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.

Lovers (#12)

By Pixography

We share the sins that bind us. The tip of my tongue is the sun melting in your eyes. You see it clearly, you let it burn your throat while coughing lava on the plain white walls.

The water flows upward, the rains have been blossoming in the Heavens this season. My hands remember your touch, my ink retraces your sighs. Each letter encompasses the soul of your essence.

My tears recite your name. Over and over again, it’s like a rhythm that sounds anew each time it licks my ears. I want this song to remember us, to remember the way these sins bind us.

The way lover’s love, and never stop. I want my existence to reverberate yours, I want my heart to kiss your palms – and stay within, enclosed in the flesh that beats like home.

We share the sins that bind us, only to taste the glory of vulnerability, truth and discomfort – only to love a little longer than forever, a little faster than time.

Only to love a little larger than the space; only to love like a Prayer made in piety – to love like a poem that lives in our eyes, lips and hands.

It lives in the letters of our bodies, it grows in the shadow of our heat.

It’s insanity – to be so full of life/ blueberry sighs/ burning glass frames/ my image is complete/ your lullaby in my lap/ our home – a breathing cloud of ashes that outshine rainbows, a giggle of an orange peel/ bittersweet pages/ all written in consonance with hope/ heaven/ relief.

-Nameera Anjum Khan.


Wonder (#7)

Art by JOSÉ LUIS GALVÁN

A wonder. A womb.

I have a feeling that my eyes are too many faces looking down at the dusty pavement. But the skies were never made out of ribs, the seas never mastered the tides of my blood and the moon could never command the gravity of my heart.

This may look like a weak surrender upon a deaf glance but look again. It’s a wonder, not of virginity re-shaping itself or the veil of pregnancy blooming through nine seasons.

It is nine births, and more – all emerging from the point of no return. My head is all the colours of your rainbow touch. My skin is all the senses of your secret desire. My existence is all the questions you’re too afraid ask, let alone answer.

Sex. A fluttering of –

Nothing.

Sometimes, I see myself as the God. Sometimes, I see myself as the Creation. In both versions, I remain a sinner seeking heaven – an irony dodging misery only to write poems on it.

How do you see me?

Why do you see me?

You say that the sun is out tonight, I never knew untimely mornings, not face-to-face at least. I had heard of a happening that corrupts itself overtime. A sickness that spreads like creepers, everywhere. A tangible dignity swinging from the chandelier.

A woman and her birth – the untimely sunrise and the timely corruption.

Everything. Inebriated buds of truth. Nothing you’ve read before and everything you’ve read before; you die everyday just to see. How? Why?

Answers. Questions.

Birth – the memory burns. When will it rain?

-Nameera Anjum Khan.


Who is a woman? What is your understanding of a woman? Womanhood is one of my absolute favourite topics to write about and when I stumbled upon this work of art, it invoked so many things inside of me. My mind and my heart was filled with all sorts of questions and answers. I hope you enjoy persuing this reflective piece, thanks for reading!

P.S

Kudos to the artist for this wondrous artwork that can captivate anyone’s attention effortlessly and not just that, but it seems to knock upon your conscience in multiple ways. Click on the caption underneath the painting to visit an enthralling gallery!

A Heavy Summer (#3)

Art by Vladimir Kush

My senses are always in consonance with the way time flicks my insides. A heavy summer crucifies my tongue inside a nightmare that I keep wanting more and more. They say pain is an addiction and this day has been everything but that – an addiction sucking me knee-deep. It unfurls on my neck like a morning breath rising anew, like the birds fluttering inside a jar of mishaps. You shake it, until there are enough cracks for you to get in – enough space for your word to mingle with mine.

I think of all the pages dying every night in the grave of your spit. The way this world wraps itself under your skin and inside my fingernails – is a fable residing in the very vacancies of our hearts. Do you know about a ‘Wanting’ that ‘Needs’? It often dawns upon me when your scent travels down my spine. Chills.

This heavy summer is but a monsoon under my eyelids, stretching beyond mortal lines. I want to make the most of it with a hand that can trace all these poems and own them, need them. Need me.

-Nameera Anjum Khan


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! (:

Fantasies & Fiction

There’s a fantasy, at the surface of my spine

It flutters into your arms like a Gothic Romance choking on its own saliva

I spill the rainbows that you planted in my bladder ~ an acid leaves my body crawling on all fours,

There’s a lullaby growing in my belly & with every kiss, you extract a note from it until every syllable is infused with your name

A name this territory knows all too well, a fantasy that speaks my name like it’s the only poetry that matters; the only fiction worth realization.

-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)

Skin

Your skin tastes like mumbling blue berries trapped inside sea shells, skies falling upon your collarbones
Did you really believe that the weight of this world could shatter you?
You carry butterflies inside your stomach
You love like tomorrow is but a fable
Tell me, do you not shudder when you think of the end?
Maybe heaven really is a beginning,
A strawberry stream flowing through the crevices of the wild forest that you are

Your skin tastes like a scream splattered across the wall
It’s red and soaked in wet sheets
There’s a sickness drowning you until you can’t breathe
Mother, I see how the heaven under your feet often makes the earth beneath it slip away
The clouds shake while God’s laughter echoes in your eyes
My first poem is your name, your name

Your skin tastes like an oration pleading for hope
A lullaby that sleeps over my chest
The winds carry my whispers and I feel your smile against my lips
My breath is a wild goose flapping its wings against a chest that has only known heaviness
How do you get used to feeling this light?

Your skin is my home, the window that is always open, the curtains that will never be drawn, the door that will never be locked and the poem that only begins

Your skin tastes like heaven falling in love with herself for the first time.

-Nameera.

Words Can Heal your Heart.

Your heart will give your life wings.

~Unknown

The above quote has always been my favorite simply because every time I felt like giving up I only had to take out this old artwork & relive the strength I felt while making it ages ago. In a moment all my problems would seem too small to fret over.

Wherever you go, go with all your heart.

~Confucius

A talent that not all possess is doing things with all their heart. Sometimes we’re unable to achieve few goals in life due to unknown reasons. But are we really working towards that goal? Or are we simply focused on the aftermath rather than putting our minds into the process?

Do your work with your whole heart, and you will succeed – there’s so little competition.

~Elbert Hubbard

Now do you see the answer to your ‘unknown’ reasons for not being able to meet your goals?

This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness.

~Dalai Lama

Dalai Lama has rightly put into words the true recipe for success. Cleanse your heart towards others & lead a happy life.

There’s so little time & so much to be done. Instead of breaking hearts & fooling around take time to make others, and most importantly yourself happy!

Innocence

It was but a flame,
A tiny speck of dust.
But once untamed,
You ran out of luck.

It knew no control,
It’d perish for sure.
It wasn’t a mere stroll,
Against it you were lured.

It began with a revolt,
That dawns with age.
You were a thunderbolt,
Satiating youthful rage.

As years went by,
It left you unsatisfied.
Teaching lessons for life,
It was an emotion that died.

-Nameera.


Lessons remain, innocence fades away. Its end may never be in sight but we do feel the absence that lingers upon its exit.