Paradox of a Drowned River-Flower

~ a dark love poem ~

Copperplate etching by author ‘Seascape’

You said

in voice infirm,

sight ravished by too

many suns and

glimpsed chimeras,

nothing is forever.

I walked a chained walk

on a scorched immaculacy,

shattered splashes of

yesterday’s innocence.

And I was left with

a sharded sun

black flowers and

severed arms of a dead wind.

With the patience of a sphinx

I waited.

Ate only husks.

lived on errant breaths.

But all those abstentions?

to no avail.

A vanished you

wears me like a shadow.

I want you to

dip me again in

shimmered hope

anoint my cheek with stars


The Woman Who Would Be Mother

~ though we did not share a womb ~

Portrait of the Author as a young child

It’s dusk.

“Come child, sit”

she’d say.

Wood fire

clay courtyard

small and damp

smell of which

sits in my soul

like aromatic earth

even today.

My Ayah’s lap

a cradle

like no other

a cradle of cloud,


and simply

griddle-smell mother.

I dream I’m safe in

sandy warmth of

goose flesh arms

which throw a cordon

against night fears.

Which mother

picks flesh

off her own rib cage

so that

her child might eat?

“Here eat,”

she says

week after week as

she serves up a

precious goat chop

Ghosts of a Lost World

~ and we must live ~

Image credit: Pixabay

The outside world.

Do red and purple neon signs pierce hazy skies, still, and roadside cafes animate the night? Can laughter be heard as girls, buoyed by sunshine, excitement and expectancy walk to school? Is there really a world left out there? I will answer my own questions. There is. But not the one we lived in, forty odd days ago.

It is a mansion with Doric columns, a sweeping driveway and rolling lawns a little too overgrown. And in it, I am holding myself captive with the woman I wronged.

We go about…

A Love Story

Image Credit: Pixabay

Her eyes were closed, his open, and between the woman and the man, ghost screams rose, and like thin long birds that break their beaks against cracked mirrors, flapped around, then settled to roost in the disquiet of an abandoned citadel of silence. Both lay at the edge of an empty space, their grief-seared backs towards it. Bodies held taut as though the tiniest movement would hurtle them into an abyss from which there was no return — the damning acknowledgement of absence. But it was only a sliver of space on a tattered mat in a poor fisherman’s hut…

Exile in Egypt

~ Cairo, day one of two years ~

The Pharaonic goddess Nut (night sky) public domain

Like shards of crystal slanted with gold, dragonflies hover and hasten in green clouds of an ancient Ficus more a terraced geographical feature than an arboreal entity, they dart and skim then dance down to sip cool waters from a pool undisturbed but for a frivolous butterfly flapping by on creamy wings or fat blonde wasps tipsy on sap as they hum and bumble in from dusty mango trees… meanwhile pyramids shift and shimmer in heat waves raised by a geometry of tumbled limestone blocks imbedded in which are marine fossils —…

Give Me a Vulture Any Day

~ On some things I am clear ~

‘The Wounded Deer’ Frida Kahlo

and I will not go quietly

I judge the murderer

I judge the rapist

I cannot

judge a woman

or a victim

who kills a tormentor.

The anguished know —

within shadows



gems die

everyone hears

no one hears.

They know —

pain recedes

gathers force,

a great big bullock

rising from a swamp

then attacks,

but we

framed in outcast


we all stand


like hairs

on a dried paintbrush.


bristle with


lines of compassion


if not totally erased.

Watered-down spines


wan seductions


Broken In My Own Wholeness

~ an unlove poem ~

Alan_Henderson on Pixabay

Cleanse yourself

cleanse yourself


cleanse my own perfection?

All I am not,

you want


in your own

crumbled edifice

lie tired counted hours.

To purify perfection?

It’s mine to keep.

I was broken.

Yes, broken,


but in my own wholeness.


in my palm

come from a world


Mistaken sir,

you are mistaken.

A disfigured hunger

lopes inside you.

Fire-like words

are not redemption

only betrayal.


bitter smiles the day

as sharded jugular

snakes around

your veins

then onto

a scorched lucidity

— yours.

I shed my heart

but see…

My Life, An Illusionist Graph

~ and every day, new axes ~

Image on Pixabay by IvanTamas

Love’s little deaths

shed burnt flowers,

melted stars

rind and pulp

at my door

and I come alive

again and again.


of up and down lines,

— a daily graph

I must live by —

cannot hide leopard

contours of love that

breathe on your face,

my life.

Every day new axes,

an illusionist graph.

You think I’m so easily duped?

I am splashes of sun

on timelike waters

I dance to heartbeats

passion naked,

again and again.

Catch me if you can.

In a lifetime


Farida Haque

Multimedia artist, writer, poet. ‘Celebrating other lives, I am a sparrow in the shadow of a rosebush...’

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