Another bleak day reddens,

This famished  land,

Where life has lost its sanctity.

Some broken hearts bleed,

Even though spring spreads

Its green charms all around.

I am desperate to find,

A convincing reason

Behind the sad state of affairs..

I try and try,

Just like I have been doing,

All these years of my life..

Yet I find myself alone,

Along with my ideals,

And nobody understands me.

I look high above,

At the grey sky,

And pray to God Almighty.

Nothing stirs up there,

And the stealthy silence,

Adds more to my heartache.

While crazy men and women,

Think I have gone mad,

Saying I am not practical.

I feel left out more than ever,

In my honest quest

For some buried hidden treasures.

Peace, amity and true love

Lie covered in dusty cobwebs,

In unknown and untraced sepulchres.

Chips, Coke and a smile,

All these things I shared,

Even when I was just a child.

I like chocolates,

And strawberry cones,

Yet I keep craving for sweetness.

I understood misery,

And why my parents’ worried --

And never asked for pocket money.

I had schoolmates,

Joshua, Yasmeen and Saneela,

Since mother got me Cinderella.

And I even loved a girl,

Who was the best of them all,

And she is still my Daphne.

She liked hyacinths,

And I used to collect them,

Often during lunch break at school.

Her soul still hovers around,

And makes itself felt intensely,

By its discernable physical absence.

Daphne is still the rhythm,

Of my death-like existence,

Her divine music still soothes me.

Father has gone but mother is there,

With my three sisters and brother,

Professing how much they love me.

Friends too are within reach,

Especially Shazi* and Adnan*,

They are the best of the ones I have.

And time mocks me treacherously,

As I toil for a living,

Oft seeking respite in music.

Often, when I am with just myself,

And feel awfully lonely,

That’s when I pine most for Daphne.

There are many girls and women,

Pretty and quite appealing,

But for me there's none like Daphne.

To carry on the days without her,

Without her presence by my side,

Is, in short, Karmic punishment.

Of course there is this special lady,

Who gave me birth and who nurtured me,

And now her old age needs me most.

Then there are my three children,

Who are still dependent on me,

And I must live to provide for them.

And all these groups of people,

Do all they can to keep proving,

How much all of them do love me.

Yet I miss my favourite schoolmate,

And all her selfless love for me --

-- Beyond compare is my Daphne!

This drudgery of forced existence,

This monotony of surviving,

Is a pact I must honour till I die.

And I cannot shake myself off,

Nor can I give up my ghost.

Because my Daphne smiles at me:

She implores me to carry on...

And just like I collected hyacinths,

I have to keep myself going...

Only Adnan and Farhan comprehend,

The torment crushing me deep within –

-- My deathlike living -- sans my Daphne.

O God, Lord of all the worlds!

O Creator of life and death!

Please send back Daphne to me.

I won’t ask for anything more,

If you could do me just this favour:

If you could give me back my Daphne!

Author's Notes/Comments: 

Produced in Karachi, Pakistan, on the 1st of March, 2009.

*JOSHUA, YASMEEN AND SANEELA: My school friends.
ADNAN JAFFAR: My friend in Karachi.
*SHAZI: Shehzad Latif, my best friend.

*FARHAN: Farhan Jamalvi, my friend in Karachi...since 2007.
DAPHNE...my schoolmate and the girl who loved me selflessly and who still keeps haunting me...Also read other poems about her.

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palewingedpoetess's picture

To share such deep interior emotional wounds and with such lovingly paced skill of your word metering is as moving to read as it it is heartbreaking. The human heart is capable of loving so deeply even with such wide jagged gouges slashed so viciously deep in one's very being. Reading your poems for me was like watching the torture of a turtle forced to roam the earth without its protective shell. Without clothing how does one survive a harsh winter ah but without love how does one survive life. You, my dear tortured sir, offer up a blue print of sorts. You stand knee deep in a polluted river crying water, water everywhere but none for me to drink. Part of your beauty is your valiant attempts to patch up your still open and bleeding wounds. Your unfailing hope is a glorious attribute to your ageless appeal. you know who!......... so why type it? laughs