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History and other poems

Samreen Sajeda

Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons

Dust (for Edward Said)

Dust rose in smokey spirals
Unsettled by feet rushing in frenzy

Away from the present
Ruffled by an immutable
Memory of an ancient name
Scrapped in the dead of night

Dust rose in smokey spirals
Unsettled—like a sparrow
Returning to a broken nest
Or a dog frazzled by a faraway 

Scent. Dust rose swiftly
Over this stifled country
Like a dazzling masque
Of innocence. Slowly, very slowly, 

Dust rises again, like a Poet
Unsettled and unsettling others.



Guard your sorrows
Like lifeless butterflies
Preserved in a diary;

Fallen flowers imprint
Your letters; scarlet leaves
Decay into delicate skeletons.

Grandfather’s pocket watch
Resting in our library rewinds
Time, to decipher the future.
Guard your sorrows
Keep them close, like thorns
Shielding a crimson rose—

Pain distilling into poems. 


The Pen

A word as heavy as ‘despair’
Lingers long like a scent in air

The citrus scent of discontent
Makes the poet pitch a paper-tent

A tent of paper stained in dye
My pen is wet yet lips are dry

As dry as frost biting the skin
Or the frozen fish with a tangled fin

Soon the pen nurses my aching heart
Into word after word of scripted art

In the heart of night, I whisper a prayer
And shed my scented robes of despair.

Samreen Sajeda is currently on the book reviews team at Jaggery Lit. Her poems and short stories have been published in The Bosphorus Review of Books, Indian Cultural Forum, Muse India, Spark, Jaggery and Hakara among others.