Poetry of Mohammad Zaman

Mohammad Zaman
Poetry of Mohammad Zaman

meandering at the river’s edge

of love and hope and endless sky of high up clouds,
of rain and birds that sing the songs of the best of paradise

that never was, but a blank book of verses with verses
blotted out by some nefarious hands of Godly pretense.

Time warps and cedars live for a thousand year to ink
the story of draughts and plenty; river swells and lovers

walk dry-shod over the waters unto the edges of amorous
pursuit, unbeknownst to the fact that a plectrum is nothing

but a plectrum until a celestial finger is there to pluck
the strings of an eternal lyre. With every stroke the lyre

sends its doodles into the distant edges of a universe,
still an embryo, still the laws of nature to be written.

The river flows into another river, the year ends into another year.
Time ends into time and then to nothing; mathematics of

this nascent universe is still to be written and laws still
to be laid out. Fireflies lit my brain. They fly hither and thither

as if in a quantum soup. Now, tell me, dear, how do I
count my ways, and how do I utter the primordial word to thee?



Let it be said that the sum of the universe is nothing more than
an empty zero; this cedar of sixty years, and the

sun, and the quiet mornings on the Raquette River, and all
the earthly deceptions; fugacity of haptic love and ephemeral roses;

river of time – a game of mind, a brain marred with vision
so blurred; the grammar of nature; of entropy; of deep depression

of Boltzmann; of God. This veined blue ball of ours; a grain
of sand, wherefrom arises these few pounds of a magnificent

mystery; a mushy cryptogram of cosmic pensive; Ah …
My mind meanders in long lost time; in memories; in

zero some fluctuations of my perturbed existence; of things;
of the order of happenings. I wake up in the sun-soaked morning.

I had a dream last night that I can’t remember, but I know
I had a dream. I saw my mother. I wept in her lap. My

Mother is dead, and my father – he is dead; does time has
meaning? Or nothing but a blurred deception. I am reduced.

Am I? My mind meanders amongst the butterflies, in the
garden soil, rich and fluffy – toils of myriad earthworms.



It is a gorgeous morning in the Grand Garden of Nebuchadnezzar.
The radiant princess from Media spreads her fabulous tresses

in the morning sun. Frankincense and myrrh wet the air. Lyre
plays the songs of love; as if Sappho did not die of an intense seizure

of love; enters a tiny titmouse; it flies hither and thither;
its tiny brain is lighted in hunger; it flies topsy-turvy for a feed

of an insect or a morsel of grain; the princess glanced at the
tiny songbird; the bird did not care.

And it was a dream;
“My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings;
Look at my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!
Nothing beside remains, Round the decay
Of the colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.” P.B. Shelley.

Time has stolen the glorious garden of Nebuchadnezzar;
The tiny songbird still searches for an insect; time ingrained

in immortal memory. My mother is dead, and my father too.
Hush! Here comes the firefly with star-light-tail frozen in

night’s darkness; under the cedar tree whence the songbird
sends its loveliest song at my window pane; Ah! Sleep…

And a dream emerges in the unfathomable depth of
my neural existence; amines and cholines dance like

fairy damsels; cometh a star with seven earths and
an earth with seven moons; from the fragrance of

madeleine cometh the memory of Combray; time regained;
a world of flavor slides by like a moving kaleidoscope;

a train of distant time awakens Marcel; through a thousand
years and a thousand pages, he meanders through the alleys;

firefly marches through – the fragrance of distance days;
of childhood memories …

death of a firefly

Sauntering along the twilight edges, I felt a tiny movement on my unkempt hair. With no thought of its own, my hand went on for a fateful reflex – a violent swot. My hand and my hair are splattered with a fluorescent luminescence. I just killed a firefly. ‘Give it an understanding but no tongue’ – immersed in a soft sadness, I felt overwhelmed, although my thoughtless hand and my raven hair, momentarily shined with a deathly luminescence; may be killers of every sort, be a soldier or a lowly murderer spill the blood of others, just to glow a little braver or a little brighter for a single moment…

Beyond the briers and thorns of petty discourse at the campfire, I just wanted to sit idle under the gay moon and see my soul grow taller as the moon declines in the horizon.

This puny little business of ‘living-of-life’ … ah! I just want to be left alone in my own repose…

A few lively fireflies, uncertain of their own destination, flew hither and thither. Loblolly pine standing lone and tall; wind blowing soft on grassy undulations; there was a murmur, yet a pervading sense of silence was plastered into the night’s darkness.

to my father

dream; a serpent slithers through
the horizon opens into a wormhole
I see a lone tree;
standing at the altar of God’s throne

my dream breaks in smithereens,
as if a crystal in a kaleidoscope;
ever changing warping of dimensions
my eyes cry
my heart throbs
I see infinite possibilities collapse
into the Ark of a blessed ‘Utnapishtim’

he is my father
dark and unkind sea
screeching sirens dance with the moon
an Aeolian gloom:

my father walks up to the helm
gently he harps the strings of his broken liar.
he spreads his eyes into the heavens …

my father was a deity;
and my mother – a mortal.

mollusk whisper

a mollusk whisper
a distant thunder
a boorish nothingness
blithe and alive was a faraway sky
a sickle moon and her twinkling maidens
it was a night
darker than a night
hands of an amaranthine clock struck midnight
he holds his own hand and suddenly an antalgic night
dances nimble
and suddenly on a narrow strip of a tsunami-stricken sandy shore
he discovers the ecstasy of the night anew
the Milky Way was never brighter than this
Orion was never this perfect
and the Big Dipper was never better
never had he see that sky like this ever
for the first time, he felt an inundating desire
to hold his own hand
for something deeper
deeper than his deepest breath
for something louder
louder than this yonder ocean
immersed, he felt incorporeal
he danced with the dancing twinkles of the distant stars
full and yet empty
he sang the song the wind and winding surf
he sang the song of the night and of

night’s painted welkin
he sang of the ocean and of its mollusk whisper

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