Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Sheikha A. - Two Poems

Coelho’s Desert

I once lived in a desert,
similar to the one Coelho speaks of;
I may not have traversed the sand
or left footprints of my soul on it,
but I recognise the scent he describes
and the four-point winds that fill
my eyes and mouth with its character

I wasn’t born with a fickle mind.
Surely, the grains of that desert have
been pervious to my curiosities,

to have me in an eternal, ambulant search,

for the scent of my soul has displaced;

but Coelho’s desert is vast
with the need for a compass,

whereas mine fawns
under a powerful sun,

disoriented, dislocated,
tracking nothing but my scent
to guide me home.


if you visit my city,
you will have travelled far

for what the moon didn’t show
in Tarifa or Tangier,

you will see the bloodless white
glowing shamelessly through;

the sky is a dark-grey
having forgotten how a horizon breaks
or folds across the sea-line

or how the camel coloured shores
don’t implode under the touch of feet;

you may gaze at our honour-bound

so long as you keep it unclaimed –

the nocturnal winds are sharper
than the bullets from men’s rifles –

and your sheep would taste
burnt meat over our rain-perished


if you visit my city

don’t be alarmed for the desert it is not,

because the moon does lose to an eclipse
every fortnight.

Sheikha A. is the author of Spaced (a poetry collection published by Hammer and Anvil Books, 2013) and poetry editor for eFiction India whose works have appeared in numerous publications such as Red Fez, Mad Swirl, American Diversity Report, The Penmen Review, Danse Macabre du Jour, The Rainbow Journal, Sunlit amongst several anthologies as well. She currently writes from Karachi, Pakistan. Her real name is Umm-e-Aiman Vejlani.

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