Your Memory

In my memory of you, you’re alive
Even when I have accepted our fate

Whenever I am asked of you, my love
Your shadow lingers in the proximate

Along with your name that is left with me
There are lovely echoes of your voice

And with the illusion of your warm smile
There’s kept the shine of your peerless eyes

Sometimes, it feels as if it’s the first day
Of my very submission in your love

Yet sometimes, it feels you’re too far away
Out beyond the palisade of my love

This oscillation is quite troublesome,
More of this affliction I’ve yet to bear

So many places with your memory
Do brim, and to wander there I fear

Though your memory can be visited
It is impossible to live in it

These fragments, these shivers of my heart
Are mere lifetimes enclosed in a minute

© Zubair Ahsan

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The Complaint to God

How erroneous are all my wishes?
When I ask for the things not meant for me

How mistaken, then, are all my complaints?
When I do not get what’s not meant for me

With the freedom of will, You’ve given me,
The freedom of effort is in my hands

And when I put all my efforts on things,
You remind me; success is in Your hands

So now, if I were to wish of something
I would not ask You for the thing itself

Instead, I would ask You for what is meant
Yet choose and work towards them by myself

And if I don’t achieve what I’ve wanted
I would not complain, for it is futile

But I’ll be grateful for what has become
For efforts, although failed are still worthwhile

© Zubair Ahsan

Melancholy

The dusk changes into eternal night
They are forgotten; the subjects of grouse

The once-silent oceans begin to scream
And by the cold winds, all the flames are doused

While in this dwelling of melancholy
One wonders why the clouds have failed to pour

Or why the fragrance of flowers is lost
Or why the crowds aren’t noisy anymore

Then one remembers what has brought him here,
What has been the cause of this mere sadness

The moments spent with the beloved are
Why, today, there is a loneliness

The eyes that illuminated this world
Are now gone to light up this sheer darkness

And the heart that used to beat endlessly
Has grown tired because of a hopelessness

But one dare not forget why he’s alive
Or that like joy, sorrow does have an end

And this life is so full of miracles
That nothing really matters in the end

© Zubair Ahsan

Autumn

Here approaches the season when leaves fall
To remind us; nothing lasts forever

And this still melancholy is a sign;
It’s the end of all previous endeavors

By footsteps taken on hues of decay
A scent satisfies this restless spirit

By the sunshine on this cage of sadness
A flame too deep inside is again lit

As the wind carries with it the dead leaves
Somehow, it is both gloomy and pleasant

Like the memory of a beloved
Who, for some reason, is here and absent

And as this year smiles for the final time,
Through breezes bidding all the old adieu

Taking away what seasons ere had grown,
It brings new stories to happen to you

© Zubair Ahsan

Moving On

I’ve been here before many times, my love
Where I would miss what we could not be,

Where I’d miss my sadness in your eyes,
Where I’d miss the way you’d smile at me

But here, I’d tell myself to carry on
Or be met by a sign that points at you

But not this time, my love, I am afraid
For I’m choosing to stay away from you

For there are other sorrows in life
Than the sorrow of unrequited love,

For there are other comforts in life
Than the comfort of your requited love

The trick to life is to never be burnt
But to keep burning to have truly lived

And this very alchemy you have done
Is a gift, a real beloved can give

I don’t need to be happy to have lived
When I am just so comfortably numb,

When even in my loss I have but won,
When I’m satisfied with who I’ve become

© Zubair Ahsan

When Pain Comes

Each pain’s a messenger I must not miss
So please do keep me awake when they come

Let me listen while they seduce me
While they break the barriers to wisdom

And in the winter of this chosen pain
Let my wounds run dry and cold one by one

Let my beloved visit me where
I am lying in the compassion’s garden

And when I have no more love to offer
Don’t let me depart, for I won’t be done

For I’m afraid, all my songs won’t be sung
And I’ll lose this battle ere it’s begun

And maybe now I should plead to God but
Tell me when was I not pleading to Him?

May I be fearless in facing my pain
May I shine when the roof of stars is dim

© Zubair Ahsan

The Silence of Night

Listen, my friend, my only confidant
I have to tell you, in love, what is lost

There is a little breath left in me
In the aftermath of paying this love’s cost

When a wound is being healed it starts itching
And with some scratching, I reopen it

For there’s some hope behind the scratching;
A mistaken attempt at curing it

When I am drunk on life’s satisfaction
There is but a great absence inside

For the sight of beloved is stolen
From the depths of my heart where it lied

Had I known what was in my beloved’s heart
My pursuit would have been a success

Now there is only pain and sorrow
To share with you, my friend; the night’s silence

© Zubair Ahsan