Poems: Cherry Tree, Chestnuts, and Invisibilities

Insha Muzaffar

I

through  the branches of old of cherry tree
I see you
(the way I always see you)
lonely amid the throng of contented  faces
writing angry letters to God
while the  coolness of gloaming
seeps into the tepid skin of our sweaters
and moon slips through
the hedges of grey clouds
why should the one like you
be confined to finitude of a mortal’s gaze
to the sorrow of overgrown cherry trees
and evenings of  longing and disgust
when the sky is already filled
with the phantoms of dead stars?

II

from the rooftops
of my hometown
nights slide down
the precipices of strangled throats
and become glow worms of  thoughts
it isn’t easy to cross its habitual bridges
while the dusk turns hearts into gossamer threads
and Jehlum carries
chestnuts of nameless existences in
countless boats of its olive waves
towards the  certain ocean of  death
the mycelium of garrisons
that infests its apple flesh
leaves festered shells of human psyche
eddying in the  graveyard lined streets
so that
when journeys camouflage with
the disquiet of our souls
only its familiar sorrow
becomes the inscription of milestones

III

invisibilities
haunt us
as we walk  through ruins
of this country
wind sobs in the crevices of broken doors
dark birds
lift threads of sky on their broken wings
and lines of day
fragment into waves of disorder
he says
Irises are graves
and
blue is the language
translating silence of suffering
into voice of beauty
but deep  in the womb of  lake
death sparkles around edges of lotuses
and ripples of time become calluses of  a fisherman’s hands
what shall we then  make of  means and ends
every house resembles a blank milestone
a journey like this somehow smoulders
notion of distance
in the green lights of shrines
weariness of heart becomes flesh of faith
but what ferried us across
the tempest of disbelief
happened to be anguish
of that one unanswered prayer
how you fail to see the misery of
waiting engraved on stillness of glass panes
night  breaks
dreams into sighs of grass blades
see
how roots of  tyrant’s guns
suckle veins of  wounded blossoms
passing by the green paddies
sunshine wraps around perennial cattails
and I can’t help missing you;
a ploughed soul
wandering through cities sans seasons
in search of rain
a bee rests on Rubus blossoms
an old song fills the cab’s air
everything seems
so  unbearably  distant
so unbearably sad
so unbearably familiar
‘’maize cobs’’
‘’maize cobs’’
the maize sellers shout near the Narbal crossing
and we smile awkwardly
knowing that in this putrid staleness
nothing is as absurd as chiming of words
not far away  the sunshine melts on
the candy streaked hands of a child
who isn’t in love?
asks Rumi leaning against rain filled clouds
and the one torn by love shrugs
his slumped shoulders in indifference
after revelries of books and thoughts
after cogitating over maxims and theories
how truth still escapes horizons of our vision
nothing exists
except the illusion of life
no hope can resurrect our
scorched souls  my love
for what  blinded us
happened to be the very light of that Sun
with  broken feet
the being dances on the floor of death
see how cruelly
the meaningless things stuff
expanding voids of  life
and leave these relentless ripples of emptiness
haunt us
as we walk  through ruins
of this country
wind sobs in the crevices of broken doors
dark birds
lift threads of sky on their broken
and lines of day
fragment into waves of disorder
he says
Irises are graves
and
blue is the language
translating silence of suffering
into voice of beauty
but deep  in the womb of  lake
death sparkles around edges of lotuses
and ripples of time become calluses of  a fisherman’s hands
what shall we then  make of  means and ends
every house resembles a blank milestone
a journey like this somehow smoulders
notion of distance
in the green lights of shrines
weariness of heart becomes flesh of faith
but what ferried us across
the tempest of disbelief
happened to be anguish
of that one unanswered prayer
how you fail to see the misery of
waiting engraved on stillness of glass panes
night  breaks
dreams into sighs of grass blades
see
how roots of  tyrant’s guns
suckle veins of  wounded blossoms
passing by the green paddies
sunshine wraps around perennial cattails
and I can’t help missing you;
a ploughed soul
wandering through cities sans seasons
in search of rain
a bee rests on Rubus blossoms
an old song fills the cab’s air
everything seems
so  unbearably  distant
so unbearably sad
so unbearably familiar
‘’maize cobs’’
‘’maize cobs’’
the maize sellers shout near the Narbal crossing
and we smile awkwardly
knowing that in this putrid staleness
nothing is as absurd as chiming of words
not far away  the sunshine melts on
the candy streaked hands of a child
who isn’t in love?
asks Rumi leaning against rain filled clouds
and the one torn by love shrugs
his slumped shoulders in indifference
after revelries of books and thoughts
after cogitating over maxims and theories
how truth still escapes horizons of our vision
nothing exists
except the illusion of life
no hope can resurrect our
scorched souls  my love
for what  blinded us
happened to be the very light of that Sun
with  broken feet
the being dances on the floor of death
see how cruelly
the meaningless things stuff
expanding voids of  life
and leave these relentless ripples of emptiness

Insha Muzaffar resides in Indian occupied Kashmir’s apple-town, Sopore. She holds a Masters degree in Botany and finds poetry as a medium of expression and liberation. 

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