gatherings lost in known things—
men, women, children,
by time or willful wish,
split into pieces.
eyes filled with glistening sadness,
pouring pearls, turning edges round—
lips wearing forever-frown.
an echo of sighs and woes,
wrinkled skin like a crumpled rug,
torn and battered from blows of time.
scarred hands and a face carrying dead eyes—
visible to visible and blind to blind.
shivering hands let everything pass,
empty when came and empty when left.
limping limbs and bowed backs;
carrying a burden and carrying on
feet of sores, scalped by walk,
crossing unknown from known.
stages of life cry in cycles;
cradle to dust and dust to grave,
abandoning hope of abandoned love,
going to sleep in a closing cave.
in dust, in water or fire
suffering was only what lay awaiting.
a man, a heart, a love — vanished.
herds of sheep kept grazing,
sitting motionless in a dusty cavern,
unable to draw a single stare.
soul’s worth, love’s worth, life’s worth:
a null world decaying inside out.
(This Poem appeared in the November 2020 print issue of the Mountain Ink.)
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Saliq Parvaiz is a JRF scholar of Convergent Journalism at the Central University, Kashmir.