GloPoWriMo 2018: Day XXIV: On the Death of Lazarus

Today NaPoWriMo challenges us to write an Elegy – a poem typically in remembrance of someone who has left this mortal veil, except with a tone of hopefulness. That’s an innately beautiful thought, and one that might even be hardcoded into the human animal – the thought of bright lights, of a place beyond the darkness. And whether its real or not, it’s a nice thought. And there are fewer of those in the world than there should be.

As for my poem today… well, there are many kinds of death… and many kind of hope…

Goodnight sweet prince
You wonderfully naive soul
Farewell to your brave heart
That once made mine whole

I can fondly remember
The stupid smile on your silly face
I’ll never forget
What you’ve tried so to erase

They say fools rush in
And you were never any exception
Deceit and subterfuge and betrayal
Were always beyond your perception

You lived a dozen lifetimes
So often died and resurrected
But this too did pass
And in the end each is bested

I feel you less and less now
With each passing day and year
Not gone, not entirely
But not as quite here

Your trials taught me well
And though I am not man you were
I will try to honour your lives
Your lessons I will not spur

Forgive me if I falter
If I cannot open my heart as you did
I am scared where you were not
My spring not undiluted

Lazarus you were the best of us
And now gone you are missed
Your shadow hangs over me
Your spirit not yet dismissed

Goodbye is not forever
Though I do not know, I have faith
One day we’ll see each other again
Whether mortal flesh or ethereal wraith

Goodnight sweet prince
Farewell my friend
And may we never say goodbye
If you ever rise again


GloPoWriMo 2018: Day IV: Unbound

Going off prompt today for Day IV of Glo/NaPoWriMo. A little because it didn’t quite speak to me (a little because I’m tired and sleepy and not feeling it). So instead I offer you this short brew that was summoned a short while back at the behest of a dear friend. I never got around to submitting it for the competition it was meant for, so thanks Glo/NaPoWriMo for giving it a new lease on life…



Flying, falling, striding
Floating above the trees and ants and machines
No longer driven by fear or greed or want
I am unbound

The touch of warmth upon the air
Caresses each part of my being
No longer tethered to mortal coil
I am unbound

I see their faces as they watch
Their gazes following my ascension
And I smile and I wave
I am unbound

I no longer remember old memories
I no longer fear uncertain futures
I no longer long
I am unbound

An eternity passes in a flash
A lifetime later I am forgotten
What was once is no more
I am unbound


GloPoWriMo: Day XX: Pawn Takes King

Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt encourages participants to incorporate the vocabulary and imagery of a sport. So I hope you enjoy this hastily penned piece attempting to put a gothically romantic twist on the sport most readily analogous to life…

They called him the Music Man
A nom de plume well met
His entire body dripped with soul
Made the gents groove, the ladies wet

He may have been just a pawn in life
For the kings and the queens of the city
But this one black pawn made moves so sweet
It made the world feel less gritty

His life may have not been much
At each turn he came after the white man
But he cared nothing for all that jazz
He was happy with his axe, his girl, and his van

Now the kings and queens of the city
They cared or knew little of pawns
So when a hit needed to be taken
A random one was called on

So it was in this war
A black pawn did fall
And another pawn did shatter
At the sound of her dying call

Now love is a wonderful thing
It makes light and it gives life
But a true love snatched away
Gives a peaceful man a knife

And so a pawn did take a knight
And then a castle and a rook
While the kings and queens did gawk
He played by hook or crook

Till that fateful day when they met
A black pawn and the king he did hate
And came those fateful words
First check, and then mate

The Raven Calls 4 Times

This poem is inspired by a perhaps lesser known poem by one of my favourite poets – the dark lord Poe himself. In his spirit I combined an homage to my favourite Poe imagery with a chant/sound that a few in the know might recognise… Let’s see if you’re one of them…

Knock-Knock, Knock-knock
Went the front door
Knock-Knock, Knock-knock
Went it some more

Ring-Ring, Ring-Ring
They’d found the damn bell
Ring-Ring, Ring-Ring
This day from hell!

Thud-Thud, Thud-Thud
As he stomped down the stairs
Thud-Thud, Thud-Thud
Eyes crusty, feet bare

Tap-Tap, Tap-Tap
Nails clicking on wood
Tap-Tap, Tap-Tap
A vision in red stood

Click-Click, Click-Click
As he undid his locks
Click-Click, Click-Click
Of which there were lots

Pat-Pat, Pat-Pat
On backs as they embraced
Pat-Pat, Pat-Pat
A handkerchief dabbed her face

Clang-Clang, Clang-Clang
Went the Grandfather he’d bought
Clang-Clang, Clang-Clang
It was earlier than he’d thought

Bang-Bang, Bang-Bang
Before a word could be said
Bang-Bang, Bang-Bang
And then he lay dead

I Am A Leaf On The Wind

Across the avenues and boulevards
Their bodies lay strewn about
Pushed to the side and brushed away
Without a whimper or a shout

In their falling there is beauty
And passersby will gaze
But once fallen they are forgotten
And left lying still for days

There was a time they stood tall
Atop their lofty perches
Sheltering those below and within
Mighty Oaks and Elms and Birches

But time did break their bonds and bodies
Made them pale and weak
And so they left this mortal coil
And slowly fell to sleep

Soon others will stand in their stead
But as seasons go so will they
For this is how life marches on
For this is its way


(P.S. To all you Firefly/Serenity/Wash fan out there – Sorry for the mislead ; p)

No Reason – Day XXIX – NaPoWriMo 2014

One by one they fell
As the wind struck its death knell
Men of honor and pride
Their sabers by their side

As each did breathe their last
As each’s time did pass
The grass was painted crimson
As each escaped their flesh toned prison

In an instant high above
Past both hate or love
Seeing as if in a dream
The world they once did teem

And knew none which or why
Side they took in this lie
This pointless endeavor
To divide, to sever

For now they were no colors
No us, no others
There was but the light
And no longer reason to fight

Decisions, Decisions

“You make decisions every day. Small ones. Big ones. Whether to stop at that coffee place on the corner before punching in. Whether to wait for the light to turn or just chance it. Whether to get that third pint or call it a night. And every one of these decisions affects the course of our lives. Shifts it in the tiniest of ways in a direction unbelievably the same yet completely distinct. This is just one of those decisions Thomas. And like every one of those decisions, it’s one that needs to be made.

Sure some of your choices may seem more pertinent than others. Whether in the end Brown was better. Or should you have held out for Yale. But who’s to say that changed the trajectory of your fate any more than the decision you made between Butternut Squash Risotto or the Rib Eye the day before your 23rd birthday. Who’s to say Yale would have brought you more success? Who’s to say the Rib Eye would have meant you wouldn’t find yourself with that 33 Caliber in your hand right now.

Continue reading

The Grandfather Tree

On a grassy patch in a mild meadow
Under the sun of a different age
Grew a tree with slender branches
And the wisdom of a sage

As a young boy for many years
It’s gentle shade was home to me
This is the tale
Of the Grandfather Tree

This mighty Ent stood proud
For many years and years beyond
It was kind and it was friendly
And of me it grew most fond

I held its branches for support
I nestled in its roots
I was protected by its canopy
I was fed by its fruit

But years are kind to none
And soon life dries and ebbs
The Grandfather Tree grew haggard
Its branches covered in webs

I felt too tall for its shade
So I set forth to see what else
The world had to offer
And I came back less and less

But it’s love for me never lessened
Though its branches did shrivel and weaken
It still smiled to see me return
Return to its outstretched beacon

But the body is not as strong
As the soul or the heart
And finally last night
Fair tree and I did part

It closed its eyes in silence
While I was in a foreign land
Cursing cruel fate that kept me in the end
From holding his hand

So now our tale ends
This tale most dear to me
The bittersweet tale
Of the Grandfather Tree


So soft spoken,
Though you always had dad’s ear
So beautiful,
Though every brother would sneer

So kind
Though we never did find,
So always
Always on my mind

I love you beyond words,
And every day
I wish you were here,
Those words to hear me say

I love you always
Every year,
This day my heart breaks

No one knows,
They never will see
Aicha every day,
This pain I feel

Passing me by…

For Her

At a time of crisis
At a time like this
You feel like crying
You wish you wouldn’t
You feel like dying
You know you shouldn’t

I’m standing here
My lips are shaking
My legs are putty
Like the earth is quaking

I look to my mother
Her tears falling upon the dirt
I look to my father
Who stands strong, not saying a word

I hope you are happy now
Free of sickness and pain
An I hope one day
We will all be together as a family again

At a time of crisis
At a time like this
When death’s sweet lips
Have given you their final kiss

About 6 and a half year back I lost my elder sister. She was sick much of her life growing up and when I was in the 10th Grade she passed away, after a long time of fighting kidney failure. I regret every moment that I think of her that I never got to know her better. She was a rare and kind person, even if as a younger brother I couldn’t see that then. This poem, an amalgamation of the words I wrote then, and a reflection of what I remember now, are for her. My sister. Ayesha.

– Zafar Khurshid (C)