Rehan Qayoom – 3 POEMS

To a Friend

Girl! These moments are clouds

You let them pass and they’re gone

Soak up their moist touch

Don’t waste a single drop

Drench yourself for as long as

Your inner Earth remains thirsty

Listen to me, learn from me

Downpours don’t remember their way back

The summer brightness you go out to dry your hair in

Cannot read the road signs!

Post-dinner Item

Already we were among the prisoners of your locks

But today we want to kiss your hands as well

For today you have adorned the dinner-table

With such a delightful variety of delicacies

That we are all perplexed

Where to start

It’s amazing that in spite of being occupied

By your so-demanding social duties

You remained kitchen-bound for so long

Surrounded by foolish Cooks and unruly servants

All this much!

And such appetising food

Seems a miracle to us

On top of which is the astounding fact

That you must be so tired

Yet you’re so jocund

Lady so-and-so’s feast was nothing in comparison with this

Thanks

Thank You so much for all this gratitude

Now, what shall I present to you

Tea, coffee or the poet?

To a Victorian

Rather than keeping me

Tucked away

In your heart

Instead of wasting your life like this,

Trying to practice the mores of the Victorians

In the reign of Elizabeth II

Scoring world literature left right and centre

For the correct form of a one-word conversation

Rather than linger long lonesome hours

‘Neath my window each year

The first day of Spring
Just come suddenly

One day

From nowhere in particular

Take me

In your arms

Turn a perfect circle!

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Rehan is a poet, editor and translator from London.  He writes poetry in both English and Urdu and his works have appeared in numerous literary publications and anthologies. The poems here are adapted after the Urdu poems by Parveen Shakir.

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