SUMMER WOOD

Gaping at the summer wood between my teeth 
My grandmother is a tree extending beyond the Verandah
Her skin drapes the chirping evening shadows & in her hair,
Ribbons of a forgotten story tighten around the hues of Henna-

She remembers to paint the white strands orange every week
And calls me by every name but mine

I turn into a dentist, plucking stories from her rotten teeth
They stink of a future I never knew;
My grandmother wakes up to the 1970s & a National Emergency has been proclaimed

The only emergency clinging to our ribs is a therapy that leaves no canvas for the Henna to settle upon;
The cloudless skies seem to vapourise as a tree sheds its name

She is the daughter of a King now, she lives in a Palace of gold
She eats diamonds after each meal and her hair is the screech of a raven doused in young, energetic frivolities

Summer wood and too many gaps,
We witness the dysfunctional tides flowing between & beyond the crevices of time.

-Nameera Anjum Khan.

Demise (#15)

Image: Unsplash

I am a flower pot
Tumbling down the table,
I still shatter in your palms
As you try to catch me;
Now we’re both bleeding world’s sucking our tongues while the galaxies around us burst open into nothingness

My mouth is a sex fluttering like the butterfly in your belly
It crawls down your abdomen and leaves a word on your thigh
You discover it once the moon dies away
As the sun ties a knot with Alzheimer’s

There is no light to burn the tips of our desires
But did I ever tell you of the flames hidden in my heart, tucked away in between the day and night?

You come closer
I am the flower out-growing the pot,
I am the pot filling the flower – the singing that eats the lyrics and churns on dead instruments

You come closer
And I’m the shattering and a bloodshed
I’m the demise, in tangent sighs and maroon walls.

-Nameera Anjum Khan


The Gardner

Art by Leah Gardner

He sows, He reaps – He brushes past the instances of rolling buds and autumn heaps.

The misaligned creepers are set in line with the constellations and somehow, the ephemeral space makes it hard for them to breathe.

The Judgement day arrives in a pocketful of systematic hate until the garden becomes a miserable palace of weed.

He still sows – but there is no one to reap.

There are poets, here and there but He has built a wall of thorns that renders the seekers blind. Once their eyes start to bleed, the taste of their blood halts their spirit – it engulfs the hope of reaping the garden of faith.

I’ve been standing on the edge of this palace, they say yellow makes them happy but this palace of weed suffocates me – it also clings to my lungs, and calls itself my ‘Home’.

I lunge forward to blind myself, I really do but every single time I miss by a fraction of a sentence, a yawning poem stretching between my toes.

He sows – that awakened poem, that distracting sentence, that hopeful lunge / The Gardner has a season for every name, I wonder what mine is.

Rains/ a blackened sigh/ the ephemeral space/ the broken stars/ the melting clouds/ a stutter between the sunrise and the sunset – I’m an anomaly without a name.

I see, the uprooted garden and the enormous space. I breathe for the first time because I believe what I see. I believe what I seek.

The Gardner – that made me, you and the bellowing universe amidst a poetry of Creation, a scream of magnificence.

-Nameera Anjum Khan.


This poem takes inspiration from religion, particularly the depiction of God in the movie ‘The Shack’ which provides a brilliant and an optimistic insight into what kind of entity God really is. It also sheds light on how humans sometimes become the judge of events that they truly don’t understand. We become hopeless at the immediate sight of a bad circumstance, never once trying to grasp the meaning of divinity behind things.

The Kiss (#10)

The Kiss by Gustav Klimt

Rosebud ring.

In a circle of perfection, I make haste. I push past the gardens that come clapping my chin with fresh petals.

I revive the sounds of the past and they morph into your name. I shake my head, they’re louder by the minute.

The rains have never been kinder. And the stars have never been this close to my feet. Is this what walking on heaven feels like?

But then I remember some distant empty promise. Its ringing is fading away – rosebud ring.

You get me roses that adorn the vale of my dark nights. You plant hope in a parched land that never knew how to even spell it out.

And with The Kiss, you seal the fates – beyond the heavens and the earth and the clouds; beyond the nature that runs in you and me.

Beyond us, but deep within.

-Nameera Anjum Khan.


Day 10: yes I’m late but I’m trying really hard to not miss out on a single day this month 😅

Of Silly Ruminations

Art by Chugtai M.A.R

I want to be an openness bending at the tip of the sunlight falling on my back. But I’m also afraid of burning in my own fire.

I carry my hostilities like a poet who adores perspiring on a hot sunny afternoon in the arms of an old monument that houses some grand secrets only he can see – and I can’t unsee. I’ve been his muse and his monument – sometimes a pillar draped in silk.

I yearn to be a vastness, much wilder than the blue skies. Someone once told me that I was silly to think of blue skies as wild, and I only laughed. How can you not see the calm that has rained, birthed storms and swallowed deaths? I realise that it’s indeed silly of me to think that people would see how I manage to carry this calm.

I don’t burn in my own fire. I invite other’s to ignite my flame so that I can master my art of living for others – because what is a woman without a role?

Simply a human? No, that is deeply silly of me, indeed.

-Nameera Anjum Khan.


So yes, day 9 is over, where I live and I really did not want to break my flow. Hence, I quickly looked up this enthralling work of art to inspire me today!

This one is a take on gender roles – particularly the one’s attached to a woman. It takes inferences from the Indian culture as well and the thinking of a family/culture-oriented woman who is made to feel suppressed because of her desires for freedom.

Sometimes, things that reflect a particular emotion aren’t exactly what they’re composed of, the blue skies for example that are not always blue or calm, for that matter.

I always feel that seasons and nature is a very great way to deeply understand human emotions in a poetic light. Hence my obsession with them is pretty evident in this piece too!

Thank you for reading, have a great day/night!

Epidermis (#5)

Art by Jung-Yeon Min

Sandy shores inside my mouth

There are tides in my tongue that erase your name every time I trace it on the corners of my mouth

I create a vigour in my ribs that swirls in the tangerine buds of the laughing skies

My paper feet are cut in places that can never learn to sleep,

I eat this canvas until I’m the piece of art

But I’m deranged in places that don’t exist loud enough

I de-layer,

Bit by bit

Until the flesh is a bare secret-

It’s your story but you keep peeling it away,

Look at you now – a subsumed flame in a nest of rage, a holy prayer covered in filth and harbouring a look that says more than actions do;

You’re a ship in the sky, sailing away the gravity in hopes of falling on the ground.

You never do.

-Nameera Anjum Khan


Before this day ends, I decided to pen down a muse which was quite spontaneous, which speaks for itself I suppose :3

There was a potpourri of thoughts behind this one but the most particular one was – the description of a toxic relationship and the fear of conformity to truth. Sometimes, people lock themselves up in a cage because they fear getting hurt and in the process, they end up hurting others. It’s an interesting paradox to reflect upon but going through it is an entirely different phase.

Conclusively, I’d like to add that vulnerability is a very precious thing and if someone decides to take off their mask in front of you, you’re not under an obligation to reciprocate the same. You must take your time but through means that don’t end up hurting others.

Thank you for reading, have a nice time ahead!

The Man who Ate the Universe (#1)

Key to the World – Vladimir Kush

There is a shallow sinking unfurling inside my bosom

My eyes smell like a lie perched in a lonesome nest

He says that there’s a lot to live for but when I look at the sky, it feels like for a moment; it’d rather freefall into my ribs

Why is vastness so daunting?

A bloody lip, a bloody elbow

I’ve been angry at the walls and my skin, I’ve been angry at my body and I punish it every time a shard from the past’s mirror becomes the only way for me to see myself

There are hands that don’t belong to me,

And colours that seep into my cuticles without meaning to…

A yellow moonlight fades upon my tongue, it’s a rustic desire biting me down

A man comes to me, he says the world is in his pocket – among other things,

I tell him that I want the universe – everything out there and within,

I never see him again. Some days when the sun is in an inexplicable hurry and the stars whisper in secrecy; I hear them talk of a man who ate the universe and now he’s out there – and within

I look down at my empty palms holding on to nothing but a blackness that has no shade, a hope that has no name.

-Nameera Anjum Khan


This is my very first entry for the Napowrimo Based on the prompt ‘Sun Ra and his Arkestra (Animated Version)‘. I’m planning on spending this whole month here, away from the chaos in my original world of Poetry as I juggle between my passion and academics. Here’s to a consistent beginning!

Thank you for your time, if you want you can check out the daily Prompts too and give them a try.

P.S

I came across the prompt while reading ‘The Sun Queen’ – a Beautifully crafted poem by Rahul Gaur. Thanks for the inspiration! (:

In the Shadows of a page

Do you ever wonder what you look like in someone else’s poem? Is it some made-up version or reflects who you truly are?

If you ever want to know yourself better, read yourself through someone else’s letters and poems. It may seem as though you’re reading about a stranger but if it doesn’t, then you know that you belong there. In that moment of creation, your spirit was complete.

What you hold in your hand is a page, only momentarily. Soon it morphs into endless dreaming and hopeful possibilities.

It becomes a page that is no more that – but something that lives, it is not a thing anymore; but something that breathes you.

-Nameera Anjum Khan

Naked

‘Naked’

And to my mother’s ears, it’s ‘Blasphemy’. I wonder what’s more suffocating, the fact that I am Naked and a mere reflection of her or the fact that she’s had her eyes closed this whole time?

The society is the most illusionary mirror to ever exist. It shows you what you desire, but at the cost of negligence to your own needs. But here’s the catch, it only ‘Shows’ you this understanding that you possess. One single deviation can render you hopeless and so, the question remains; How much do you actually understand about yourself and this so-called ‘Society’?

You see, you’ve got to choose between the two. I choose to strip off of my regularities and give in to this maze of infidelity, I coincide with complicated minds and irrepressive hearts. I’m swinging through the gallant aspirations over to a newer side of things. It’s like a constant dalliance with the impossible heights.

I see my home right here, not up there when I say ‘Heights’. I see it on this ground and between these people. I want to run away sometimes, yes. But I think this distorted mirror has its own gravity that pulls you in, helplessly.

‘Naked’ – Blasphemy? I think freedom is but an unfiltered mind, a careless yet considerate human. When you choose a path of irregularities – it’s neither a garden nor a parched land that have been walked before, it’s a whole new world where you might even fly, who knows where possibilities end, right?

But without taking off those hideous reflections that you’ve been borrowing over the years, how can you expect to let your wings breathe?

-Nameera Anjum Khan

Will You Write Yourself?

If the heaven was the eyelash that stole my wish

If it was the candle that I blew on days I lived,

Then I want to write my own goddamn History

In an abyss that reeks of an unending staircase,

I hand my sins to you, so you may decide my grave

I fall as I fly, unto the blue skies~

re-writing the tears that have forgotten how to be a poem.

-Nameera Anjum Khan

(An excerpt)