Sunday, 15 April 2018

Burning neighbourhoods into silence

Dark windows stand,
within towers of concrete
Partly lit. Part in black hues.
Shadows move left and right,
tending to bare tables and filled plates,
Painting lively pictures
Others are desolate,
Echoing snores in burning stars,
silent twists in breathless clouds.

A meal
Chairs dragging,
glass clinking,
spoons dipping in sinking liquid.

A sip flowing.
A speeding pause.
Bright and burning. 

A fallen star?
Burst, thud, an explosion
Echoing snores now silent 
Up down and all round,
Shadows crisp and crumble
In a dark caused by starving flames

Another pound
Another bomb
More orange rain 
Burning a neighbourhood into silence,
Into permanent darkness

This you do,
For how long?

Until screams of the dead fill an empty town?
You're already there
It's no cure
Please stop

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

The Deep End extract

My toes sank into the warm sand. I wiggled them in deeper, walking toward the fierce body of water ahead. The sand became cold and wet. Wind blew against my face; echoes of the past whispering in my ears. I brushed my hair aside and started to move towards the ultramarine waves. My family called to me as I neared the sea. Shouts of ‘what are you doing,’ ‘come back,’ ‘it’s too dangerous’ were heard spreading in the wind, but I kept going. Waves tickled my feet as I wandered deeper and deeper. The sand beneath my feet vanished and I was paddling. The sea enveloped me. Waves struck me violently. I was deep enough. I stopped paddling.
A sea of gold and red hung from my body and lights flashed in my eyes. I looked down, my heavily mascaraed eyelashes trembling slightly. Out of the corner of my eye, I peered at my groom. He was a few years older; broad shoulders, a firm mouth and ruggedly bearded. He was grinning at our families’ attention, I was grimacing at it. A tear fell out of my eye, crawling down my made-up cheek.
The wedding ended. I was made to walk alongside Anwar, my husband, just as I was made to accept his proposal. I had no choice; my family’s wishes had always mattered more than mine. That was how it happened in our social circle. I didn’t know how I felt about it. True, I hadn’t found anyone. But I had never wanted it to be like this.
I was sitting on my marriage bed; it was decorated with soft, blushing rose petals. I leaned against the canopy, watching Anwar walk in. He took off his coat and my heartbeat raced. He sat down beside me, touching my cheek gently. He took his hand away; his fingers were wet. I looked at him anxiously, sending him the message that I wasn’t ready for this tonight. Thankfully, he backed away.
An hour later we lay in bed beside each other. I stared at the ceiling.
‘I’m sorry,’ I whispered. I could see him turn. He looked at me, puzzled. Stroked my hair with his fingers.
‘There’s nothing to apologise for. It’s natural to be scared. Let’s sleep.’
I was lying in bed, my palm on my stomach, making squiggly lines on the ceiling with my mind. Anwar was at the office. I was here. I always seemed to be here.
A piercing cry interrupted my thoughts. I tried to shut it out. But it went on and on. Louder and louder. I clenched my fist. The baby was always crying. Har waqt. And Anwar was never here. I was. I had to be.

Monday, 15 January 2018

I sat on Primrose, my curves picking at the gripping grazed ground with twinkling red flowing around me. Creation stretched itself out in front of me; lazing and bustling, soaking and striking, still and rushing. Bottles of liquid poison tipping down throats, cylinders of unearthly smoke pressed against lips of paled pink, wrestling the cobalt of cloudless. Destroying the verdant that rolled below.
I lay back whispering too low for you to hear. Softly begging to unearth the limbs that cling you to the toxic dimples of sand, and instead reach out towards electric titbits bouncing on roaring waves of cotton that extend ruthlessly. You continue watching, never embracing. I know, so do I. We sit among bright magic tricks every day, that hold clouds surfing on fluent rays, turning around the hypnotic gold that is broken only by a whizzing that cannot be replicated. We sit amongst it, only deepening shadows fleeting soundlessly in the everlasting orange that turns circles of rebellious pink shaded gold blinding white around us. We have our place amongst it but all we do is press flash.

No more

My wings continue rolling into a deep abyss, chipping away bit by bit, their glow dimming ever so slightly as they crumble from the mountains of my back that curve inward and outward when I pull myself towards the twinkling above, but also when I bury myself inside dry earth.
They flutter rapidly, rustling in the tornado created by the twirls of your index finger round and round and round until it becomes crisp delicate air that carries me off to a land unknown.
They fall like suckling fireflies, drop by drop, bright and vibrant until they are ripped out like threads unraveling from the cushion that we wrestled with. My skin is ruby with each extracted vein lying dully in your fingers. I'm bare and there are no more threads left for you to pull anymore.

Words on the tube

This twisting and turning

Tracks that curve,
every glistening edge

Piercing tires
dragging us along

Back and forth
Back and forth

2 minutes
A minute
Maybe more


Perfectly desi?

I am not
a piece of glass
ready to be shined and polished
prepared to be shown around
picked and admired
until the next customer chooses

I am not 
a traditional woman
silent and bashful
excited about recipes and bells
one that speaks only when spoken to

I am not 
perfectly desi, if that's what you mean

I am
mapping my future according to
my whims and choices,
kind, and determined 
to be the best I can be

I am
what I want to be
what women want to be
what every woman strives to be
before you try to strap us
in your version of perfect glass

Unfortunately for you
I will always be
What I want to be

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Our hypocritical definition of terrorism

Terrorism. The most used word for violence in the 21st century. The word blinks in front of our eyes ringing loudly repeatedly until it is engraved in our minds. We take in what the media tells us what the politicians tell us what the people in power tell us. Without so much as a curious peep questioning their message, without really processing what they're telling us.
Terrorism. What do you think it is? How do you define it? Its probably linked to ideas about a brown middle eastern black man with a beard too big for his face in your mind shouting 'this is for Allah' pressing buttons screaming violently until he explodes. That is what you're fed of course and you're too complacent to think of anything else. Hey its not your fault, if I was fed a single story like a bowl of soup again and again, I would also dig into it without thinking too much. Its easier that way.
But let me tell you abt the definition of terrorism. The Oxford dictionary defines it as 'the unlawful use of violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political aims.' Nowhere does it say that the person has to be from a minority community. Turn over the pages and read, it doesn't say the person has to shout some bullshit thing he was brainwashed about because its convenient for him to blame a specific kind of people for all the crimes he does under the sun. Turn over the pages and pretend to spot the ideas you have about terrorism.
Guess what? Those pages are blank. Because they aren't definitions of terrorism. They are beliefs that you have associated with the word because it is easy for you to call a coloured person a terrorist and make people hate them bomb them hurt their husbands wives children and destroy their countries. Because when you do that, you aren't called a terrorist. No way, you are a saviour or maybe drunk or mentally ill or some other bullshit excuse that you carve out from the ground to plaster across the world's eyes so that they don't treat you like the evil you are. The hypocrisy is too real. We don't always want to bring up race or politics but we can't be blindfolded by your lies, by your view any longer. It is toxic dangerous poisonous, only encouraging more violence. See the world for what it is. If an evil white person does an act which harms civilians, call him a terrorist. If an evil coloured person does, call him one. But don't make excuses for white people while within minutes of an attack by a coloured person you scream out terrorism. Don't give more importance to lives in the West or lives in the East. Create and enforce the equality that you love talking about. Educate yourself. Question what you're told. Be empathetic.
Terrorism is terrorism no matter what colour the attacker is. Victims are victims no matter what ethnicity they are. Open your eyes and call it out for what it is. Hypocrisy.