Saman Rizvi's Poems


Saman Rizvi is a dreamer, thinker and an aesthete who hails from Gaya, Bihar. She is a student of English Literature, currently pursuing her Masters from Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi. She also writes Ghazals in Urdu. She loves pondering over the enigma of most banal things and everyday mundane moments which invite her to capture them in her words. On odd days, she manages to summon enough words to write a short story. Her writings have been published in Literary Yard, Erothanatos, and The Bombay Review.


Poem is an Orphan Now


My lips parched in the drought,

drought of the absence

of your moist lips, 

rushing against mine

like a sprinter running to keep up with the time

your tongue embracing mine for a moment

before loosing in a torpid dance

exploring those magical corners

hitherto untouched

You feel the blisters of your name on my tongue

No, don't ask me!

...

...

"Yes! Yes! 

I have been passing days

with your name mouthful, 

sleeping nights after nights

with an aftertaste of your name on my tongue"

You gaze at me, searching for an oasis

in the barren abandoned desert of my eyes

I look away furtively.

I chew my words and

breathe in the perfume of your sweat, 

tangy yet sweet

sweetened by the attar you wore this Friday

making my lungs gasp for more,

skin illuminating

the way our hands did

when we used to wrap our palms around Dada's torch.

My body pressed against yours

writing alphabets from all the language 

I possibly know,

you following each glide like a toddler fixated at learning how, 

you run your finger across my punctuated knotted bones

making eons of butterflies let loose

at once,

my face buried in your hairs

sniffing the smell of the last cigarette 

you had

my soul retching at the thought of the last firefly we held together in our fist

this evening

stars retiring to their invisible blanket

and 

I'm reminded of those crescent moons of your nails,

the legs of clock burdened with each tick

and my heart starts pounding

.

.

you collect 

your watch,

your diary, 

those ghazals I wrote you last afternoon

and my soul

as you plod

my heart stumbling behind you

bleeding at each step

profusely

I run behind it

YOU—MY HEART—ME

YOU—MY HEART—ME

I stitch it back with the threads of my poetry,

drilling the sides of my lips

to hang a smile

with expertise of a carpenter

filling the empty racks of my soul

with plastered liveliness

photo less frames hanging

from colourless walls of my body

I pick the glass

placing my lips on the same edge, 

I drink the dregs of water 

you left

Scent of your kurta rubbed on my

wrinkled bedsheet

and skin

I

crawl inside myself, 

sucked by a vortex

knotted in my gut

dark—round—black—

like my bindi you so admired


I think I'll scrub my skin hard

Or maybe pierce a piece of shard

Smell will go away, it will fade,

It's part of the trade

.

.

Top lid of my eyes sewn to the arch of my eyebrows

for one last look, that last turn.

I stand there peeping,

deafening silence stretching across

words - sentences - languages slowly dissolving

But – but – but 

turning back isn't your sheva¹ somehow

My poem is an orphan now.


Your Eyes


Your eyes swimming in mine

And

the rest, I lived

Your words entangled with mine

And

the rest, I cried

Your soul spooning mine

And

the rest, I survived


J.N.U


Your paths like my stubborn curls

Twist and turn as they wish

Tresses/traces

Partings

Routes

Path made by countless footsteps

Pacing up-down your leafy corridors

Your becharmed lovers

Combing through your unkempt range

Evening covering your shoulders with a misty shawl, 

your rocks 

singing silent notes

and you

bedecked in a golden splendor

gifted by halogens,

a red veiled bride


Watching you over and over

Counting my footsteps

with changing colours of

your cheeks

Eating chapatti and Marx each night

While sitting in a papery pool at mess table

Gulping Ambedkar with each sip of water

Igniting debate like bonfires at dhaba

Something revolutionary pulsates

your body

radiating, 

piercing air

heart

mind

sleep of many. 

Humming Faiz through the teary eyed

ground

I look eye to eye at Guevara

Drawing his nose, lips, stubble in my head

Eyes and hat; that's all!!!

Men tirelessly scratching your skin

like snooty parents rubbing tattoos, 

like tyrannical mother-in-law erasing henna

But, 

Kohl

Kohl of your eyes untouched

unmoved!


Pranaam/Azaan


You and I belong to different worlds, they say

So I gaze at my sky and my trees

wind puffing my lungs

and the sun burning my skin

I peep in a 'bulbul''s nest to notice the shape of eggs

I try to taste the raindrops

And measure moon

I wink at stars from either of our gardens 

I see the bricks of your wall

and the spiders while they crawl

I even know everyone has blood that's red

And we all stand on our feet, not head

I watch the shape of your mother's mouth when she calls,

And quietly compare with Amma

Laying beside her

I drift—noticing the tempo of her breath

I dive in to a pool of language

Choking on the broken syllables

THERE

I assimilate our worlds

erasing the boundaries

with a fluff of cloud,

redrawing the contours

with invisible ink we bought

from 'khwabeeda-pur'²

and select for us

a new set of alphabets; 

having sweetness of lichi³

colour of gulaal,⁴

script of rangoli, ⁵

and sonority of azaan⁶

that which rings with pranaam⁷

and echoes salaam.⁸


Sheer⁹


Sheer bliss is served in small bowls

On days when the air

is inebriated

with aroma of cardamom, 

attar

new clothes, 

dates, 

and

slightly

just slightly

tinged with the smell of fresh footwear.

Children patrolling for Eidi¹⁰

House bustling with people

And

there it comes

floating in a pool of snowy fountain

As if

mummy had just collected

all the clouds from the clear sky, 

froth of water from a gurgling river, 

sheen of a moonlit night and

mixed it well with

pieces of crescent moon

and broken stars

and served it in a bowl.

It melts on tongue

like fog do on the touch of sunshine, 

and dance naked to the rhythm of taste.

Enraptured

Dissolving

Absorbing it to the last

Nobody!

Nobody wants to finish it fast

As sugary as honey as sweet as kiss

Sheer indeed is a sheer bliss!


¹Sheva is an Urdu word which means habit, custom, trait.

²It originates from the word ‘khwab’ that means dreams. Khwabeeda is dreamy or oneiric, khwabeeda-pur is a word I made up to denote a dreamland.

³A juicy fruit and Bihar is famous for Lichis.

⁴Dry powdered colours used in Holi, especially in the evening.

⁵Rangoli is an art form, originating in the Indian subcontinent, in which patterns are created on the floor or the ground using materials such as coloured rice, coloured sand, quartz powder, flower petals, and coloured rocks

⁶the Islamic call to prayer

⁷The salutation by the gesture of folded hands in Hindu tradition.

⁸Muslim salutation.

⁹It is a dessert which is usually prepared and served on Eid.

¹⁰It is a kind of gift/money which is given by elders to children on Eid. Children usually are super-excited about their upcoming collection and boast to each other about it. Lol :D












Comments

Poet said…
Wah! Kya baat hai! Bahut khoob!
Hera Hassan said…
So beautiful ❤
Loved the expressiveness of the 1st poem

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