learning to pray

learning to pray

from those younger


I learned how to pray




from you, my child

holding a prayer book that nani gave you when you decided to be a voyager

feeling the prayer beads, specially the two broken beads

making your own grace memento’s on rushed days

pausing to offer thanks for careless moments of  friendship

letting tears flow full force into streaming rivers

finding packets of hidden blessings under pillows

bringing in the intimate courage recalled from family chants

gathering strength into bundles on your lap


learning to pray

from those younger

bead by bead by bead

may you never be short of rosaries and prayer books, my child




light without darkness


Days are getting darker, universally

Human existence learns devastating heartbreak, compelled to accept, condemned to otherness

Crossing boundaries, bridges, walls, centuries; human occupation of lands marked by race, subject to violence

Actions embedded in daily routine; specific sadness, unabashedly showing anger

Herds more, individuals less; selectively eliminating questions from vocabulary

Because questions are a speaking voice

but humans seem to have fixed themselves; where they are relieved of questions

For who wants the burden of questions when the answers do not matter

Let me tell you, the story has just begun

There will be other era’s and however much today may seem timeless

Nothing has lasted; even the best civilizations have been plundered

And the loftiest kings have returned to a void; the humming sound of singleness that circles humans today; will be replaced soon

very soon, thinking will return

We will be soul bearing humans again; who stay up, awake, haunted by nightmares

not numbed

not herded

not silenced

not devices

Nights are a solace; almost


snapping fingers for each other

5609F612-1F17-4126-9DF9-94E80CB0CE43You are blessed, you gladly become a compass to the other

You listen to silent spaces, release it afterwards to choirs across horizons

You are like homing pigeons; bring stories home to read together

You colonize, playing center to fragile corners of the other

You are hunters, of lost treasures in frayed pockets and laughter in worse moments

You light flames to warm hands on the most fragile nights

You let in spring filled wafts through cracks so it can carry away tears

You paint, your canvas seeps into the deepest ink of your hearts

You memorize footsteps, knowing the weary from the swagger

You pretend to laugh, at broken jokes

and cheer on at silly games

Your hands learn places that become your secret dwellings in each other

You go to war just so you can hibernate into a hug

You are foodies, lay out dinner in two places and then eat from the other’s bowls

You craft compositions, to string and hum into dreams

You decorate each other’s gasps like rain drops embellish roof tops

You are in perpetual love, the kind that inspires poetry

You rearrange life, snapping fingers for each other


Airspace closure


The pilot in baritone

says he needs to fly around spaces

sounding confidently vague, forced

it must be how he was briefed

reminds me of the rhetoric

that stutters in our streets

our homes these days

he must have heard words

futile words, language

of  burning tongues

each syllable delirious

with avoidable political slew

meanwhile elliptical clouds

measure time

into a supple blue, easily 

crossing spaces, unbetrayed

I love my home in a resolute way

I wonder if he is one of those

enamored nationalists

it is fashionable, these days

I wish he would

focus, pay attention

stay assured

reassemble his journey  

I love my home in a resolute way

He regretfully announces

that he is now

moving into spaces

fragile spaces, lagoons

airspace defined once

as an ephemeral vastness 

has became incisively infused

with retaliatory overtones

I love my home in a resolute way

It is raining outside

the pilot declares that 

seat belts signs are now on

I tighten my belt, carefully

loose around my torso

and look outside the window

like exiled nerve endings

droplets painstakingly

linger onto the window

like your morning kiss

swallowed then into

the caress of cloudbursts

I wonder if spaces

have now blended

transcending questions

cannot tell though, a

stained window blocks

needs a scrub from outside

my view enshrouded

I love my home in a resolute way

He says he needs to land

only a 2 hour stop at Vienna

to refuel and recrew, rebalance

the gentlemen next to me

is snoozing, on his lap

an open Nida Fazli

I squint a peak

the sun gazes askance

Kabhi kissi ko muqammal Jahaan nahin milta 

kahin zameen to kahin aasman nahin milta

I love my home

in a resolute way

a muted way

an adamant way





I have a graduate girl

And she gathered things to love

Things like hugs, kisses, warmth

Things like family, fights, fortitude

I wish her some more

Like a voice of fortitude

A tongue of humility

Like faith from afar

A time full of endeavors

Like conquest of all fear

Like notebooks that kindle a fire

I have a graduate girl

And I wish her reserves of resilience

I have a graduate  girl

And I wish her backpacks of possibilities

Taj Mahal


You raise me up

Taj Mahal

For 450 years

You raise me up

Hibiscus, limestone and jaggery to hold in memories

Tattoo’ed stories in the color of burning rubies

You raise me up

An embroidered cascade, in symmetry revealed

A lonely paradise of four rivers, bequeathed

You raise me up

Your serenity ebbs and flows, in untethered reflections

You unwavering stand, to the gaze of many affections

You raise me up

Like a kernel, you encapsulate shimmering breath

Like a shell, that has quenched a thirsty death

You raise me up

A love affair on the edge of a crescent moon

An idea of shadows, a vigil of love that swoons

You raise me up

Like a crest you make a flamboyant ascent

Standing stoic between a sunset and the river bed

You raise me up

Commotion walks in multitudes through your arched gates

A conviction shields your aura, undeterred by drama or debates

You raise me up

Magnetic you soar, over the solitary caskets of the 

The sky a canvass to the melody of your ivory white spread

You raise me up

Discarding labels, an interplay of so much with so less

An awareness inhabits moments, watching an unfolding of the watercress

You raise me up

Taj Mahal

Even if my love does not make sense of a construction of vaulted events

I do find a cause in you that continually endorses a deep truth about it’s torment

Conclusively I walk away, looking away from the towering minarets

At the corner, I see a rainbow framing you with a splendid pallete




Flames – just in the forest


About you, when you flame the forest 

framing spring from the barren aravalis

a city

which drew it’s celebration from you every Holi

years ago

when orange shamelessly celebrated

uniting communities

when color had not become an ideology

gorgeously humble 

nondescript you surprise with blood red blossoms

leafless simplicity

transforms into an endearing riot

tri-foliage leaves

Brahma, Vishnu, Siva in renunciation

plumes divine

flowerets aplomb , crimson hymns of love

yin and yang

wild ornaments, medicine pods on crooked stems

weathering turbulence

unlike cities where tolerance needs permission

of the garden

where color is a river, red,crimson and orange

of the garden

where conversations are not about conflicts

of the garden

in which even flames melt into passion

of the garden

that was, before venom snaked into the roots of its trees

of the garden

tenderly standing in pain, of leaves losing their blossoms

fearful cries , the palash no longer bleeding bright

flame of the forest

do not be surprised

at the angry winds that blow

it is our burden to carry, we promise

to return to the sizzling treat

that is your blossoming

and the heartbreak

that leads to meditation

flame of the forest

let your virility

not be an aphrodisiac

to wild germinating weeds

let your majestic celebration

be forever indispensable

to our sanity



NaPoWri Mo 2019

seasons and senses