of independence & french fries

i grew up as independent as the roof on my head,
but i still needed the walls to float

i sometimes feel like the plants sitting
outside my window,
just observing my life
maybe this is just an astral lie
or maybe im a stray dog looking for a
shed to sleep under

im a window breaking a thousand times
just to come to terms with this strange insult that is growing
in my poems

im the eye balls rolling on the ground
and disappearing under the carpet, a
divorced paper waiting for a signature

significance,
i like big words and synonyms, i wish i
could find one for my brain
i wish i could nurse the soil that
weakens the bold cracks that are quick
to assume the joy in
every dark shade
of life

this out of control window to my soul
makes me want to fall into a sickness,
i can’t name it tonight
it’ll be a different poem tomorrow

let it fester, let it fester like the fading
smell of french fries on a wintry afternoon,
my little revenge lives every season but
in winters, it eats me

i wish it would chew me too but it eats
me whole
(greedy bitch)
in a stomach, i write about a heart
pretending to be my roof

i write about the bliss sliding under my
clothes, it’s too cold for it to come out, it
sleeps

i grew up independent, inside myself
i grew up, in as much space as i could
take and they could give,
i outgrew
i died;

in the throat of grief, as she drank sobs
to encounter cracked ceilings and
disfigured djinns coming out of their
holes in my bedroom wall

french fries in the rain,
and a cup of tea, please.

-Nameera Anjum Khan

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Of Women & Moonlight

A land that pushes women to the stature of a Goddess

Is also adept at pulling them down when necessary

This reminds me of necessities that arise out of despai

A colony of ants climb the hills that reek of sweet sanity

Between my knees are bruises that never healed

Between my palms are lines of sweat that never left any empty space

‘Push, push, push’ – “It’s a moonlight wailing in birth and blood!”

How do I tell them,

That it’s the moonlight wailing at the prospect of illuminating silently, humming songs of anger that sound like sweet sanity?

It’s another bitter Goddess biting her fate, watching the poison take nefarious shapes in her throat

Until the day she takes back her throne,

Until then there’s only a sip of hope.

-Nameera Anjum Khan.

__________________________________

The skies are wilting leaves

Today it rains like petals falling from above

Flowers of heaven shed their eternity

The earth laughs in cyclones and hailstorms

When she claps her hands forests are laid ablaze

The fire slowly subsides when the windows are shut

And doors forget what it was like to be laid bare, naked, open

There are flowers growing inside our minds

Our bones are nature’s kiss

And this flesh is a long lost wish,

Drowning in the reality that comes with it.

Nameera.

Staircase to Earth



Hell.

All this time, he spoke to me in varied hues of oranges and reds. He whispered in flames that burned my head, he moved about in a curfew that swept my need for fresh air. I am a tree, with a broken heart carved on my stomach. The knots of insomnia tighten around my thighs until I bleed Eve’s sin. Unholy birds perch upon my nape, they think my darkness is a home they’ll never find again.

Heaven.

The flowers here grow even more cheery while I paint them. They look like promises of something I haven’t seen yet. They whisper poetries that make no sense. The sun shines brighter than before and I can look at it, gaze into its soul. The moonlight becomes a passage to ballroom where love dances with fate. I watch it, I admire it from afar. I’m good here but so far away. Where is it that my bones ache to be?

Earth.

Home. Love. Life. Trauma. Death. So many colors that come without our choosing. If we chose black, white unfurls at the edge of our existence. If we chose red, green finds a way to our heart. We bind prayers upon our foreheads and paint heaven and hell. Our deeds paint us in either of the two. I sleep under a blanket of warmth, I’m in love. My bones don’t ache anymore. My bones say I’m home ~ on earth.

-Nameera.

The Mirror

They weren’t eyes,
They were
Windows to you;
A glimpse of my
Secrets.

No matter how hard I tried,
Pain had a way of making
Itself evident through the
Brown hues fading into
The morbid blackness
Hovering upon my
Existence.

They’re tainted pink & purple,
But exhaustion is always
Crystal clear.

Didn’t you ever feel,
Like you were
Looking in a
Mirror?

Maybe that’s why I
Could never read your eyes,
Because I wasn’t looking
Inside a window,
But at a mirror.

I never understood what I saw,
For I’ve never been
Familiar enough
With myself.

(It wasn’t you I was tired of looking at, it was me)

Shards of broken glass
Still pierce my mind,
But I’d rather be
Blind than give
In to expectations
That will forever
Be unmet.

-Nameera.

Rape – An indelible blot upon society.

I feel agitated every time I watch the news. She’s disrespected in every possible way. Candles are lit once her eyes are devoid of light. In the spur of the moment the whole nation comes to know of her existence. I pray that this kind of fame befalls upon women no more.

After the deed is done myriad of posts are updated in the name of condolences & budding poets emerge. Words filled with sorrow & angst spread across cyberspace like a tsunami flooding the minds through heart-wrenching poetry.

As a writer I’ve done my bit too in order to erase chaos in my own way through words.

But times like these scare me. I can’t pin down the feeling that I’m not doing enough. No, it’s not my responsibility to save every woman from evil doers but it’s my worst nightmare. In times like these neither ink nor do candle marches suffice. While I sit here writing this under the cover of a peaceful night, darkness encompassing devious intentions engulf yet another life.

I can’t write about a prey falling victim to a ravenous predator over & over again. All the majestic names this country has bestowed upon her cease to exist as one word arises, ‘Rape’ – not just of her body but her soul, independence & spirit.

Give me hope to write & dignity to encapsulate my words. Rid me of my fear that lingers as names succeeding the phrase ‘#Justice For______” keep increasing day by day.

Before inks run out replacing blood, candles are distinguished for worse & dignity lost forever between hands that deign its worth, rekindle her stature by taking a just stand against immorality that has prevailed long enough.

Long enough.

-Nameera.

My Umbrella

It was one fine morning until signs of downpour marked the vast expanse called sky. Mr. X decided to take his umbrella along with him. To tell you the truth it doesn’t really matter if it’s raining or not, Mr. X always carries his umbrella whenever he goes out into the world. Firstly, it keeps him from getting sun burnt & secondly, it obviously protects him from rain drops. That’s just the way he likes his life; protected & safe. Every time he sees someone passing by without an umbrella over his head, he rushes over to the person & starts telling him the benefits & uses of walking under an umbrella, particularly the one he carries; a red one. Now to the strangers dismay, he doesn’t bother to find out whether he asked for his opinion or not. What if the stranger just wants to enjoy a little drizzle?
One day Mr. X, the man with the red umbrella stumbles upon Mr. Y, the guy with the green one. Both of them start arguing furiously about how their choice of what prevents raindrops from making them sick is righteous compared to the other. Amidst their ferocious attempts to bring down one another, the sky darkens & black rain drops fall on the face of earth. Each drop caters to a black ocean that consists of tides arising every now and then as umbrellas of various colors strengthen it. But this black ocean shouldn’t surprise you, right?

The colorful umbrellas I’m talking about are various religions we are born into. Some people like Mr. X & Mr. Y make the process of co-existing a tiresome one. Advices are offered to those who don’t share their beliefs or follow different paths. The black ocean of hate is the result of not letting our differences subside.


My inspiration for this post comes from a blogger who decided to share some of his personal experiences in one of the posts. Make sure you check it out & the blog, of course.

Even most people from my religion are biased towards others. I wonder why we can never put that aside and coexist. Interested people will join themselves, what’s the need to convert?

If there’s a message to be spread, it’ll spread by itself as people are observant.

We’re all human.

Let’s start believing in ourselves first.

Peace.

Bharath Upendra.

Pride

By river Styx He swore,
To let him have his fate.
His son’s pride had bore,
A ripe fruit so very late.

In a manner quite haughty,
He talked with might & will.
Telling friends how mighty,
His father, the Sun God is.

They refused to believe,
The word of a mere child.
In angst the boy heaved,
A sigh marked with pride.

All he saw was the Sun,
His golden opportunity.
To avoid being shunned,
From his meek company.

His mother showed the way,
To her son’s death wish.
To not venture & stay,
Was her last, unheard plea.

He was more than glee,
To see his blood arrive.
The son, deterred uneasily,
Demanded for a ride.

Now this ride, you see,
Was not a simple one.
Helios was no more glee,
For he had come undone.

He had swore by river Styx,
To grant his inane demands.
Now that everything was fixed,
The boy wanted the God’s stand.

In the end he lost control,
And fed himself to the flames.
No flesh of his was left to mourn,
He burnt in the name of fame.

The fruit so very ripe,
Was all he left for us.
A sickness called pride,
Will never be enough.

We’ll want more & more,
As it lures us into it.
The end is forevermore,
I swear by river Styx!

-Nameera.

A year ago I read a book on Greek Mythology titled, ‘Stories of old Greece & Rome’ by Emilie Kip Baker on Project Gutenberg. It’s a really good book for beginners, just so you know.

The poem is based on the following mythology:

“Phaethon, challenged by his playmates, sought assurance from his mother that his father was the sun god Helios. She gave him the requested assurance and told him to turn to his father for confirmation. He asked his father for some proof that would demonstrate his relationship with the sun. When the god promised to grant him whatever he wanted, he insisted on being allowed to drive the sun chariot for a day. Placed in charge of the chariot, he was unable to control the horses. The Earth was in danger of being burned up and, to prevent this disaster, Zeus was forced to strike down the chariot with a thunderbolt and kill Phaethon in the process.”

Source.

The problem was that Helios swore by river Styx & hence he couldn’t deny what Phaethon wanted.

The lesson to learn from this story, as I like to think is that pride usually blinds our senses & logic. Sometimes, to prove ourselves right we end up burning in the fiery flames of reality much like Phaethon.

The questions we need to ask ourselves today are:

What are we trying to prove & most importantly, to whom are we trying to prove?

In the grand scheme of things what matters is how we lived our lives, not how we let pride drive our chariot straight into the blinding light & crash it headlong into flames.

,,

I hear you’ve been saying,
That I’m never there for you.
I’m sorry for not staying,
Others were waiting too.

I hear you’ve been putting blame,
On me whenever you mess up.
But know that I’m in a race,
Against hours, seconds & minutes.

I see you undermining me,
And I give you chances incessantly.
But you never seem to believe,
That I won’t wait, I’ll leave.

I know you still don’t get it,
But soon enough you’ll realise.
When your days become unfit,
You’ll call me by my name- Time.

-Nameera.

Fire

You don’t always see it,
Sometimes it burns within.

We often carry it inside,
Rather than letting it subside.

Did you ever in your life,
See it spare anyone alive?

Half dead, half flesh,
It creates more than just a mess.

But you still you set ablaze,
Your soul to grow in haste.

Let it out of control once,
And it will burn you wholesome.

-Nameera.