At the Foothills

At the Foothills

I gather my summer dreams
tuck them in yearning
for winter — my savior
at the foothills

hauling a burden of sanity
I wander uphill,
my delirious memories rest
at the foothills

a weaver worries, will
pashmina slip through a razor-wire knot?
At dawn, colored threads tremble on my fingers
at the foothills

a robin beckons me
I walk, stumble, walk as moss
embraces a stone’s heart in silence
at the foothills

Ripples knit an intricate river of longing
one-knit-one-purl — the yarn berserk,
like Habba it wanders in frenzy
at the foothills

Naseem sings from heaven, ‘vasak na yar-bali’
(a muezzin’s dream)
I struggle to climb
at the foothills

I sing ‘mei nou yem daag tchalee;’
strangled songs grow a lump in my throat
graveyards creep over courtyards
at the foothills

each night I sculpt to conquer a mountain of Hope;
barefoot, traverse anxious landscapes,
find myself waiting again, every morning
call out, ‘Moses?’

I Am I Am Not

Before I shut my ears to the last gasp of faraway ships,
close my eyes to specks of light 
from within or without, I forget…

I think of us all fighting the dark
yet resigning to closure, letting
our stubborn wounds fester, singing elegies to existence, defying

borders of meaning, interpreting
geometry of glances, trying to recollect

memories of the womb. I imagine us
doubting, for instance, the positioning

of our hearts— right side, or left side?
Suddenly, our eyes submit to silly thoughts—

our childhood mittens,
or the attic where all ghosts lived
now in our minds, nothingness invades.
We draw

curtains to block the last light, hoping not to see
yet another morning I think of us staring at the ceiling, tossing

in bed, turning our heads,
trying to separate God
from Thought,
Womb from Absurd, I am from I am not.

Uzma Falak’s documentary film, ’till then the roads carry her,’ was released in September 2015. An emerging Kashmir poet writing in English, she blogs for the Oxford-based ‘New Internationalist.’

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