“I don’t create poetry, I create myself, for my poems are a way to me.” — Edith Södergran
the songs are screams inside now and the hollow men are preaching on media smiles are few but they have not disappeared completely in these times of hysteria can one tell the difference between sanity and insanity so sing dance smile cry and tell me you are not ok and I’ll tell you neither am I nor are the flowers without touch or the grass without bare feet I’m measuring my hours by the cold april which was warm once and the jhumka baal that has grown wild nights are long days longer what day is it today where did I misplace my glasses when did I last see you~
“In the dark times Will there also be singing? Yes, there will also be singing. About the dark times.” ― Bertolt Brecht
i have taken to walks in my lawn and some yoga on the mat alternating them for a routine can be tiring in these times. sitting after dark am reminded of brecht and other writers of years of reading for i am unable to read these days. but grateful for much. the stars can be seen after a long time. city is quiet and i can’t and don’t want to complain. just being. just being.
i have lost count of days and dates. it’s not a surprise. i needed many alarms and checks to keep myself on track with the outside world before this lockdown happened. i know whuhun happened sometime in December 2019 but the new years night was a brilliant blast with my girls, while my boys were home. and then january I vaguely remember as a burst of adrenaline off and on with my new work beginning with clients. helping them understand themselves helped me understand much of myself. I don’t remember February very well; it was acutely ,achingly painful but march i remember as the beginning of a darker tunnel than the one i live in…
so I’ll date this day as any you want to,if you are reading this, because you must be alone too. and what day of the week it is, does not matter anymore.
what matters then?
were our lives meaningful only when sorted out by days and clocks. tick tocking our lives into compartments. even there, i did not have anything in common with anyone. my life is not sorted into hours and days. like that day my first born came into my life; i remember the labour of cajoling him into this world wad so long that I lost track of what day i came to be admitted and what day i left. he didn’t want to come into this world without breaking my being and my heart. and we stayed in the hospital for i don’t know how many days. they call it two weeks but i call it whatever number of days it took to place my sense of self and being far from myself.
so, how does it matter if we are locked down. we were never free.
inch by inch we recoil into ourselves and for many its terrifying. for me,it is comforting. i do not have to function. I can just be.
I raise my glass to this moment and say cheers to that moment that broke me from time and space. happy birthday son
thinking is a curse but feeling is a worse one i admire your unadulterated functional self.
you walk around without pieces falling out of you and when you sit you are all one body. nothing falls out of place and nothing is allowed to enter without your permission. and i… i cannot fathom touching you beyond the walls.
the other night the moon shone bright over my lake… it did not have to ask me for my permission…
nor the breeze this morning. we have unexpected weather and the elements know they need no permission from an overly emotional, non functional self. so they unadulterated, pass in and out of me. i flop into chairs nearest or lie down preferably. you continue in the
perfection of an hour and then another; holding our world together while i fall to pieces… sometimes ill leave my heart at the window, or my hand at the teacup. at other times it will be my gaze or my voice… which can be very cumbersome to trace back.. it will be with a thought or a memory and ill chuckle to bring myself back to the moment…
اکیلا تھا کسے آواز دیتا اترتی رات سے تنہا لڑا میں محمد علوی ~
the feeling of being alone is not new but when i add isolation to it, as the trend is with the lockdown, the meaning changes from a choice to being imposed to being alone.
even then, i would not concede to feeling despair.
reading at least six books at one time, the concentration keeps flipping sides. the urgency to write impails itself deep inside but it has still not found it’s way out.
everyone is waiting.
there is no hurry anymore.
was sitting outside and the quiet allowed me to hear the grasshoppers after years. I thought they had left while their voices were only drowned in the sin of human chaos. somewhere I heard a gate being locked, and at another distance a cat purred.
after all is done and the day folds itself into another night, it seems everything is calm. within and without.
a slight breeze is forever present now.
the sky is blue and the trees are a dense green. nature is healing in the absence of human beings. that it has taken sickness and death for it to heal is sad indeed, to a certain extent. but how much of nature and wildlife has died for the pleasure of mankind… I think the count is endless.
tell me how the sun sets on your side of the world or how the pandemic keeps you awake with thoughts crawling like ants do you wait for the first streak of light too but what for? I’ll tell you why I wait- so I can watch the last worm burrow into earth’s hiding before the
maali comes and cleans up its markings i lie next to the window and watch birds fly by, free and at will. and I do not envy them. they have waited centuries for this time, have they not? and i have seen human beings walk arrogantly this earth they own not.. so now, we wait~
I’ve never been good at remembering dates or days. more of a habit than an evasion. so I am checking the calendar to see how many days has it been that I fell sick. that is the time the world went under a lock down one after another. Lahore went into a partial and then complete lockdown with exceptions as they say; grocery stores, pharmacies , hospitals, of shops of necessary evils are open. But the majority of shops and malls are all closed. I am wondering how the women and some men are managing not spending their money on stuff without which they are surviving even now. coffee shops are closed so that major chunk of the society; the young and ambitious are at home too. I would be lying if I said I am not happy. I am elated to see there is not a sound of a car or a motorcyclist irritatingly passing by. deep down inside I was sick of the traffic and the shopping and madness!!
so if we stay under partial lockdown for the rest of our lives, I’d be insanely happy.
so I went off the topic I was going to pen down. I fell I’ll on the Friday they locked down the city. and I have been on the bed since. I have been incapacitated before; illness and I are allies but this one has been long or maybe it feels lingering. It humbles me always to be ill and then to be well again. I always look at everything with a new sight. I watched the sky yesterday when I was able to go out on the balcony and sit for a few minutes and listen to the stillness. it was a feeling of being drunk on silence. I could hear ludovicoeinaudi play in the sky Seven Days Walking
the paneeri I had planted was sprouting now. life continued.