Forgotten & Once there was a Garden

by Nosheen Irfan


Once he walked the earth
A face like millions
Had his little share
His meal, frugal
His space, meager
Little did he know
Of love, of pride
Suffering was to him a dog’s bone
It filled the little belly of his life
Small, frail and empty
His world was made of little crumbs
Hurled by chance or by a kind heart
Sometimes day after day
Sometimes time had no count
His feet swept the dirt on his path
Least bothered about the holes
In his shoes and heart
Nothing was all he had
Still he lived, for his heart beat
To the rhythm of mountains and seas
The clouds thundered inside him
And rain lived in his eyes
A poor man!
Forgotten in both death and life.


Once there was a Garden

Pale leaves, frail branches
Shaken by the gentlest hand of breeze
Sparrows return, on a sudden whim to the abandoned nest
Only to leave it again
Worn out and dismayed, I look at the faded sight
Grief swelling in my eyes, memories welling in my heart
Brief and mortal had been the color in my garden
The rosy bloom went too soon
Stolen by the unknown thief
Or perhaps the flowers withered of their own accord
From lack of sleep or a caring hand

Now I stand alone, at the edge
Not having the heart to tread the yellow turf
Left at the mercy of the summer sun
Far too long unlooked-for
Till devastation crept in and fragrance was blown away
As the winds of change came on tiptoe
The closed eyes and the blind heart
Taken by surprise, turned away from the spectacle of decay
Out of indifference or apathy, I cannot say.

I dream of stars no more
Neither does the garden think of bygone days
The moon casts its shadows no more
Neither do the plants cry from thirst
Settled into melancholy of solitude
We have become one
Bound together in life and death
Without expectations and hopes
From pleasure to pain, we have travelled side by side
And though I can hear the garden moan
When the night is silent as death
I don’t care any more
I don’t stir, I don’t reach out
Because it’s my voice I hear inside every scream.
“Once there was a Garden” it sighed.

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