirt,
Like brown tatters on the ground.
The sun's sinking into the earth,
As winter's coming around,
Saturday 17th October 2020 11:44 am
My eagle eye sweeps
The room nursing maimed dreams
And stifled memories
Which make walls bleed
When drubbed by the hollow breeze.
Who am I except a mute bystander?
Unfazed by the detritus,
My steady gaze punctures
The flesh of aged and nascent delusions.
Stay, stay with me,
Before I leave,
And catch a train
To a place where summer rains
Submerge mundane lands
And bleached s...
Sunday 11th October 2020 2:07 pm
The other day I caught myself staring at your image
Embedded in the cliff-side pool.
Surrounded by flowers and foliage,
Miles away from you.
Your skin porcelain,
You didn't even seem human.
And maybe you weren't.
You were perhaps just an abstract concept,
An evanescent concoction of pigments,
Who swam away, leaving behind no remnants.
When I thought ab...
Tuesday 29th September 2020 3:45 pm
These days I feel a kinship with the four white walls,
Which guard my every move, every breath, every thought.
Observe how they close in on me, irked, distraught-
They make the world look small.
I speak to them in unfinished puzzles,
And superficial metaphors,
And subdued gurgles,
And defeated murmurs.
My words are nothing but a brook,
Whose melancholic babbles fill the chilly air.
Monday 21st September 2020 10:42 am
Honey glazed canopies
Shelter you and me
From the piercing rays
Of the sun, governing us in dismay
As we remain ensnared
In our reveries,
Oblivious and unaware,
Our fantasies as fickle as the breeze.
Perhaps it's not always a sin
To stay confined within
The bubble of oblivion;
To wear an armour of neon;
To shield our eyes
With rose-tinted glasses;
To sing with illusory passerines-
Thursday 27th August 2020 9:44 am
Blessed be the silver spoons
Which feed us till we’re replete.
Blessed be the dream-filled moons
Which oversee us with glee.
Ambitious, aren’t we?
The moons illume
A thousand seas
And take us to
Places and people unseen.
Vagabonds, aren’t we?
We hold the power to love and seduce,
To ensnare and release
These people and places till insanity ensues,
Till blooming roses fuse into debr...
Saturday 15th August 2020 8:55 am
It presents gravels before my feet,
When it meets the sand,
Holding my longing gaze as I stand
Atop coffined treasures
And pebbles filled with flints made from memories,
That weigh my slippers
Down to this deserted beach.
Myriad secrets encaged in their bottle shaped ampoules
Float aimlessly like vagabonds do.
Imprisoned in cells of reminiscence,
They await their acquittal somet...
Wednesday 12th August 2020 7:32 pm
Plath's poppies bloom
In days of gloom,
From July through October.
The scarlet florets burn like ember,
And line up before tombstones
And hallucinatory portals.
Some look up to the sky, their eventual abode,
And some like a skirt, tent their petals.
A sprightly bird's staccato trills
Fragment further when hit by perils
That tag along with the siren of the ambulance
Carting a lady who...
Sunday 2nd August 2020 8:51 pm
My anklets fill the air with resounding laughs
As I scuttle between tall blades of grass.
I feel free
Like I'm the breeze.
A yearning dream
Lounges among the clouds.
Her hand caresses my cheek,
I feel safe and sound.
Did I tell you that I feel free?
Free from the restraint of a rhyme scheme;
Free from structure;
Free from obsessions
Like a speck of dust on a t...
Friday 31st July 2020 8:14 pm
Stars fall from the sky
And congregate on the ground to erect an ivory palace,
As bright as day, as searing as the desires
Entombed deep under the earth's surface.
It doesn't take nightfall
To lure them inside-
The eager, the crafty, the venal, the mortal.
Every nugget of their flesh blazes in the lambent lights.
Inscrutable power it gives them
As they undr...
Tuesday 28th July 2020 7:04 pm
Tufts of dust
Caper about my mosaic glass.
Blotches of ferric rust
Offer me an unceremonious welcome at last.
Things I'd once befriended
Seem distant and cold.
Deaf ears to the chime of my footsteps
Tell me they've forgotten their companion of old.
I wonder when those mellifluous repartees
Turned into hollow echoes,
And the blithe breeze
Into a stiflin...
Saturday 25th July 2020 7:38 pm
(Inspired by Death With Dignity, Sufjan Stevens)
Stoic and sober silence, I can feel you,
Like a blanket draped 'round me
When I'm down with flu.
Why don't you speak?
Decimated dreams, I can see you
Even in the stark bleak.
The color of coal.
When will you heal?
Whispers of floating phantoms, I can hear you,
When you hover over my cot
And sing a berceuse.
Why did you stop?
Wednesday 22nd July 2020 11:11 am
He witnessed the rise and fall of the tides
Of the sea that seemed so milky in the moonlight.
Gloating over its graceful strides,
The rumble of the colossal sea was all he could hear that silent night.
The stars twinkled in the darkness,
And the moon in the blackness
Gazed dotingly at him and his boat,
As the decrepit carrier carted its master swiftly afloat.
How long had he been at the ...
Sunday 19th July 2020 8:03 pm
Can you hear the moon sing at night?
A distant melody from the most dulcet vocal pipes?
Have you ever nestled in her crescent bed
Like the kid in the DreamWorks emblem?
My winsome lady
Dotes on me.
Part amused, part exasperated.
For she knows why I've come to see her again--
To steal the roux from stars, milky and fulgent.
To hoard fragments of the night sky in my wooden ches...
Friday 17th July 2020 8:39 am
And ugly cries.
Narrow and broad;
Abundant with shops and bars,
And people- their bodies, minds and souls scarred.
Edifices tall and sturdy.
Trapped in it are people content and happy;
And those walking on thorns, barbed and merciless;
And those breathing but lifeless.
The city is a plac...
Monday 13th July 2020 9:44 am
I awake on a bed of roses,
Whose petals crunch like orphaned autumn leaves.
A ray of sunlight towards me approaches,
Dancing in the light are muddy speckles aplenty.
I can feel the air around me toy with my locks,
Which is as feeble as your grasp on my hand.
But I hold on
To you, this very second, this very moment.
The mere sight of you sugarcoats my disill...
Thursday 9th July 2020 7:07 pm
Far above us
The sky bursts into colours-
Blue, purple, grey, orange,
With red and all the hues in its range.
Miles beneath our feet
Are secrets buried,
Arcane and deep.
Their ampoules once known to everybody.
What goes overhead
Suffuses stars and their milky shells.
The departure from earth melancholic but serene,
Leaves behind shimmering trails that spe...
Sunday 5th July 2020 2:45 pm
There once stood a chocolate tree, a bearer of desires.
Its leaves melted when it inhaled passion.
Its fruits of fire
Set ablaze lands, verdant and barren.
Its bark was festooned in ribbons
Of rich gold and smooth caramel.
Like Midas' touch, gluttony abundant,
The tree was nothing short of magical.
I basked in the shadow of the canopy
Atop the chocolate capped grass bl...
Tuesday 23rd June 2020 7:57 pm
Sweet summer sunshine
And her warm embrace,
Her radiance, as pale as egg-whites,
Veils her face.
She shies away from you and I
Behind the soufflé of clouds,
Mighty and high,
Far, far away from the mortal crowd.
Or perhaps she's afraid
Of the power we hold
To birth, sunder and devastate
Those shaped from the same dough.
Fragile feeble fingers...
Thursday 18th June 2020 7:24 am
I embellish my arms with bangles
As thick as two strands of hair.
Their raucous cackles
Suffuse the tepid air.
Air that's fragrant with spices
I add to my copper pots.
Air whose redolence
Reminds me of what I've lost.
The dough that I mould
Sans a scintilla of strain,
Boasts imprints of my knuckles manifold,
Knuckles on which those kisses still linger, ...
Monday 15th June 2020 9:43 am
I sliced the sun into two
And looted shimmering bars of gold
Which lined her womb,
Her beloved broods I stole.
I plucked the sturdiest mountains,
The choicest adornments on the face of the globe.
All it took were my hands, raw and unrestrained,
Their maimed rubbles now abuse those they adore.
I remember the sea that like Moses I parted
And the ocean floor ...
Tuesday 19th May 2020 2:03 pm
I wonder what happens
To the poorly drawn images
We keep abreast as children,
Sheltered inside our notebooks and their crinkly pages.
I envisage those pages accompanying
Balloons, bubbles and butterflies,
And the colors in them adorning
The sallow face of the sky.
I like to believe that my poorly chalked out blades of grass
Somehow appended the greenery on earth
Thursday 7th May 2020 8:47 pm
I died yesterday
With a pen in one hand and a diary in the other.
The latter's pages were inlaid
With prints of my curry stained fingers,
And splotches of tea,
And smudges of ink,
And spools of memories,
And streams of ridiculous cravings.
I fashioned the contents with the loose threads
I'd been stockpiling since forever.
Vibrant, prismatic, but half-completed...
Friday 24th April 2020 5:59 pm
On a snowy day,
In a dimly lit street,
An ailing girl, utterly dismayed
Perches under the canopy of an enormous tree.
Her eyes well up a little.
Perhaps she’s waiting for a special someone,
But all that comes to her are snowflakes, frosty and brittle.
She tears the icy veneer of the earth
With her gloved fingers.
And buries a white rose b...
Wednesday 24th April 2019 6:39 pm