Worthy of a Ghazal by Rizwan Akhtar
for Tammara Claire
Had the heart been a bird it would have flown
to your courtyard carefully wrapping a ghazal
in a paper drenched in some Arabian aromas
landing on the bricked cope of a rural home
dropping words on your head making you
look for me but my absence is meager in this
world where love is not a panegyric rather
a dirge of nations, of mobs, of oligarchies
latching to thrones but you need not worry
feeding white ducks removing that curl from
your sweating forehead squeezing clothes on
a creaky bucket, let me give you a hand making
another ghazal on your hennaed feet, last night
you smiled through patterns embroiling your
wheatish skin on which I sit like a long memory
but earth-bound I review my majestic plans of
wooing you out of a structure surrounded by
marsh and yelping night-dogs but in my maqta
you appear free and shying, deserving conclusion.
*Maqta is the last couplet in ghazal in which the poet uses his name.
©2019 Rizwan Akhtar
Rizwan Akhtar’s debut collection of Poems Lahore, I Am Coming (2017) is published by Punjab University Press. He works as an Assistant Professor in the Department of English, Punjab University, Lahore, Pakistan. He completed his PhD in postcolonial literature from the University of Essex, UK in 2013. He has published poems in well-established poetry magazines of the UK, US, India, Canada, and New Zealand. He was a part of the workshop on poetry with Derek Walcott at the University of Essex in 2010.