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.

Pain (#15)

Image: Unsplash

Before I lose any more time

Here is a sight that would not lose you amidst a crowded loneliness

Because it sees you, beyond the clouds covering your haunted visage

It’s the beating of a heart going berserk

Each minute is a dreadful wailing of an infant dragging its frail body as fast as it can

Each second is a woman screaming at her face in the mirror, she doesn’t recognise the other one – why is she disappearing?

I want to see, I thought I did but it was only wishful thinking

I only sought your pain to dab my ink in something different, thinking that it would help me make a difference –

And now my pages have become tales of darkness that had nothing to do with me

My vision has become the periphery to a loneliness I thought I could erase,

Because pain comes with a filthy shell that only morphs into an addiction upon peeling through the layers;

Thus, I erase my words to make space for your yours – I ignite my dark nights to revel in yours.

Pain makes for the most beautiful conversations, and even more meaningful connections – like a poem that writes itself without even needing your consent, your voice or your ink. It simply breathes in its way, in its own space.

-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


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!

Of Summer Sighs & Wishful Graves

Expression of eyes (Hitomi) by Kiyoshi, Kobayakawa

Nesting in the sighs of a summer dream, is an autumn wish dying in its reflection. She trembles like a dead leaf under your embrace, as you tighten your love that comes in only one colour – that of taking and taking until ‘Giving’ is but a whitewashed truth.

In her eyes, it’s not the moon that shines or the stars you promised her. It’s a dying volcano uprooting its veins until her lips form a smile. You looked like you understood, you did – but only the smile. You could never contain grief so you bore pretense in its stead.

Her mouth is a language you know all too well, but beneath it is a forest that gardens its own warmth, a hope that eats itself because it has never been fed. Every soft caress is a tale that burdens her.

Soon the summer will be a realization and in it, a dream that erupts for a long, long time will take shape. Until the dead leaves are cursed again by impatient wanderers and she’s not the silk maiden anymore.

She’s but a stale page – yellowed at the tips and still gnawing at the leftovers of a letter that was never sealed and sent. It contains her heart – a corrupted muse, and it won’t be long till the body commits suicide in the lap of a nameless suffering – the kind you carry to your grave, and further.

-Nameera Anjum Khan.


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 Language of Words (#2)

Descent to the Mediterranean by Vladimir Kush

My hands were tied to a pole and I couldn’t speak

You see, the only way I could speak was through a language I hadn’t yet deciphered

My days went on, in a shell of thoughts

When out there, was an ocean waiting to devour me

People often stood long enough by the pole – long enough to let the streetlight lick their sins away

Until one of them untied me accidentally

And I traversed within after he ran away, so deep within that I didn’t even know that there was a path underneath my feet

People often talk about the ground slipping from under their feet, but have you ever felt it slipping right back?

I did

And so did the words itching the insides of my body

And the poems begging to crawl into the ocean

And so, I wrote – never stopping once, never looking back at the pole and those delicate strings of a self-made prison;

I took the path not meant for me, but the one I had been meaning to take anyway.

-Nameera Anjum Khan


Day 2 prompt was inspired by the famous and much loved compose by Robert Frost, The Road Not Taken. It took me back to a time when I was still a novice at writing and didn’t exactly measure its importance in my life. Years later, I can proudly say that the person I am today is because of the choices I made, despite the paths that lay ahead of me.

I’ve been confused and lonely at times, but I always made sure that whatever it is that I do, my heart and my soul is in agreement at the end of the day.

Following your heart is easier said than done, especially in a world that’s always out there to complicate things.

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

Night Creatures

All the night Creatures crawled up to my desk ~ & I wondered…

What Creature am I in their language? The one with the touch of Death or the God with untimely sunlight ~ as bright as a snowfall in the raging summers?

They keep coming back, I don’t think they’ve a name for me.

Sometimes, a shadow looks like my Father hiding behind the door,

At other times, it metamorphoses into an old hag that laughs at me while I read the ‘Articles’ of the ‘Constitution’ aloud…

& Even the night Creatures laugh – at a nameless horror; but I only defined ‘Democracy’, I only swallowed a slice of cake and brushed aside this noisy mosquito.

It was the only one pricking at my skin instead of laughing – when I (defi)n(ed)

D – E – M – O – C – R – A – C – Y.

– 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)