Three Poems

by Tabish Nawaz


As the fingers caress
new leaves sprout out of the eyes
weeping the sunlight,
garnishing – with the greenish glow.
The mouth – wet with the shadows – turn into a cave,
the Oak tree billowing out
its twigs painting itself over the forehead
of the rising sun.
The bough trembles
like lips – smiling – on the sad faces
twisted and locked, probing empty spaces
to burrow in,
to lit up and burn – the bodies – into ashes.
The heart an iceberg
floating to break
wreak havoc
its tip visible like a bloody nose
making love an exercise
in psychoanalysis believing
the sum total of the bodies – the anatomy – would bare the soul
make it.

Inside out

Many loves bubble in the heart
new chasing old – as would one predator
another – from its territory.
The rivers binge on civilization,
slurping the periodic table whole,
lose pace
like memories with regrets turn into bogs.
The plants poison themselves
protecting from a herd
of gluttonous goats – chewing the gut away.
The blood caking their beards crimson stalactites stabbed into
the breast of eternity spilling time drop-by-drop.
The horns – long unused – bob
into existence as a swan song sweetening
in blood.
A flock of herons – white on garrulous green
crumpled like balls
of my many incomplete letters
lying in the corner of the weekly routine and schedule.
The frenzy of sunlight warming a cold summer
configuring the body into an arrangement of feelings
moving and yet still
like one of a blind person’s
housing the world within inhabiting everywhere.

Tabish Nawaz teaches Environmental Science and Engineering at IIT Bombay. He has recently published his first short story collection Opening Clouds, Fermented Rain (Hawakal). His poems, essays and short stories have been published in The Critical Flame, Shimmer Spring Anthology, Ethos Literary Journal, The Punch Magazine, The Conversation, Indian Review, The Bangalore Review, Flash Fiction Magazine among other venues.

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