There is no way to put down

The crushing weight

Of everything I am forced

To remember,

The sharp images,

Searing fragrances,

And crisp sounds

Play in a loop,

And my mind wanders,

At times,

But does not dare

Leave the confines of

Dark, imposing memories,

For it knows

That if I’d will myself

To forget everything,

Everything will forget

Me in a blink as well,

And a mind when empty

Might scream louder

Than when it is being

Weighed down by everything

It remembers!


“I usually solve problems by letting them devour me.”
Franz Kafka

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The room around me

Begins to disappear

Ever so slightly,

The warm glow

Of the lamp fuzzes out,

Gets bigger and lighter

And impossible to ignore,

A chair in the corner

Casts a strange shadow

On the floor,

There is a gaping hole

In the wall where

There used to be a door,

And I am not there either,

Outside looking in,

Or inside looking for

What isn’t there anymore—

A mind needs no excuse

To fall apart,

It readily fragments

With the crumbling indoors.


“That’s what the world is, after all: an endless battle of contrasting memories.”
Haruki Murakami, 1Q84

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You believe that you

Are supposed to travel alone,

For only you know the way,

And a journey makes more sense

If embarked on one’s own,

But what if after all the trouble

You found your fate scribbled

On a moth-eaten parchment,

And your destiny engraved

On a moss-covered stone,

Would you burst out laughing

And come back home?


“Two possibilities exist: either we are alone in the Universe or we are not. Both are equally terrifying.”
Arthur C. Clarke

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We invariably choose

To wear a frown,

And never feel the need

To straighten it out,

For it does not hurt

To have this air

Of subtle fury about you

If you are pulling

Out all the stops

To melt into the background.


آگے آتی تھی حال دل پہ ہنسی”

“اب کسی بات پر نہیں آتی

“Once I was able to laugh at the predicament of my heart
Now I am unable to laugh at anything”

Mirza Ghalib

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Poem It Out

The poems spill out

When everything else

Is being held in

Against our will,

Our words leap

Into action when we

Are too tired to think,

To seek solace in rhyme,

To find freedom in ink.


“A poem begins as a lump in the throat, a sense of wrong, a homesickness, a lovesickness.”
Robert Frost

I am thankful to Spillwords Press for publishing my poem, A Bonfire. I shall be really grateful if you could spare some time to go check it out there.

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I am enamoured of

the eerie silence

that follows

the booming fireworks,

the vacant grounds

after the carnival leaves,

and the phone call

that meekly ends

after a silent pause;

it always comes

as a pleasant surprise

when the loud world

hushes up

for the innately quiet.


“When you are crazy you learn to keep quiet.”

Philip K. Dick

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Three short poems about loving too much, and loving wrongly:


Her collapsed-self rebuilds itself

A little every day

Around the bright smiles

On the faces of the people

She keeps falling apart for

Only to collapse all over again.


She had been putting herself

Into the pies she bakes,

And every time someone

Refuses to take a bite,

A part of her dies.


If you are forced to put

Your heart into things

You do not want to do,

Those things shall get done,

But in the long run

Neither love shall prevail

Nor shall you!


“The most painful thing is losing yourself in the process of loving someone too much, and forgetting that you are special too.”
Ernest Hemingway

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Chronically Distracted 

I begin but I

Never finish anything

I get distracted,

But it takes courage

To quit which I

Don’t seem to have,

So I write

What I can, what I am,

In order to flee

From myself,

Self-deprecating words

Like a drug I detest

But cannot stop taking,

An obligatory poison

To lose myself,

To sink, to drown,

To be curled up in a ball

Tossed out

To never be found-

I begin again.


“It’s incredibly easy to get caught up in the thick of thin things.”
Stephen R. Covey

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I have written a lot less

Than I did last year,

And I had often woken up

With a crippling fear

That I no longer had

A single rhyme left in me

In spite of being crushed

Under the weight

Of worries and troubles

That could only lose power

If expressed poetically,

But I had persevered

By letting suffocating silence

Be symbolically lyrical

For a while,

By letting blankness

Of the pages in my diary

Be the voice for everything

That I couldn’t write,

And it had been all right.

I have been all right.


“Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right.”
Oprah Winfrey

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Trapped Within Itself

My unseasoned heart

Wakes up

With new year’s sun

Only to sip winters

From huge, chipped

Coffee cups,

And to chew green

Jelly beans with uncanny

Flavour of summer,

And to feel alive

In spite of itself

Even when all it knows

Is how to fall

As it waits for

The promised joy

That is taking forever

To spring out.


“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language
And next year’s words await another voice.”
T.S. Eliot

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As the years

Turn to dust,

The folded scraps

Of yellowing paper

Safely tucked away

In the pockets

Of worn-out coats,

Missing a button or two,

Become fewer

And farther between,

Until no memory

Of discrete moments

Can be retrieved

Without being consumed

By the history

Of almost everything!


“With each passing moment I’m becoming part of the past. There is no future for me, just the past steadily accumulating.”

Haruki Murakami

I wrote this poem last year, and it is scary how relevant it still is.

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I buy myself flowers

Only to end up

Sneezing all over

The place;

How can an act

Of kindness,

Turn that easily

Into an act

Of hate?


Everything deserves a break

So one of these days

I shall take my thoughts

Out for a walk,

And then I’ll make them

Go back without me.


You can send me

An empty box

As a present

For I can love it

For the things

That will be there;

I’ll make paper planes

Out of the gift-wrap

And scrunchies

Out of ribbons,

And use the box

To store them in.


“I live in my own little world. But it’s ok, they know me here.”
Lauren Myracle

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Enough Said

It seldom worked…


Felt unreal.

Resentfully shoved aside.

Thoughts held captive…


Too late.

Nothing was forgiven.

Grim words penned…


Made sense.

Left at that.

Every you knows…


Like me.

A small world.


“It is my ambition to say in ten sentences what others say in a whole book.”
Friedrich Nietzsche

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Off Course


Whispers have replaced

All shrieking attempts

At communication,

I wonder when

Silence will be

The only thing we’d use

To communicate

To be actually heard?


I pretend that I

Know where I am

Even when all I do

Is dream about

Sleeping with a fan on

In December nights

Only to wake up

Feeling like I did

Last summer.


I see your outline

And try not to

Fill it up with rainbows

For I am still

Quite bad at colouring

Inside the lines.


“I’m still in bed writing this, lying on my back like an omelette in a pan.”

Alain Bremond

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Not all words

When they touch

The solid ground

Can bounce back up,

Some of them stay


While only a few

Dare break away

To wait for the ones



“The unspoken words trembled in the air.”
Iris Murdoch

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December Eyes

She sees you with December eyes,

The sleep-laden eyelids,

Frosted lenses and an inkling

Of fog all over the corneae,

That way she can only make out

The shape of your face

So if she’d ever have to conjure

Your image up from a memory,

She wouldn’t know where to begin,

But she wouldn’t make any mistake.


“If I had a flower for every time I thought of you…I could walk through my garden forever.”
Alfred Tennyson

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Freezing Over

Somewhere a version of you

Is finally able to fix

A broken violin

As the night outside

Turns emerald green

And the fire grows cold

In the fireplace,

And you wonder

If throwing silent,

Winter nights into disarray

By sending out notes

Of a newly repaired

Time-worn violin

Will be a huge mistake?

For life may be full

Of trivial affairs,

But something colossal

Is always at stake.


“and then I decided I was a lemon for a couple of weeks.”
Douglas Adams

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The world is more pink

Than grey lately,

But those who never

View it without

Rose-coloured glasses

Can hardly appreciate

The salmon glow

Brought to it by

The sluggish demise

Of their very own

Cherry-red consciences!


“I do not ask the wounded person how he feels, I myself become the wounded person.”

Walt Whitman, Song of Myself

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She has lost

Her sense of direction,

Wherever she goes,

She is already there.


“I am convinced that human life is filled with many pure, happy, serene examples of insincerity, truly splendid of their kind-of people deceiving one another without (strangely enough) any wounds being inflicted, of people who seem unaware even that they are deceiving one another.”

Osamu Dazai, No Longer Human

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On Edge

Finding yourself rummaging

Through piles and piles

Of discarded memories,

Far removed from present,

Not wrapped in fancy boxes,

But oh so casually thrown

Into trash cans stuffed hastily

Into brown paper bags,

Seems like a dangerous

State of mind to be in,

But when they say,

“Isn’t it like one of those

Baffling things that happen

To you for no apparent reason?”

You cannot help but say,

“I have never heard of those.”


“Flirting with madness was one thing; when madness started flirting back, it was time to call the whole thing off.”
Rohinton Mistry, A Fine Balance

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Sometimes, love is found

In the weakest hellos

And indifferent goodbyes,

For anything that plunges

A heart into the depths

Of that abusrd a denial

Must be akin to affection.

Sometimes, all you need

Is a delusional mind.


“Respect the delicate ecology of your delusions.”

Tony Kushner

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If I were to see myself

In a light that wouldn’t flicker

Would I feel the air

To be unrealistically thicker

Will there be a heart

Aflutter, suddenly beating quicker

Would the nagging world

No longer be a cosmic trigger

Will I finally stay

Despite being a habitual quitter?


“Everybody has to leave, everybody has to leave their home and come back so they can love it again for all new reasons.”
Donald Miller

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she became her own

personal shade of blue,

at war with the dusky,


glint of his

prussian blue iris,

and dreamt of a day

when she would

be immune

to that cataclysmic sky

in his eyes

which ends up

infecting her like a virus!


“You can only be jealous of someone who has something you think you ought to have yourself.”
Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale

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Neither a ghost

Nor a memory,

But like a drop

Of blood

That is thick,

And pungent,

And repulsively red,

We are as unabating

As the thoughts

You keep crushing

In your head!

At least for now.


“Out of my ignorance I called you a homeland, and I forgot that homelands are taken away.”

Mahmoud Darwish

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We could have been putting

Our souls in a mesmeric trance

By dancing like whirling dervishes

In cold, November mornings

To let our thoughts somersault

Out of our heads to appear

As glistening beads of perspiration

To evaporate into nothingness,

But we are far removed from all that,

For mediocrity has slowly devoured

The fire that was supposed to

Burn within our hearts forever!


“I know you’re tired but come, this is the way.”
Jalalu’l-din Rumi

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Cutting Corners

Three short poems:


When we decided

Never to talk again

We did not know

What that entailed;

It has been three days

Since I have heard

From you but it feels

As if it has been forever-

Never’s not forever!


As I

Fix a snack,

I let it vibrate,

You’re calling my phone,

Hoping that the pedometer app

Would count a few extra steps that way,

Everyday I cheat my way through exercise,

And wonder why my back refuses to have my back!


The solitary chicken

Crosses the road

To run away from the coops,

Don’t you realise

That nothing brave

Can ever be done in groups?


“One bulb at a time. There was no other way to do it.”

Jaroldeen Asplund Edwards, The Daffodill Principle

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Memories and November Nights

I wish that I didn’t remember

Every dying word,

Every sinister number

That seems to be etched

Into the walls of my heart’s

One flailing chamber,

And I don’t wish to be put into

An extended slumber

For my mind to dismember

Itself in order to sort through

Fragments of burnt thoughts

In search of a salvageable ember,

For I am too much in love

With this time of the year

To give it up like that,

But if that is what it takes

To forget what I

So painfully remember,

I begrudgingly surrender!

I’ll pretend that the sombre

Nights in December

Are as ineffable

As the ones in November!


“The past beats inside me like a second heart.”
John Banville, The Sea

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It has been an hour

Since I have been

Mindlessly scrolling,

Hurriedly swiping away

One grey photo after another

When I am suddenly hit

With a realisation

That brings me to my knees-

There are only a few photos

In my phone’s camera roll

In which my own face

Can be fully seen,

They feel so out of place,

But I better not press delete,

For there are times when I

Forget that I am here

And I can use a proof

Of my existence-

Even a virtual one would do.


“It is good to be a cynic — it is better to be a contented cat — and it is best not to exist at all.”
H.P. Lovecraft

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When the fall breeze

Brings along a few

Gratifying moments

The world feels

Less of a scam,

Just like a batter

For muffins

Without any butter,

And a marmalade

That tastes like a jam.


“I’ve heard that sarcasm is no substitute for cleverness.”
Meredith Duran, Wicked Becomes You

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We emptied

Our heads of

Memories, dreams,

And aspirations

To make room

For things

A bit more palpable,

And days went by

In long spells

With infrequent bursts

Of newness

As we blinked

The nights away

Wrapped in the very

Burden of being nothing

And everything

All at once.


“I shall be nothing, the wind, the sky.”

Osamu Dazai, No Longer Human

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A Blue Wind

We may have auburn skies

In Autumn,

And soft lilac ones

In Winter,

But the wind in both

The seasons

Is always a perfect shade

Of blue.


“There is something incredibly nostalgic and significant about the annual cascade of autumn leaves.”

Joe L. Wheeler

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Three short poems trying to explain the state of apathetic torpor I keep finding myself in these days. I blame the weather.


I sometimes feel

Like leftovers

From a great feast;

Joyful enough

To last through

A couple of meals

The next day,

And that’s it.


Is it cold enough

For impassiveness

To set in?

Everything seems

Like a chore lately-

I put “wake up”

As the first thing

On my to do list,

And it is usually

All downhill from there!


I dread the post-lunch dip

For it arrives with all of its

Somnolent glory to put

The coffee-induced

Morning rush to early sleep.


“Why, I feel all thin, sort of stretched, if you know what I mean: like butter that has been scraped over too much bread. That can’t be right.”

J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings

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I have sharpened a pencil

Within an inch of its life,

And I can no longer pretend

That the blank pages

Sprawled in front of me

Are a metaphor for

Some great new thing;

I am beginning to envy

The world outside

My solitary window

Reveling in its freedom,

And I wonder if tonight

I am destined to be

This gallingly unwritten?


“You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.”
Ray Bradbury, Zen in the Art of Writing

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To Have a Heart

a forlorn face,

drunken gait,

glasses askew,

hair a perfect

place for sparrows

to rest,

mismatched slept-in

yesterday’s clothes,

but a heart

shining a little

too bright

to be bothered

by how grim

things look

from the outside

lets it slide

for a while

before it jumps in

to save a life!


“In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.”
Albert Camus

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A Sweet Escape

I live for

that glorious moment

just before my eyes

begin to glaze over,

a blissful second

when a wave

of release

engulfs me entirely;

whenever I am trying

a little too hard

to engage

and it begins to take

everything out of me,

my mind sets about

to drift away—

some part of us

will always be brave.


“You use up everything you’ve got trying to give everybody what they want.”
Nina Simone

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I tried my best to mute

every other conversation

the very moment

it’d become all about me,

but now I cannot recall

anything about myself

that is even half-true —

factory settings restored.


“Be less curious about people and more curious about ideas.”
Marie Curie

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Blackout Poetry – V


various texts

no theme

work in progress


with tiny letters

perhaps never written

a non-book

deliberately abstracted

existential trouble

in the restless narrator


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I wish I could return

To sweet oblivion,

To those sweet,

Quiet moments

In which everything

Mattered yet nothing

Quite did,

Where reality treated

You better than

Your recurrent dreams,

And the world

Stood still

Only for you;

Something tells me

I am already there,

Stuck in another

Version of unvarying time,

For no two moments

Of surreal solitude

Can ever be alike.


“He really had been through death, but he had returned because he could not bear the solitude.”

Gabriel García Márquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude

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your thoughts keep opening

subconscious portals

that pull you away

from the world

you consciously share

with others like you,

but you are afraid

that one of these days

you might wander

a little too far

and get lost in there;

even though there are

no maps, no keys

to the doors

you close behind you

when you leave,

you shall still

be rescued by people

like you,

who like you enough

to not let go.


“One is loved because one is loved. No reason is needed for loving.”
Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

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The kind where it

Does not matter

What kind

Of empty you are;

Not sad empty,

Nothing to be

Glad about it


It just is.


This is how

It is supposed

To feel

Every time

There is nothing


To feel.


“On the fifth day, which was a Sunday, it rained very hard. I like it when it rains hard. It sounds like white noise everywhere, which is like silence but not empty.”
Mark Haddon

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The world outside

Their windows

Weeps for everything

It had lost but they

Got to keep;

They count

Their blessings

Every night,

But they cannot sleep!


“You could’ve tried to be fair. But you didn’t. You don’t even have the right to be sorry.”
Haruki Murakami, Dance Dance Dance

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Love Letters

not making the postscript,

not even the side note,

and almost never

the subject matter,

in spite of that

she spends her life

yearning for days

she would be written

conspicuously into letters,

in which no one else

besides herself

would seem to matter;

she might soon realise

that it is not unwise

if she is the one

who writes herself

those letters!


“Knowing how to be solitary is central to the art of loving.”

Bell Hooks

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Our world

Has always been

Aflood, both literally

And figuratively,

And we drown

In indifference

Every day,

And everyone dies

Because of it

And in spite of it

Either literally

Or figuratively

But I cannot recall

The last tiime

It took this long

For us to see

What we were trying

Not to see,

Were we this dead,

Not literally

But figuratively?


It’s a shame there has to be a tragedy before the best in people will finally shine.

E.A. Bucchianeri

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it never goes away,

the strange feeling

of being anywhere

but where you are

at the moment,

your body separated

from your thoughts–

you can hear

the sound of blood

as it rushes

to your feet,

but they stay rooted

to the spot

you had mentally left

a long time ago;

where do you go

from here,

but more importantly,

how do you come back?


“The best way out is always through.”

Robert Frost

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Out of Sorts

There’s always someone

Sitting on the floor

Looking skyward

Not keeping score,

And it feels weird

To bring an empty cart

Out of a shopping mart,

And have nothing

On your list checked off,

And to drive around

All night on a weekend

With a stomach

Running on nothing

But pure wanderlust;

When life puts you

Out of sorts

You have to do

Whatever you can

To gather your thoughts!


We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.”

Oscar Wilde

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The Sky People

we have our eyes

on the sky,

at the clear blue of it,

at the sunset, twilight,

and the night of it;

our hearts forever

one rainbow away

from bursting into colours.


“They say a person needs just three things to be truly happy in this world: someone to love, something to do, and something to hope for.”
Tom Bodett

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do you still lose

even if you win?

an earthworm

worms its way

out of an anthill,

bringing it down

in the process,

the ants may

devour its corpse

one day,

but would that

absolve the worm

of its sin?


“Who you are tomorrow begins with what you do today.”

Tim Fargo

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Isn’t That Write?

Three micropoems:


Tonight I shall write

Like never before,

With my left hand,

And my right brain,

To make even less sense

Than I did before!


How can you hope

To be written into

Someone else’s story

When you are

Unwittngly writing

Yourself out of

Your own little tale?


We used to read

Because we

Could not write;

We would then read,

Because we

Wanted to write;

We read now,

Because we

Write too much!


“One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple.”
Jack Kerouac

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it may leave

a little scar, but

we should leave

before the leaves

can leave

the fragile branches

that leave

them feeling a little

frail as well;

we should leave

it at that

before it leaves

us feeling left out

from whatever’s

left of the world

we once thought

would never

leave us alone.


“I don’t want just words. If that’s all you have for me, you’d better go.”
F. Scott Fitzgerald

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No Winners Here

Why do spider-like,

Dark apparitions

Run away scared

Only when you

Decide not to

Run away first?

When both begin

To lose at

A game for two,

It gets layered-

A layer over layer

Of profound inanity,

Until one of you

Breaks down

And loudly declares

That it is foolish

To chase after

Your own nightmares,

That it is foolish

To be chased by

Your own nightmares.


“Strange, I thought, how you can be living your dreams and your nightmares at the very same time.”
Ransom Riggs, Hollow City

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