"Mind! I don't mean to say that I know, of my own knowledge, what there is particularly dead about a door-nail. I might have been inclined, myself, to regard a coffin-nail as the deadest piece of ironmongery in the trade. But the wisdom of our ancestors is in the simile; and my unhallowed hands shall not disturb it, or the Country's done for. You will therefore permit me to repeat, emphatically, that Marley was as dead as a door-nail."
~ Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol (1843).
In the lone dark house where men are mended
On the far side
Where things are ended
Virgins sing wide-eyed
Come death dear, come death come,
Come lovely, lovely death come
When you closed your eyes and disappeared
Life became hollow and meaningless
Deader than the doorknobs
Deader than the dewberries
Deader than dead
Where does it all come from?
Where does it go?
The minus the plus
The plus minus - Deader than dead
Words adrift upon the winds:
Nuages = New Age
To vast nowheres in particular
“Brouillard brouillard brouillard brouillard”
Time’s metronome blank
After an Urdu poem by Faiz Ahmad Faiz written in Moscow in 1963.
Stay close to me
My killer, my cherished, stay close
The moment the night crawls
The black night crawls having drunk the blood of the heavens
Carrying a musk balm, carrying a diamond lancet
Arrives mourning laughing, singing
Arrives clinking the crimson anklets of pain
The moment when hearts drowned in bosoms
Begin searching the path of hands hidden in sleeves
And the regression of wine too like children-sobbing
When the peevish agitated ocean doesn’t divert when diverted
When no precept is made when made
When nothing goes
The moment night crawls
The moment the dwindling, dreary, night crawls
My killer, my cherished stay close to me!
Rehan Qayoom is a poet of English and Urdu, editor, translator and archivist, educated at Birkbeck College, University of London. He has featured in numerous literary publications and performed his work internationally. He lives in London. Site: www.rehanqayoom.weebly.com.