LISTENING TO THE NIGHT: POEMS OF INSOMNIA

Meherin Roshanara

1

The madman is scavenging
the crematorium.
I am trying to exhume my dreams.

2

At the end of waiting; light, melting as if
incense from a diffuser.
A sudden burst of wings, the soft breath of song.
I alone am trapped in wakefulness,
my thoughts unable to retreat into their shrouded depths.

3

Birdsong.

I wish I had something to say in return.
But my voice is yet to return from where
it spent the night.

4.

Five dogs are asleep under a laden mango tree.
Sleep is their courtyard.
I am still prowling before its gates.

5.

I am left mapless
on this strange, white road of wakefulness.
Below me, the commuters have already
started to meander, their breakfast packets
sniffed at by the street dogs.

6.

This is strange.
I seem to be trapped
in a nightmare
where everyone is asleep.
Even screams turn into puffs of dark smoke.

7.

Buffaloes are meditating
by the pavement
On their own darkness.
The twisting roads
Seem to be their extensions.

8.

This imposing wakefulness,
is this a memory?
The morning seeping
slowly into me
while the birds scatter
to gather the last ounces
Of darkness.

9.

It’s another summer morning,
progressively brightening to 400C.
I have to dive back into the great
green depths of a soporific memory,
to calm my screaming neurons.

10.

The night has paled yet again,
in the absence of his lover.
Another crinkled day, before
Those footfalls sound near.

11.

Why, has this moment
also been written?
That all the red streaks
and the blue stains
should have conspired
to keep the nightly curtain
pulled tightly apart,
to reveal a woman huddled
on a hapless, white terrace;
her words aching of sleeplessness
and dragging black against the
paper’s stinging brightness.

12

Today, more than ever
having been denied
The night’s soothing quilt,
I remain aware of the maps
In the sky,
Under which I remain dutifully
bound,
A prisoner of coordinates,
lost within.

13.

Are all these darkly birds
Sleep of millions, waiting to
return?

14.

May be, just may be
The night is yet to fall.
This might be another unusually
long daydream.

15.

Trapped into wakefulness,
One must remember to search.
Another Self might be dreaming
amidst the pockets of dark musings;
his breath rising out of the starkness
Like song, from an endless waiting.

Meherin writes in English and Malayalam. Her poems have been published in various ezines and anthologies like Undergroundflowers.com, Indianruminations.com, Aksharam.net, Chintha.com,meherin Roots & Wings (2011), Kaikuddannayilae Kadal (2013) and The Heart Only Whispers (2014). Her other passions are photography, the occult, first edition books and Nature. She resides in Hyderabad and may be reached at meherinroshanara@gmail.com.

 

 

 

 

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