Monday, 31 December 2012

Does it Offend?

Don't be offended, 
it's just the way I am
fam, I'm hot and I'm cold
one minute 
I'm cripplingly shy 
the next 
I'm foolishly bold
I break into places
yet other times 
I find it hard to look 
up at faces 
I'm changeable 
It's inescapable 
this changeability 
I'm incapable
of staying the same. 
I'm bouncing off walls 
but there are times I remain 
so calm and still inside
like when I'm
meditating under a tree
or running in the rain so free
See it's just me
fam, it's just the way I am- 
so please
don't be offended. 

Goodbye 2012

two thousand and twelve 
with this bitter-sweet departing
let us delve 
a little deeper into our souls 
let us roll
up the scrolls,
of yesterday.
Goodbye old miseries and pain
goodbye troubles I tried to solve 
in vain. 
Goodbye mistakes, 
goodbye wasted days- 
a new year is upon us now,
and somehow, I've got a good feeling-
I look up at my ceiling
it's filled with possibilities. 
Lord, let this year be filled with magic 
and laughter and peace. 
Lord let colours reign and let there be ease
for each and every one of us!

Hula Hoop Girl

You wore hula hoops 
on all your fingers 
and with one hand 
on the steering wheel 
you drove at twilight.
Lost again,
in some anonymous place 
you flicked one off
by accident
a yellow band of potato
it landed somewhere-
the red lights changed to green 
you didn't care, 
you just searched 
the floor of your car
for that one hula hoop.
Honk! Honk!
I love you hula hoop girl-
you plonk!

Saturday, 29 December 2012


If I were to elaborate 
perhaps my words
would eradicate
the possibilities 
you stored 
in your head 
trust me, yo 
things are best 
left unsaid.

Same Old

I said 'same old' 
I never told 
you what really went on
because you didn't 
really care.
I don't need you to 
lend me an ear
I don't need anyone too.
In the last eight years
I've learnt to get through 
shit on my own
I've become a pro at dealing
with trouble alone. 
But thanks, 

It's never easy...

Brother, you went back to Ecuador
3am I heard the door, slam shut.
I heard the taxi drive off. 
You never said goodbye-
neither did I. 

Brother, you're going back to Ecuador 
I still deplore, the way you speak to me
as if I'm a waste space, I wish I could erase,
the things you've done in the past 
the things you've said. 
More than that, I wish I could 
forgive and forget.

Brother, you're in Ecuador now
and I'm left wishing somehow 
it had been different this time
but perhaps in time, things will change 
perhaps in time, we'll find a way 
to get along. 

Monday, 24 December 2012

Spotless Mind

Did you ever watch that film 
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind? 
I think I was fifteen, so were you. 
We left school early one afternoon
and went to see it at the cinema-
remember you forgot your glasses
you wore glasses back then 
so we sat in the second row
of the empty theatre. 
I don't really know 
where I'm going with this
I guess I was just wondering if
we would be better off
erasing every trace
of a person who occupies
a certain space
in ones mind?

Raincoat and Clogs

Spirit on the train
you wore trousers 
under your thawb 
and a raincoat 
that wouldn't absorb 
the sky's tears.
On your back you wore
a rucksack 
I thought it looked heavy-
I wonder
did your clogs dig 
into the ground
I thank heaven 
you found 
a way to
 still exist 
in a world 
so heavily
in mist.

That Conversation

Dear Stranger-
you probably don't know
who you are.
Let me give you a clue,
we met once by the peace pagoda
at Battersea Park.
You had a strange way about you
but most my friends usually do.
I just wanted to say
honestly, I enjoyed
that conversation we shared
it was long and interesting
and even a bit weird.
Anyway be well
and don't sell
out to the man
I know you don't plan
too. Sometimes it just happens
though don't let it happen to you


You smoke a lot
You never eat
If the end of the world came
we'd just keep
We're like that see,
trees with roots,
deep under
and as the world
is torn asunder
we'd continue going
while others start slowing
I think
it's the way we're
we joked
as we walked
on for miles-
you said
'If the end of the world came
we'd keep on down this same
muddy lane.'

Rise up

See, it's hard for me to explain
all the demons that I'd slain
Back when I was seeking
Back then I gained
so much with each new sacrifice
I would not only suffice
I would rise
up from the ashes
reborn, torn from that dark past
I never thought I'd outlast
those voices that would resound
in this head. They were so loud
I was proud
of myself
for the first time in my life
I felt like I was alive
I felt I finally I undersood
the wise 
and the wise words
I was once taught
by my ancestors, prophets
pilgrims and brethen
See, I fought and conquered
my lower self
-with a quiet stealth-
I fought and I won
But slowly everything I ever
worked for came undone
I tried again and again
to regain what left me,
what once was
but despite all my efforts
I failed to be there
and now I live in fear
that I'll be forever lost
whether or not I give up
and gain nothing
from giving
and giving up
See, only those who have
that grace, will face
the misery of uncertainty
perhaps till eternity 


I told you I lost my shoe laces.
You said it was strange-
you had a dream you lost yours too.
Maybe our thoughts are tied together
Maybe our reveries are laced through.

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Follow the River

As I follow the river
I try to figure
shit out in my head
I try to figure 
out what led
to this moment in time-
some kind of sublime.
lately I've been living
in a dream 
that's not mine
and I can't seem 
to find-
a reason 
a cause
a calling
I know I'm stalling
I know I'm clawing
from my grasp
I try so hard
to clasp
hold of
long gone, 
I lost 
my way
I still crave
See, nowadays
I always come up blank
but as I stand at the 
edge of the river bank 
and watch the waters
slide and glide along
and travel through 
I realise my end too 
like the river to the sea
I will one day 
come to find Thee.

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

This Heart

This heart of ice 
won't melt
I felt
I'm sorry for wasting your time
I know you were doing just fine
without me. 
I'll get out of your way
but before I do just let me say
thank you 
thank you 
for letting me 
be part of you 
See I hurled myself 
into a dangerous place
and if you weren't there
I doubt I could have erased
what had come before 
and what I never foresaw. 
See, without you 
I mightn't have seen 
the beauty in each new day
So let me just say-
thank you.


Of the ten thousand people
I met on my journey
you were the only 
one who ever really knew me.
You truly understood 
the depths of my madness.
You truly accepted me
with a certain gladness-
all that I am
all that I was
all that I wanted to be
and this is just one
of the reasons why
I can't forget thee.

Done Trying

You were right about me
in the end I did flee
and not just once or twice
but three
But I did have a reason
for committing such treason
In fact I had many 
it's just that now
I can't remember 
a single
And I'm done

Solitude under the Stars we walked
by the canal at night
I gazed up
at the stars so bright
and I felt like
I was the only being
left in the world
-in this sweet solitude
their magnitude,
their servitude
astonished me
-and their shine
but their light in time
will fade away...

That One Friend

T- my dear friend from the past
I had a dream about you last
night. It was beyond weird
You were there with J
in some anonymous place and
you wore that same dangerous smile
on your face. 
Somedays I wish things would
go back to the way they were
Back when we were mates
Back when we'd be out adventuring
till late
-bunking off school 
and breaking all the rules.
Funny how things happened
Long ago we used to be friends
but then fate intervened 
and tore us apart
then brought us together again
in the strangest of ways
and then I went away
and you stayed 
and now I don't know where 
you are again.
I understand
that maybe we're not meant 
to be friends
Maybe we're bad for each other
But maybe we're due another 

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Daughter of a Zoo-Keeper

...I dreamt that I was
the daughter
of a zoo-keeper
and this one time
I forgot to feed the shark 
so with his razor-sharp
teeth, he leapt up
from the water 
and bit my arm off-
the tiger scoffed
and the the grizzly bear 
just stared
blankly at me. 
It was the weirdest 
and when I awoke 
I couldn't seem 
to shake off the feeling
that I had forgotten to redeem
myself for something
that I had done...


A cloud- 
golden and not of this world
came bounding towards me
its swirls of glory
moved so gracefully 
across the sky-
it travelled 
at such a speed
I could barely 
it was real.
I held my breathe 
as it passed 
over my head
I wish
it came down low
that I could have 
bummed a ride
(I sighed)
towards the
kingdom of peace.

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Son of a Diplomat

I wonder what life 
must have been-
to go unseen 
to never get bored
to be able to afford
any dream,
any wish
I'd switch 
places with him 
on a day like this
but most days
I'd rather not
See actually
I'm pretty happy
with my lot.

Friday, 14 December 2012

Fellowship of Exiles

...we're part of a
of exiles
who travelled 
for miles
in search 
of a new life.
You left behind
everyone and everything 
you knew,
in search for something new-
only to realise that
perhaps you drew
the short straw
perhaps her promise
fell through
And now-
here you are
an outlaw

Talk to Me

girl, there was a time
when we would talk about
our worries
our fears,
it scares me 
the darkness that consumes 
the danger that looms
before you now.
I'd like somehow 
to help you
but I can't because 
I'm right there too-
girl, didn't you once say 
that we're one and the same?

Ship in a Storm

This house has become 
a ship in a raging storm
will its furious waves
restore or deform?
Raising flags
and rising voices
heard amidst 
discordant noises-
the sea water 
sprays tears
fervent fears.
The sky darkens
waves crash 
and hearts thrash 
in a rib cage:
the rib cage 
is this dwelling
this home, 
floating on troubled waters
floating on a sea unknown.
I wonder 
will we fall in 
here on the brink-
will we sink 
or will we swim? 

Estranged Brother

To my estranged brother
from another mother-
I heard you came by the shop
but there were a lot
of people around-
too many. 
So you walked on by 
you never stopped to say hi-
I guess I understand why.
But I wonder still 
I wonder
how many connections
have gone ill
in this way
I'd say-
maybe ten thousand
a day...

Silver Thing

It's like I got flashed
by that silver thing 
in Men in Black
and just like that
all I knew
all I believed to be true
without a trace
man, what a waste!


I never say goodbye
and this is the reason why
I float, like a boat
without a sail- I sail
through life
I drift across an ocean
unknown to me
but at least I know 
it's been decreed 
for me- 
this floating, 
this sailing,
this drifting
and this waiting. 
I hope to find an anchor 
one day, that will anchor 
me to one place...

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Dear Friends

Dear friends,
on different ends 
of the same spectrum-
we're losing momentum
we're losing touch 
and as such
I have to ask you:
I have to ask-
dear friends
scattered across 
this big earth
am I worth

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Someone I once Knew

bored and
deeply flawed-
he cuts his wrists
he clenches his fists
he bleeds, 
he bleeds, 
he bleeds. 

Monday, 10 December 2012

The Outsider

...he dressed 
like he was from a 
different time


I'm glad I don't 
write a journal any more
for it would just be filled
with flaw after flaw

I'm glad I no longer
dwell in my forgotten days.
I'm glad I no longer 
dwell on my rotten old ways.

I'm glad nothing ever lasts
I'm glad memories fade fast
faster now I don't write them down...
Life is not a tape
 to be wound and rewound
I finally found 
myself understanding
what he meant. 

Time to Ditch

Oh man
so here I am 
would you 
its been 
less than 
ten weeks 
and already 
my feet
are beginning
to itch-
is it time
is it time 
to ditch
this job
that's robbed
me of another 
Another stupid
Another failed 
why must I always 
Why can I never 
I get through 
this time?
Will I find
a way 
to stay 
I don't want to 
get stuck
I can't get 
any moment
I'll be snatched
to some other place.
See, I'm too free
but not in the right ways.
See, I'm too free
I'm wasting all my days.
I need grace man,
Man, I really need
the grace, to face

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Sinking Sand

Since I got back 
I've been running 
endless miles 
across a desert 
of quicksand-
silent and swift
I lift 
one foot 
then the other
trying to keep pace.
I run, I run, I run
in such haste  
afraid of sinking 
into the ground.
I run, I run, I run, 
without a sound
and with the 
desert hound 
on my tail 
for me to trip up
for me to fail 
so he can claim my body 
for his own
and tear it apart 
I run, 
I run,
I run...

Thursday, 6 December 2012

There is a Way to be Good Again

There is a way 
to be good again
my dear, but I fear
you've lost interest 
in the coming world-
in life beyond 
this dream.
It seems 
you don't care 
any more.

My dear, 
it seems you've 
walked through
another door- 
Come back now
Come back forevermore
Come back now 
Come back before 
keeps you away
for all eternity.  

Dear, I regret to say lately
you've become a bit of a bore
Dear, I regret to say lately
you've forgotten who you were before
So let me remind you, 
let me give you a tour 
of who you used to be. 
You used to be joyous 
and spirited and free. 
Dear, you used to be happy. 

There is a way to be good again
I read it in a book
I'm sorry I mistook you 
for someone who 
was searching for the truth
I thought I saw something in you-
something true.
I guess I thought you wanted it, 
more that you do.

This war you've waged
against the world 
girl, you'll only end up hurting

Dear there was a time 
when you wanted to be better
than the rest
you wanted to be the best 
human being 
you could be 
a soul that could 
clearly see
beyond the horizon...
There is a way to be good again.  

A Voice

A voice
inside my head
to me
who are you 
trying to fool?
don't you think 
it's been long enough?
don't you think 
it's time to give up?
girl, take off your scarf
I heard the voice laugh-
cruel and sharp
it pierced a hole 
right through my heart
stop pretending to be 
solely for the sake of others...
stop pretending to be
someone you're not-
blot it all out.
I heard the voice shout
stop lying to yourself!

Perhaps you could 
don a balaclava
the voice said
it might suit, 
start to loot 
this world
become a criminal
become a mute
a non-identity
is hard to find
for every kind
of costume 
carries weighty 
it's not you're fault
that there's no 
way of living
and now
this is the result 
you remain static 
not wanting 
or able 
to move backwards 
or forwards
the conundrum 
of the ascetic who gave 
up the world 
whose certainties soon
began to unfurl
and who slowly 
began to forget
how could you let
this happen?

In Time

If I could go back in time
I would try and find
a way to make it work
you know
it drove me berserk
living that life
living through that strife 
living though that pain 
it drove me near insane
But I'd go back again 
if it meant being 
close to you

Moving On

Lonely secrets
reside in a hidden 
they lace
their way into
'moving on.'

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Time Machine

I'd like to build
a time machine
and go back to a time 
when the earth was green-
a time when the
dusty barefoot pilgrim-
would travel
a great
lengthy winding distance
in search of truth
to this life's existence.


I heard you received 
an invitation to sin
 I wonder, 
will you give in 
to him
this time 
or will you find 
the strength of mind 
to resist?

desist in speaking 
to the one
who has slowly 
much of what 
you strived to achieve
Do not leave
this path
have been given 
as many chances 
as the Lord 
has given you. 

you know this is true-
You know this
so don't persist;
instead resist
his charms- 
get out of harms
way and be stronger 
than your desires 
many of them are liars 

don't throw it all away 
for the promise
of another day...

Sunday, 2 December 2012

A Dark Place

As I heard the saxophone 
sound and diffuse
 in the crowded
I felt a presence cut the cord
I felt myself drift towards
a dark dark place
without a trace
 will I disappear? 
without a fear 
 will I leave 
this world?

Soon the people 
and head-first
I dive into the abyss
and everything I ever feared
is adhered to. 

Still I suffer in silence
still this spiritual violence
overcomes me 
over and over 
again and again
torn apart-
scars grace this heart
craters and valleys
fault-lines and dark
cold alleys 

This malaise 
transports me to a frightening place
and brings back memories
of nightmares and fears 
once forgotten. 

Memento Mori
The angel of death whispers to me
quietly in my ear 
and instils within me
a panic, a rising fear
I swear, I'll change 
I'll rearrange my life again
I just need time. 

This malaise
raises questions 
about my spiritual state
I hate 
these pains 
these hidden aches
I fake 
being okay
so I can stay
for the stakes are too high
for everything to go awry 
once more

To lose focus on living
and to give in
to the pain
again and again
drives me insane
and I sink 
deeper and deeper
I teeter on the edge
as I think 
dark thoughts 
in dark places....

Saturday, 1 December 2012

The Way it Happened

The way it happened- 
it happened this way. 
A thousand stolen glances
A thousand missed chances
Did I dream it,
or did you really say
 can't you see
you and me 
we're meant to be

Friday, 30 November 2012

Lahore, I miss you.

 I miss you.
I miss your colour
I miss your magic
I miss your people 
I miss your dusty streets
and I miss your stifling heat
I miss your warmth.

I miss your kingdom
I miss your children 
I miss their smiles and their wiles
Lahore I miss walking for miles
to Shalimar Gardens
through a labyrinth of markets 
that harden 

Where I am now
Where I've been
Will I ever understand
what it all means?

I miss the creatures that roam
I miss home.
I wonder, 
is it possible to feel homesick
towards a land so derelict
so ill-equipped
for a dreamer
like me? 
If only I could make you see-

Lahore, I miss your heart
But is it really possible for me to start
a new life in your land
and yet remain how I am
how I think 
and how I live? 
How can I give 

Lahore I want a piece of you
I want to buy a piece of you 
and create a magical place
a sacred space
a school filled with joy and learning
Lahore, I will never stop yearning 
for you
for this dream. 

I'd create a nature reserve 
where I'd serve 
up natural ideas and 
spiritual delights
and I'd share with friends,
such beautiful sights.

Lahore I miss you, I do. 
Lahore, I have so many plans
I can't tell you
But you know they always fall 

Time is ticking Lahore
What does the future have in store
for me?

I'm scared 
I'll get distracted and forget
the promises I made to the children I met
by the banks of the river Ravi.

Should I really go away
to do an MA 
in Creative Writing
or should I keep fighting 
to make this dream a reality(?)...

Dear Stranger

Dear Stranger,
you may find this hard to take
but I find it hard to relate
to you and to the rest of humankind.
Sometimes I have to remind
myself that we were both created out of one Mind
a Mind that we will never understand.
We were both formed from the same Hand.
I'm sorry Stranger, that I can't break through
your exterior and find the interior
the thing that binds
us, humankind
together as one.  

Chance Encounter

Ny, you walked right by
me today at the station-
I tugged you,
you turned around
and I hugged you.
We talked
but I never got the chance
to say sorry-
I'm sorry that I missed your wedding
it was doing my head in
thinking about how to break it to you.
There's no reason good enough,
There's no excuse.
My dear, 
you know this year
I've missed quite a few
and the guilt I have accrued
has been great
but to tell you the truth
I don't like weddings
they make me feel strange
and out of place. 
I never know what to wear
or what to say or what to do
I just hang about awkwardly
and wait till it's through
I just wait for the
Muslim equivalent of 'I do'
before zipping on out of there
this much is true.
But I'm sorry still
I should have gone against my will
and cancelled those 'important plans' 
I had made
and instead been there for you 
on your big day.
I didn't realise how much I missed you
and your blue eyes
until I saw you today
after nearly a year (and a half)
I hope you're happy dear
I really do
and I hope life works out for you
through and through.
With love


Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji'un
Truly, to God we belong and truly, 
to Him we shall return.
So stand firm, daughter of Adam.
I repeated these words in my mind,
no others words I could find
that would offer me a sense of peace
as I walked away
one last time.

This Old Reverie

Are you there now by any chance?
I glanced inside this old reverie
Because if you are
I'm not that far away
What do you say?

I mean I could easily drop by
just to say hi
...if you like.
And should you ask me to stay
for part of the day,
or for a cup of tea maybe?
Maybe I would...stay

Seeds to Grow

She lives life
as through she's already dead,
And often I find myself
wondering what led
to her to being there.
What fear?
What strife
had rendered life
too much for her to bare?
Such despair!
What was it in her fate
that had led her to this state
that made her lose all hope
and forever mope
And why, I tried
to understand, can't she just let go?
Why can't she just sow
new seeds, the seeds she needs
to grow?  

Hey Kid

If only one person would say
hey kid, you've made the right decision
you had a vision
and you went after it.
So what, if you didn't hit
the mark.
You tried, and that's good enough...

Life on Repeat

Ever feel
like you're living
the same day
over and over again?
will these wounds heal?
will I feel
whole again?
Or am I cursed
with the worse
kind of memories
the kind that won't
fade away?
Will I one day
go insane
like those kids
on roaccutane?

Christmas Parties

I must confess
I hate Christmas parties
and I avoid them like the plague
vaguely I remember one
and it was not fun.
See I'm not about that life
drinking, fornicating and with a knife
stabbing at a vital part of myself-
the soul cries, the heart slowly dies;
wise are those who give them a miss
for it is they who minimize the risk
of rendering themselves fools- 
rule yourself: mind, body and soul. 
I saw it once, written on a toilet wall:
'Slaves of earthly desire
are we destined for the fire?'

Man Versus Machine

Man, I'm just so damn tired
of forever being wired
to this godforsaken wireless world
of unreality.
Here I await a fatality
Here I await my finality
Here, in this banality
I live, in this maddening
wireless world

In this wireless world
to connect is to forget
what living means
as a human being
screams all around,
so much noise, but no sound
no real sound, can be found
in this unreality

And in the absence of the sacred
you can make it by remaining aloof,
let loose, unplug,
to remove yourself from the system
and to find your own wisdom
from above or within
is to win, in this war
between man and machine
to be free, to see

Fight for it,
a life outside this crazed
wireless world of unreality...

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Two Friends

I once knew
two Muslim men
back when
I worked in Clapham
and it just so happened
that one was from Bosnia
and the other was from
Sierra Leonne
and both were known
to be best of friends.

They would play tennis together
whatever the weather
and they asked me often
to come and watch them
I never did

But these two friends
would often lend
me the best of advice,
they sure were wise
and they had much in common
as children
neither had learned to pray
but now, both would often say

Time went by
and soon they went their
separate ways
it fazed, me.
The way paths often collide
but only for a while
we all part ways
eventually and always.
And no one stays-