Last Word

By Ramsha Rizvi

When I read other people’s words
I feel hot and cold at once.
It is the feeling of your feelings
handed to you on a plate,
but your eyes are closed and the person who cooked the dish
doesn’t even know you.
It is having chills and blushing
and wanting to beg for more
but you’re always too shy to speak up so
the only way to go is to write some
of your own.
When I read other people’s words
I want to remember them.
The way I grasp to them, like the puffs of droplets
from a crashing wave on the sea,
they stick to my cheeks and slip through my fingers
and I lick my lips just to taste them
one more time.
There are so many wonderful words out there,
so many ways of love and loss
that I couldn’t possibly compare with these wondrous things
I read. I couldn’t possibly beat what I’ve read.
I can only try and improve upon what I’ve written,
myself,
one chill at a time, one dish,
one droplet, one sea:
one word.

Ramsha Rizvi, a girl in her 20’s, just taking a leap of faith and putting her work out in the open. Her writing is the only source of her finding her identity in this world.
Instagram Handle – @the_girl_with_the_blue_room

Deserving

By Ramsha Rizvi

No one’s gonna say it for me
So I must say it myself
I am deserving
Of love and good health
I’ll always make mistakes for as long as I live
But I learn just as much, and repeat what I forget
My feelings matter, and I must forgive
Myself for my issues and flaws I come with
It’s okay to cry, and there’s strength in admittance
It’s time that I learn to love myself unrepentant
There’s strength in my softness
There’s an order in mess
Reborn from the struggles
I’ve worked hard for my rest
I deserve to be heard
I deserve to be seen
I don’t need to hold onto
Irrelevancy
I am deserving of happiness and light
Of people who understand me, people I won’t need to fight
I can only be me
No one more, no one less
So I’ll pick myself up, and live life at my best

Ramsha Rizvi, a girl in her 20’s, just taking a leap of faith and putting her work out in the open. Her writing is the only source of her finding her identity in this world.
Instagram Handle – @the_girl_with_the_blue_room

आखि़र इंसान हूं मैं

By Yash Bhopte

कौ था मैं ! कौन हूं ! इस प्रश्न से मैं मौन हूं,
इसका मुझे उत्तर मिला, राही को जैसे घर मिला।
जीवन की इन अठखेलियों से अंजान हूं मैं,
समझूं भी तो कैसे आखि़र इंसान हूं मैंं !

दुनिया क्या सोचे हर पल यहीं सोचा करता हूं,
चंद नोटों कि खातिर अपनी भावनाएं बेचा करता हूं।
एक ऐसी ज़िन्दा, चलती फिरती दुकान हूं मैं,
समझूं भी तो कैसे आखि़र इंसान हूं मैंं !

वक़्त पड़े तो परिस्थितियों में ढल जाया करता हूं,
अपनी इच्छाओं को दफ़न कर मैं सम्भल जाया करता हूं।
एक ऐसा वेदनाओ में डूबा पड़ा शमशान हूं मैं,
समझूं भी तो कैसे आखि़र इंसान हूं मैं !

Yash Bhopte, from Madhya Pradesh, India, is a high school student, who loves writing and sketching.
Instagram Handle : @Kalam_ka_sikandar

Poets With Guns

By Zubair Javaid

Thorns were pasted, dyed with red blood, reshaped into a flower– that’s me
Freezing in scorching sun, dying out of thirst by the bank of sea- that’s me

A hopeless pen with ashy ink, jotting down hopeful words- that’s me
Blood ridden finger, scribbling down words on human bones– that’s me

Piercing my veins, watering the flowers with blood and savouring the smell of blood red roses– that’s me
Scribbling down her name with the bullet on the muzzle of gun- that’s me

Trees felicitating my words with shedding leaves, sky with ashy snowflakes and our so-called savours with bullets- that’s me
Gifting my beloved, the sight of my wounds, the decorated grenades, the necklace made up of bullets and my blood torn Pheran– that’s me

Over her delicate dry hands, scribbling down Freedom slogans with nails, and bedecking the muzzle of gun with beloved’s henna– that’s me
In the chilly nights of Chilly Kalan- under the shade of chinar leaning by its stem with guns like babies in my lap, and whispering freedom slogans with ice frozen lips to the hopeless falling snow- that’s me

The brightest of our days, darker than the darkest of their nights, with Lalteen in woods, its petroleum smell blending with hopeless air, yet eyes glued on the light emitting moth, reminding me of our siezed light- that’s me
Calm and quiet, the long separated lovers of my eye lashes, meet in glee, sleeping with peace in our graveyards and getting haunted by their flower gardens in dreams!- that’s me

The trees- with stems perforated with bullets, the nests like our houses deserted, birds exiled for chirping the freedom sounds! Their feathers like our hopes ripped apart- unable to fly, dying on land, yet scribbling down freedom slogans with their beaks on soil. Deepening those words on soil with the muzzle of gun- that’s me

The poets and artists, scribbling down words and images with stones and blood on walls in caves, Their poems as they say, tortured and torched, the alphabets rugged and erased with the muzzle of guns, the rhythm of their poems choked with the out-sounding grenades! The alphabets, the lines and stanzas mourning the death of their poets! The brushes of artists, the pens of poets exiled and trounced in jails- yet their life and ink as it is squeezed on land reforms into freedom slogans! The poets with their pens snatched and papers burnt, now write their freedom poems with the guns held like pens in their hands with the ink of bullets over bodies of tyrants as papers!
Blood torn and bruised in a land of poets with guns, visiting and writing poems over the soil of my beloved’s grave with my blood ridden fingers– that’s me

حسرت تھی دِل میں میرے

By Tousif Hujare

حسرت تھی دِل میں میرے شاعر بننے کی
بس اسلئے كے تجھے اپنی غزل بنا لوں

تجھ سے وابستہ ہر شے سے محبت ہوئی ہے
تیرے نام کی تشریح بھی قصیدہ بنا لوں

لفظوں میں تراش كے تیرا حُسْن بیان کروں
تیرے زلف كے سہارے قافیہ ردیف بنا لوں

تیری سادگی کی گواہی تو زمانہ دیتا ہے
تجھے اپنے ہر مصرے کا مفہوم بنا لوں

قمر سے تشبیہ دیتے ہیں شاعر معشوق کو
میں اپنے ماہوار کا تجھے ہی قمر بنا لوں

Tousif Hujare, 26, is a mechanical engineer, his medium being Urdu. Hobbies include playing cricket and writing poems.

ذرا سی اُداسی

By Mudasir

ذرا سی اُداسی ہے تنہائی کے اندھیروں میں
کون میری آواز سُنے دہائی کے اندھیروں میں
عُجلت تھی اُسکو جانے کی میں بھی چھوڑ دیا
بھلا وہ کیونکر رُکتا میرے پاس پزیرائی کے اندھیروں میں
دید کی خاطر میں نے تو خدا کے نام پہ جناب
کتنی بھیکھ مانگی ہے گدائی کے اندھیروں میں
تکیہ میرا گواہ ہے کتنا رویا ہوں زار زار
اُس کو یاد کرتے کرتے جدائی کے اندھیروں میں
اب شیدا کو نہیں سوجھتا کچھ آخر آخر میرا من
وہ تو ٹوٹ چکا ہے برائی کے اندھیروں میں

Mudasir (Shaidaai Baba), from Jammu and Kashmir, India, is a government employee and works as a computer operator.

I Write In Good Cheer, My Love

By Merlyn Thomas

I write in good cheer, my love
All things we have gone through,
Now the calling has come from up above
I have to go while you continue.

Love we have for each other
Words fall short of expression,
I’d rather leave it for you to savour
To cherish and hold in perfection.

When we were at it, it was worth its while
Overcoming obstacles life threw at us,
We faced with dignity, and without any guile
Fanning the flames of closeness.

I know life won’t be the same
When I am gone, I’ll miss you, my dear,
I know fate has played an unfortunate game
Our book of life has to be closed forever.

There is nothing to worry
For I am at peace and full of love for you,
There may have been times for which I’m sorry
The hurt I may have put you through.

We were made as part of twin souls
Lived till death do us apart,
Gone for just a little bit till you finish your role
Ready to join me when you depart.

Always be your smiling self
As I take leave and say goodbye,
Take good care of yourself
Don’t let sorrowful tears stain those beautiful eyes.

When it’s your time to end this journey
I’ll eagerly wait to meet you up there,
It will be a wonderful time to glory
Again, in each other’s arms, forever without any care.

Merlyn Thomas, a post-graduate in MBA, has been writing from the age of 16. Her passion stems from reading a lot. A whimsical writer, she writes in the spur of the moment. Apart from writing, she lives on music and painting.

There Was A Place

By Kirti Santosh

There was a place, that I used to see,
In my dreams, every night, I did see,
A land that had, always,
Joy in all walkways.
A land that had in plenty,
Happiness in bounty.
A land that had lives making merry,
With their kith and kin, never worrying.

A land that had brotherhood,
Across every neighbourhood.
A land, that was synonymous to nature,
With harmony amongst every creature.
A land, that sadly seems
To be just in my dreams.

Kirti, an IT professional turned teacher, took into poetry writing during the lockdown in COVID year. Apart from being a voracious reader, she enjoys music, sports, and drawing. She loves reading and writing in many Indian languages. She is a good orator and loves to recite poems.

Picture-Inspired Poetry, April 2021

SUBMISSION GUIDELINES

  • We accept only original and unpublished work.
  • Write whatever comes to your mind at looking this image by Stewart Munro and send us. (Poetry only)
  • Submissions are open from April 1, 2021 – April 15, 2021 only. Entries thereafter will not be considered.
  • We accept Entries in the languages Hindi, English and Urdu.
  • Only the best three of all entries will be published. One from each language.

ENTRIES OFFENSIVE IN LANGUAGE OR SENTIMENT WILL NOT BE PUBLISHED

SUBMISSIONS ARE CLOSED

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Unknown World

By Jamila Murtaza

I stand on the crumbling balcony,
The sunlight blinding me.
I take a glimpse of the sea,
Yet I feel no glee.
I wonder why this void thrives,
It made the jovial moments deprive.
I wish I knew what it was,
That made my heart so desolate.
Birds sang and the sun danced,
The sea roared and winds swayed,
The world seemed so gay!
Yet, I feel like a dilapidated home.
The voices seemed to me unknown.
It smells old just like my soul.
My heart tainted like the mold.
There is so much to be grateful for,
But here I am finding that lost door.
I want to fly in the infinite sky
But instead, my bones cry
I fall into this unknown world,
I don’t know if I could survive the cold.

Jamila Murtaza has been writing since the age of 14. She is passionate about what she writes, for it makes her feel alive. She has been running a blog for more than six years now.

बेजान कमरा

By Aditi

सिमट गई हैं यादें सारी
दीवारों की तस्वीरों पर

खाली कमरा बेजान-सा
बेरंग-सी उसकी दीवारें

अरमानों से भरी कभी
उस कमरे की दीवारें थीं

तन्हाईयों का आज वहां
मंंज़र है पसरा पड़ा

नज़र ना आती अब वहां
भरी महफिल खुशियों की

बेजान-सा ये खाली कमरा
दास्ताँ एक बयां कर रहा

कमरे में जैसे छाया हुआ
एक सुना-सा मंजर है . . .

हर कोने में ख़ामोशी है
जहां कभी बहारे थीं

धूमिल हो गई रौनकें
खुशियां बिखर गईं

खाली कुर्सियां कर रही
वक़्त का इन्तज़ार हैं

खोया-सा लगता है
कमरा अब ये बेजान सा

खोयी-सी लगती हैं
खुशियां इन दीवारों की

शायद ढूंढ़ रहा है कमरा
क़दमों के निशां किसी के

खुला दरवाजा इन्तज़ार में है
किसी के लौट आने के

बेजान कमरा यादों से भरा

Aditi, a silent, quiet and true soul, who finds true peace by expressing herself through poetry, wants to work for the betterment of the country and to spread happiness and positivity through her work.
Instagram Handle : @wordings.of.heart

یادوں کے کھنڈر

By Sheikh Ozair Nissar

جو عمارت ہم نے بنایی تھی محبت کی
بیوفایی نے تمھاری وہ مسمار کر دی
عجیب رنگ ہیں اس دنیاے فانی کے
آدمی کہیں نہیں، امبار ہیں یادوں کے
اس گھروندے کا عقس تو آج بھی
جھیل میں نمایا ہے چاندنی راتوں میں
آج در و دیوار ہیں بکھرے
اپنے خوابوں کے محل کے
کل تک آراستہ تھی جسکی
ہر اک ڈالی پیار کے خمار سے
قید میری یادوں کے کھنڈر میں
بکھری تعبیر ہے اپنے خوابوں کی

Sheikh Ozair Nissar, a medical professional, has started writing recently. An avid fan of words of depth and meaning, he loves rhyme and rhythm. Poetry attracts him and nature captivates while music is his love.

ہر وہ خاموش سمندر

By Amtul Ayesha

ہر وہ خاموش سمندر ایک نیا طوفان لے آتا ہے
بکھیر کر سارا جہاں وہ اپنی طاقت دکھتا ہے
ہاں! دیکھنے اُسی کو ہر روز کوئی نہ کوئی جاتا ہے
یے جانتے ہویے بھی وہ ایک دن سیلاب لے آتا ہے

جتنا تم اُسے دیکھتے رہو گے
اُتنا ہی تمھیں وہ حسین لگتا ہے
جانتے ہوئے بھی اُسکی گہرائی سے
تمھیں موت کا رنگ چَڑھتا ہے

پھر بھی تم ہار نہیں مان تے ہو
اٹھ کر اُس سمندر کے بیچ جاتے ہو
اپنے آنکھوں سے اُسکی خوبصورتی دکھتے ہو
تیر تے تیر تے تم اُس لمھے کو جیتے ہو

ایسے ہی تو تمھیں زندگی جینی ہے
ایسے ہی تو تمھیں طوفان کا سامنا کرنا ہے

تم ہار مان لو گے اگر تو کچھ نہیں کر سکتے ہو
تم تو وہ طوفان ہو جو ہر طوفان کو مٹا سکتے ہو

خد پر بھروسا کرنا سیکھو میرے دوستوں
یے زندگی تمھیں جلا دیگی ایک دن اُسی آگ میں

یاد رکھو!
تم وہ سیلاب ہو جو ہر آگ بُجھا سکتے ہو
تم وہ تارا ہو ،جو آسمان چمکا سکتے ہو
تم وہ نور ہو جو ہر جگہ روشنی پھیلا سکتے ہو
تم وہ برسات ہو جو بے رنگ پھولوں کو
رنگین بنا سکتے ہو!

Amtul Ayesha, a student of mathematics, loves to expound her thoughts and pen them down on a piece of paper. Her pen is the voice of her heart and ink of her soul, by the grace of Almighty.

Ode To The West Wind

By Percy Bysshe Shelley

I

O wild West Wind, thou breath of Autumn’s being,
Thou, from whose unseen presence the leaves dead
Are driven, like ghosts from an enchanter fleeing,

Yellow, and black, and pale, and hectic red,
Pestilence-stricken multitudes: O thou,
Who chariotest to their dark wintry bed

The winged seeds, where they lie cold and low,
Each like a corpse within its grave, until
Thine azure sister of the Spring shall blow

Her clarion o’er the dreaming earth, and fill
(Driving sweet buds like flocks to feed in air)
With living hues and odours plain and hill:

Wild Spirit, which art moving everywhere;
Destroyer and preserver; hear, oh, hear!

II

Thou on whose stream, mid the steep sky’s commotion,
Loose clouds like earth’s decaying leaves are shed,
Shook from the tangled boughs of Heaven and Ocean,

Angels of rain and lightning: there are spread
On the blue surface of thine aëry surge,
Like the bright hair uplifted from the head

Of some fierce Maenad, even from the dim verge
Of the horizon to the zenith’s height,
The locks of the approaching storm. Thou dirge

Of the dying year, to which this closing night
Will be the dome of a vast sepulchre,
Vaulted with all thy congregated might

Of vapours, from whose solid atmosphere
Black rain, and fire, and hail will burst: oh hear!

III

Thou who didst waken from his summer dreams
The blue Mediterranean, where he lay,
Lull’d by the coil of his crystalline streams,

Beside a pumice isle in Baiae’s bay,
And saw in sleep old palaces and towers
Quivering within the wave’s intenser day,

All overgrown with azure moss and flowers
So sweet, the sense faints picturing them! Thou
For whose path the Atlantic’s level powers

Cleave themselves into chasms, while far below
The sea-blooms and the oozy woods which wear
The sapless foliage of the ocean, know

Thy voice, and suddenly grow gray with fear,
And tremble and despoil themselves: oh hear!

IV

If I were a dead leaf thou mightest bear;
If I were a swift cloud to fly with thee;
A wave to pant beneath thy power, and share

The impulse of thy strength, only less free
Than thou, O uncontrollable! If even
I were as in my boyhood, and could be

The comrade of thy wanderings over Heaven,
As then, when to outstrip thy skiey speed
Scarce seem’d a vision; I would ne’er have striven

As thus with thee in prayer in my sore need.
Oh, lift me as a wave, a leaf, a cloud!
I fall upon the thorns of life! I bleed!

A heavy weight of hours has chained and bowed
One too like thee: tameless, and swift, and proud.

V

Make me thy lyre, even as the forest is:
What if my leaves are falling like its own!
The tumult of thy mighty harmonies

Will take from both a deep, autumnal tone,
Sweet though in sadness. Be thou, Spirit fierce,
My spirit! Be thou me, impetuous one!

Drive my dead thoughts over the universe
Like wither’d leaves to quicken a new birth!
And, by the incantation of this verse,

Scatter, as from an unextinguished hearth
Ashes and sparks, my words among mankind!
Be through my lips to unawaken’d earth

The trumpet of a prophecy! O Wind,
If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?

Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening

By Robert Frost

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.