Musical Fantasy

The piano keys keep playing in my mind, 

it's all on a great giant gorgeous rewind,

of all the time we had that so was so short, 

every new song i try to deport your memory,


but the addiction is still there like a giant cut,

it's a damned door dancing freely open that i can't shut,

it's a the wind that wails wistfully away,

notes never kneeling, dancing on piano keys, I can't say, 


my peaceful sleep i can't keep,

medication or counting sheep, 

there you are and i remember regretfully,

why i stopped listening to music so frequently, 


30 and frozen at 15, where the magic still flows,

i'll only be released when time knows 

allows for my story to continue onward onward 


it's just a moment, a flash, and i worry 

that you aren't full of happiness anymore 


and here i am in a musical fantasy. 

Author's Notes/Comments: 

It's poorly constructed but I suppose that could just reflect my state of mind right now. 



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That Old Beige Yankees Cap

That Old Beige Yankees Cap, not very sure when it was supposed to be on top of my grandpa’s head, sometimes at the park, sometimes at the backyard, sometimes just going for groceries, but it never disappointed when we went to my grandpa’s ranch. This cap isn’t new or from a nice brand, it doesn’t have a crazy design; matter of fact I don’t even know where it came from, but one thing was certain about it: it always put my grandpa in a good mood, as if it was his lucky charm. We used to go to my grandpa’s ranch several times a year, there I had my first outdoor adventure, my first starry night, the first time I rode a horse, the first time I tasted beer, when I was scared of the wary “invisible” monsters of the night, or when I felt the strongest kid alive by lifting some (not so big) logs for the fireplace; jumping from joy or shaking in fear, one thing was certain for me in that ranch: that old beige Yankees cap man would be by my side. Despite of the obvious baseball passion my grandpa had, I never quite understood the reason of his New York Yankees fanaticism, however he always swore on them; I think that is the reason why he used that old beige Yankees cap as if it was the only cap he had, which I know it wasn’t the case because I myself gave my grandpa more than 10 caps so that he could give his outfit a little update. He never wore any of those caps, or any cap for that matter, other than his beloved one. I never had the chance to ask my grandpa: where did you got that cap? How old is it? Why is it so special to you? Why do you always wear it? It doesn’t matter; what matters is that my grandpa loved it. Every time I picture my grandpa that cap is on his head (with that funny slight tilt he always wore it with) as if it had glued onto him forever. After grandpa passed away, and his possessions were divided among family members, I could’ve chosen his fishing rod, his knife collection or even his fine watch; I don’t know why, if I hate baseball, if I was fed up with it, but of course: I chose that old beige Yankees cap.

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Sweet Memories Evade Me

My eyes were addicted to falling leaves and sunsets

Manufactured homes and suburban monoliths

My neighbourhood friends

Riding my bike

Being driven down highway roads at night

The scent of the hallways in my elementary school

Cracks in the sidewalk

And optometrist waiting rooms

Going somwhere new on excursion days

My aunt taking me to video game arcades

Finding four leaf clovers and hidden backyard flowers 

Jumping on trampolines and watching cartoons for hours


The faces of my youth

The friends that loved me

Gone from my life

Now a sweet memory

Author's Notes/Comments: 

Life felt beautiful.

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The moment entered I the academia,

Encircled my mind was by nostalgia,

It seemed to me, speaking candidly,

As if the trees, the lakes etc. were calling me.


The same as before was the dove’s calling,

Except for the statues, the newly formed buildings,

More aesthetic the milieu does appear now,

How time does fly wondered I, how?


The memories let us live on,

Aren’t we dead when they are utterly gone?

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Remembering Rawalpindi Medical College (RMC)


Slowly, I leaf through the pages of

“Prof. Latif’s retirement special”;

With best wishes says the autograph

The year 1987.


His professional life, his achievements’ height

He’s long gone, like many others but memories

Are still fresh as the forest’s night


I feel the tug of 'that' invisible line,

That runs from my past,

From a place called RMC.


Extending way back through the corridors,

Looking past lecture doors

Brushing, the anatomy and physiology posters,

I drew then

Now hung on the walls.


I trace it round the dissecting hall.

Its desiccated bodies and formalin soaked specimens.

Bunked lectures and youthful shenanigans


Hanging out at the corner kiosk

Or playing cool in the college canteen


The line has never been forgotten.


But it gets covered, with day-to-day routines

Now, we have taken different roads,

Moving in different directions.


We read Facebook conversations,

Click through nostalgic pictures,

Yearning that youth, that young face:

That young feeling


The line has gaps in between, when we have been,

On several other journeys;

Operated in foreign theatres

Run clinics away from home...

Laughed and shed a tear, held a hand,

Solaced some one’s sad and untold fear.

Thinking do we need the line


Nostalgia has its own specific charm,

Smiles, unspoken words, tears,

All gather to form a new sphere,


40 years on it connects us

Extending from that old building

Connecting its countless souls

Synchronised with our heartbeats



It becomes visible


Author's Notes/Comments: 

Our 40th Reunion, I am planning to read it to my colleagues. I hope it stirs the same emotion I have experienced writing it.


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December Sky

When the bitter December air blows and the girl

screams on the street corner, a Christmas list of dreams and demands

in her unrelenting grip, a bit homesick, though she is young,

wishing her poppa hadn't drifted so far

from who he was when she was born.


When at school the boy had day dreamed of staying home

and keeping the door closed--

now amidst his mother's disillusioned cries to be understood

and the solace of the radio in his room,

he imagines himself singing "Blue Christmas" like Elvis

and impressing all the kids at school.


When the young woman pulls a tray of chocolate chip cookies

from the oven and turns on the television,

wishing there was someone there to share them

and so she opens the window and smells the night,

the snow approaching with the wind from beyond the moonlight.


And the young man strikes the guitar strings with fingers

cold to the bone, a tragic tale sung in every note

but his heart beats warmly and echoes up the street

along the cool walls of every home

in search of something kind


underneath the December sky.  


A new day, another

just like all the rest

except that as I lay my eyes upon it

I can see the sunrise with clouds just so,

hues that never quite existed before,

and I breathe a breeze

as new as the skin in which I stand,

although it still feels just like it always has


as far back as I can remember.  

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"Smoke Stacks"

The first rays of morning

awoke the churches and hills

as the smoke stacks expelled

their vapor as aviators of the skies.


Our footsteps along the tracks

sent echoes through the forests,

calling the oak and sycamore

to rise from their patient rest.


Paradigms of steel and wood,

Shake the earth beneath our feet,

calling my name as they

did so many years ago.


As the sun rose above forests,

Above mountains, above nations,

I turned to watch the smoke stacks

As they exhaled for a final time.

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Poking Around

Do you remember when we would get drunk, and I would feel your naked body

All the parts that I like

And you would be open allwhere and I'd be there

Poking around?


Then in the day I would talk about beautiful things with the people who offered a rip in themselves

Or talk beautifully about things

Or talk about things

Or talk.


And I would walk for awhile and imagine myself wherever I please

Pretending here and there

With honor melting from the world and into me and only me

So when we met again we were strange and new

And it would be time to drink again

So you and I could be open allwhere

And poke around.

Author's Notes/Comments: 

There was a time in my early 20s when I was so full and so empty at the same time, living in cold water apartments, sleeping in bathtubs, fucking and pretending, and going to college.  I've lived at sea now for a few years and sex and seduction are more and more becoming distant memories.  This poem is about a strange time when one could be naturalistic without being ineloquent, and heartfelt yet unsentimental, and get away with the grandest prize.  Looking back on it now and writing this, it seems very sad and beautiful and alien and a little evil, and I miss it late at night and early in the morning.

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