Summer 2005


Summer 2005



O blue waisted
richly cheeked
wayward gaited
o amber lord of rain
in your welcome no refrain
O blue bod
dusky amór
fair hair locks
O man upstairs of seasonal boon
pour my moon, my lovely monsoon


O within, fill the absence of life with the arrival of two lovely poems
If the lamp of remembrance begins to flicker
fuel it with fill streaming from tacit eyes


men walk around with boisterous laughs
adorning manliness on their sleeves
I walk around with ink-bled cuffs
with laughter rich and smooth as wine
And I too am a man
when women wrote begging to please
others imploring for a night of bliss
I chose my kin who I had loved for years
damning chances lost or cultural costs
And I too am a man
when unexpectedly death knocked my doors
my ailing heart, it ached as never before
I told my beloved who I loved as life
to cry for a year but marry again
And I too am a man


to learn a language, language-less, as a baby
to only have expressions in my heart
and somebody providing the language
and uttering and writing my memoirs
from memory


O my Baa'lum*
not the sleeping of the sounds of night
nor the sleeping of the world around them
it is the falling asleep of swirling voices
whence bellows of your name
O my Baa'lum
unconsciously spring

*Baa'lum-an evocative endearment in kharri boli for husband (as one's beloved) used by women in Kanpur, North India, to call out to their husbands gone on fishing or other trips afar. It is a word phrase in a specific dialect of the hindi language.


the heat of his loins
fun parched foliage veiling
tantalizing mass; the object
of my portrayal betrays me
punctured thoughts
screaming heartless air
I am the fakir with a luxurious flair
I am the student with my heart at sea
I am the poet with no pretense of class
I am the anarchist with no concern of turns
I am fuchsia, looking for my girdle,
melting, to be seized with fruit


celebrating your lavender existence I indulge
in the far ends of your lips and the bottoms
of your eyelids and the parting of your nostrils
and the mean of your under chin and the moisture
over your mammilla nips and the valleys of your
face scape and the jungles of your belfry and the
lobes of your rumpled rimples and the folds of your
furrows and the flows of your estuary with the
darkness of my shaved cast and the roots of my
wizened hands and the kundalini of my spin-less
spine and fragrance of my bathed bod and the
the knotting of my navel and the scales of my
withered woofs and the blurring of my tired eyes
and the folds of my foreskin and the cream of my
abdomen and the puncture of my troubled veins;
I indulge, alas, in your lavender existence celebrating
the freckles of my imperfection.


as I slept the sleep of a feather in flight
with the world below a fallen knight
streaming stars on crescent fields
and guard of night had lost his sight
misguide of good lone he stood
and children cried as children do
and saw it happen as they could
piece by piece piece by piece
peace to pieces
as dimples deepened and trauma hurt
with green fatigues snapping colored alerts
cleaving banyans bursting bedrocks
squashing angst in timely spurts
mute star of simple bad and good
let children cry as children do
couldn't see it happen as they could
piece by piece piece by piece
peace to pieces
as beloved belated and obits spurred
screaming scenes as weather spewed
a pandemonium chord-less struck
a fainéant world doubtless whaled
now bit by bit shrugging Atlas crude
seeking children's smiles as well have should
let feathers return on birds alas
piece by piece piece by piece
piece to peace

* AUTHOR'S NOTE: "The Sufi's Garland is the work of several years of writing and editing the received. It took final shape in the home of the Sufis, Khorazon, Afghanistan. Sixteen years since I started writing poetry while growing up in India, I kept asking for poetry to be written and transferred. Ultimately it took a year of living in Afghanistan and traveling in various parts many times in difficult situations before truths kernelled themselves. The Sufi's Garland is a tribute to Emily, Porchia and Tagore--Sufis that gave garlands to the world without claiming or knowing they were Sufis. Sufis are lovers who do not know requited love for they never seek requite. They are unrequited and loving for the beauty and joy of loving itself knowing fully well that to seek it is to lose it and to seek gaining it is to risk losing that loving feeling without panic that is eternal. The Sufi's Garland is my attempt to align my soul to that eternal yet seemingly ephemeral truth."

Manav Sachdeva Maasoom, 27, is presently wandering in Afghanistan while working there to transfer the ownership of Afghanistan's development back to the Afghan Government. Maasoom studied Poetry and Policy Studies, an independently created field, as a Master's student at SIPA, Columbia University. Maasoom reads and writes poetry in English, Urdu, Punjabi, and some in Persian.



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