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


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.


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!

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! (: