Poems by Sohail Ahmad Khan

IN THE URN OF AGE

I

How many sips of water
Are left, in this urn of age?
How many sips of hardship to go?
And how many sips of ease are left?

II

Time says: Think of droplets
Thirst says: River is not enough
Eye informs: Stay within limits
Dream says: World is not enough.

III
Soul says: why are you forgetting?
See how much is to be done.
Now, look into yourself
Urn of the heart is brimming up.

A LANDLESS BIRD

I

A landless bird
made a flight to my heart.
Dust of centuries
on the head
And a desert of grief
in its eyes.
Drenched in rain,
its feathers
Had forgotten how to fly.

II
It tells a tale
In an alien tongue.
Who would understand him
In this unguarded city?
Wounded to its core
The bird has ensnared itself In speech.

III
How many centuries
Shall pass by,
In heart’s melancholic forest
That it would find some connection
In the entangled words?
Would someone come
From the homeland?
Would it ever return to its homeland?

AN UNHOMELY HAMLET

How did I come over here, walking on the groove
My hut left far behind, and the huts of friends all out of sight
Never thought there would be another image, hidden behind what I witness daily
An unhomely hamlet: empty pathways and languageless huts and doors
An old well, where not even thirsty birds descend
If I look from afar, the village seems like a dervish to me
Broken all worldly ties since ever, sits in meditation
The hullabaloo of many a settlement is lost in its silence
May I stop in the lanes of this hamlet
May I come forward and break this self-absorbed introspection
Or may I conceal the unity of this image in my thoughts and return to my hamlet.

About the contributor

Sohail Ahmad Khan was born in 1948 in the quaint colonial city of Montgomery, amidst the ruinous mounds and ancient villages of Harrapa, in the heartland of Indus Valley Civilization.

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