In Memoriam (July 2018, Muslim Peace Memorial, Woking, Surrey, UK) © 2018

The saplings are reflected, shimmering in the pool, the calm shallows rippling; 
A little white bird flies suddenly, spectral. 
In this calm and lonely park, in this quiet coppice, the marble tablet glows with that long roll of names;
your name is on it, too, dear uncle Sikandar, along with the rest of that gallant band from two great wars.

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It has been some time

It has been some time, since we spoke in rhyme

my love;

 

And tonight I behold you anew

Burning with your adored endlessness

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JOURNEYING

This journey is never-ending –
And that’s the whole point of it, too, fresh explorations of the self
With every passing moment, every breath that rises and falls,
Sudden illuminations mingled with step-by-step progressions
All grist to the celestial mills.

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Kingfisher (The Mahals, Wah village, 1990)

Note: The memory of Jalal Khan’s humble village has been lost in the palace and serai built close at hand by the Emperor Shah Jehan in 1645…(Griffin & Massy, ‘Chiefs and Families of Note in the Punjab’)

 

Blue dipped with startling accuracy and darted;
‘’Look, a star has fallen!’’, the child shouted-
Dragonflies flitted, enmeshed in translucent skeins;
Dip, dip and flit;
I saw a sudden sparkle of turquoise, caught by sun,
Opaque brilliances radiating cobalt confidence;
Something rose, something silver flashed--fish, beak and bird?

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Lawrence Gardens, Lahore *

After the rain everything seems different.
The road under the jacarandas has
A new border of purple
Pale halos of light 
Encircle the air
Clouds of leaves drop down
From old, gaunt trees, and
Ferns reach out like exiles
To the spectral columns
Of the library;

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