Five poems by Insha Muzafar

Distortion / Photo by Insha Muzafar


Crazy people they say

exist like rainbows;

dissecting light into fractals

but  I guess you aren’t crazy

for when I utter your name

you cease to be

I can’t sleep;

I dream of rain sprouting daffodils in your hair

and dead boys rising from their graves

to tie their epitaphs  to your braids

you walk  past the barracks holding your shadow in mouth

who shall we  now blame

for  leaving road  sans milestones

unlike you I don’t take  refuge in the semiotics of  voids

for  there are no eyes where despair turns into nostalgia ;

sparrows of tomorrow abandon my mirror

when I think you aren’t spring.


Let us bear the boredom of being misunderstood

while the cold and damp hands of November

caress our slumped shoulders

and the empty glances of familiar eyes fall on us like rain

they  talk of being confounded with multitude of  variables

what shall we say

crows perch on naked trees

and yellows of dead leaves lie swaddled in blankets of grey afternoons

there are  signposts of belonging in this  city

but not for us

see how we begged  from houses to homes

and came back  only with  rooms full of loneliness.


Soon the sidewalks will be littered with autumn leaves

and graveyards will smirk with corpse filled bellies

but I will still be inside this  maze

mapping the inexorable hideousness of  circles

I spend hours trying to put feelings into memories

(adding voices to dumb photographs

or faces to faded words)

and nights become denouements of

horrifying emptiness of my soul

sometimes it seems to me that

there is

no consolation whatsoever for  this angst of denial

If only death wasn’t the bold headline of daily newspapers

and  I had the courage to weep and laugh like old times

how easy it would have been to act  human again.


Weary of  our wanderings

road has  turned into  this stretch of emptiness

wherein  everyone bursts into  laughter

just because grief  has left mourning redundant.


Leave the clock

that talks to me all night

(about forgotten  faces floating

in the emptiness of winter fields)

and I shall slump

into the  weedy light of moon

arranging foreheads of dead 

on dry dust of bookshelves


maybe I shall silently

weep on  the windowsill

remembering the way her eyes shone

 the day eclipsed sun left us blind

I am a child of myself,

my want is no dearth

if the beggar’s bowl

holds both you and the universe

what shall be  deemed worth offering?

a single face

fills a million mirrors

how can I be anything;   

wind has no name in my country

why  scorn the  brambles

for  their contempt of directions

if  only the madmen can  decipher 

parables of wilderness.

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