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Aftab Yusuf Shaikh
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A DAUGHTER (English Ghazal)

by Aftab Yusuf Shaikh

 

 

Is there no one to ask me the Matter?
Does nobody care to make me feel better?

Just your name, it is my beloved Lord,
consoling bliss in the air that does scatter,

Alas! This misery in your last love parchment,
Ah! That beauty of the first ever love letter!

My blood on the walls proves your crime,
what story is writ by this bloody spatter.

Aftab! Beware it’s just a body for you, but
for someone it is all honor, a daughter.




ROJO

by Aftab Yusuf Shaikh

 

An irreligious pebble struck
my temple
while another crooked one
asked out my skin.

Some pulled me by
my forelock,
the way God will pull them
on the Day He will judge.

An woodcutter
offered his axe for
my slaughter, while a

Farmer presented his sickle.
Small kids jeering from the crowd
hitting me with very small
stones that hardly harm the skin.
But these smallest ones hurt
the most for I was
keeping hopes with those young lambs.
They were now scaring me
with the prospect of an
ugly tomorrow.

The hotly scorching grains of sand
burning my skin,
destroying my human form,
my last offering to her
in her very favorite color,
red-
blood.




THE THANKLESS WIFE’S JUNE

 

by Aftab Yusuf Shaikh

 

children from the houses

to her left and right, call her,

aunty!

and she longs someone someday

call her mother!

 

in the first rains of june

she fries for them delicacies

and plays with them on her porch,

 

as soon as the rains empty their fill,

as soon as the clouds drift away,

the streets are filled with children

children of other men and women.

and how she admires their

playful shrieks,

their toying with pebbles and marbles,

the sinking of their paper boats,

and how she discerns and despises

the emptiness of her house, where

she cannot hear

even the flap of a dead leaf.




 

 

Aftab has been writing in English as well as Hindi and Urdu for more than a decade and has been published around the world in a number of journals like Muse India, The Barefoot Review, The Istanbul Literary Review, The Red Fez Journal, Zygote in my Coffee, Gloom Cupboard, Kritya Poetry Journal, Frogpond, etc. His works have also been published alongside esteemed names in anthologies like The Dance of the Peacock, Before There Is Nowhere To Stand, Malala, World Poetry E-Anthology, etc.  He is currently pursuing his Bachelors in English Literature and Psychology from the University of Mumbai.

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