Tuesday, October 23, 2007


Every second edict
in the leaves of my
how to write bible
teaches me to avoid clichés
as if, to use a cliché, they're plagues
but each time she flings "love"
at the end of her sweet nothings
or nobody's forward mails,
the world in my vision blurs
shrinking around the edges
of l-o-v-e's four letters.

© October 23, 2007 Dan Husain

Tuesday, October 02, 2007


Such is the fate
of each and every word
that refuses tonight
to come out of my head;
(as if my arms slithered up my nostrils
and pulped them to death)
laid to rest in a watery grave
stretching from your eyes to your ears.

And then we slept in deathly silence
half loved, half betrayed.

© October 2, 2007 Dan Husain

Monday, July 30, 2007

May I Borrow Some Love From You?

May I borrow some love from you?
I know you've lent it to him.
And no, I am not asking you
to take it back from him.
Just a momentary transfer,
just enough for me
to put a smile on your face.

Saturday, July 14, 2007


I have bartered peace
for a memory of you
and now it wishes me
to put to sleep every thought of you.
I managed a lullaby but
it reads a poem for heartburns.
I wish I had a word for the moment
when skin shed crackles on the desert sand.
I wish I had a word for the moment
when coal instead of blood pumps in my vein.
I wish I had a word for the moment
when heat snivels up my nostrils, melts my brain.
I wish I had a word for the moment
when your silence pours down my gullet as acid rain.
I wish I could barter again
peace for a moment
where our eyes meet and
a sweetness lingers between them.

Thursday, July 05, 2007


I see your face
but it's not there
only my eyes conjuring an image
and no, it's not love
love doesn't make one an artist
it is nothingness that makes one
scratch lines on an empty canvass

Thursday, May 03, 2007

The Bookstore at The Street's End

There is a bookstore at the street's end
that sells the dreams we once dreamed.
I didn't know of it till I walked into it;
and the balding salesman eager, flashed his

wisdom-stained teeth, "Sir! I know
what you want!" His eyes yellow
(No, he wasn't jaundiced, or crackbrained)
acquiring a musty glow, unfeigned

that comes from a lifetime of browsing
through reams of unsought pages. "Nothing!
I'm just curious but what'd you think I want?"
"A book of dreams; dreams that yet taunt

your growing wrinkles, grey hair," he shrugged.
"Really!" I looked askance. Stretching six-feet across
the display gallery, he picked, "Your Dreams - Rich or Macabre."
But astonishingly, the words bedimmed, and in my hands

bore another's name, another claim.
I peered hard, 'Who is the poet? Oh! It is but me!'
"Hey! What may I pay to buy this book?" I asked.
"Nothing! Write and gift us this very book!" said he.

(c) Dan Husain
May 02, 2007

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

We Steal Your Senses: The Initiation

With words we construct
a sarai ten feet by eight,
a river of magic,
fire, blood with
a bridge of smoke,
a building of three tiers
stacked over it
with fairies in it
throwing pearls
at the piranha
in the river of magic –
With words we create
all this and more
on the proscenium
of an auditorium.

But beware!
These are not tales
of horses and mare,
of fairies and angels,
of Lord-smudged gospels.
Here desires heathen
would deepen with
every twist of the tale
that you choose to veil
your senses with –
Your senses Ha!
Like some former lover
are no more
a part of your tale.
Like a bedouin’s loot
in this bazaar of lies and truth
they’re up for sale.

So we wait at the gates
of the kingdom of Afrasiyaab,
the sorcerer supreme,
the king of devils and djinns
before whom sixty-thousand
each with an army
of a hundred thousand
or more
genuflect, kiss his girth,
wash it with their blood.
He, The Arrogant One
whose kingdom
runs from The Upper West Quarter
to The Lower East Trough
even he,
even he bows
to Zammurad Shah Bakhtari,
also Laqa, the ultimate in sorcery
but only a wily old bastard
with fungus in his teeth
and beads in his beard
who sits on a throne
smelling of his own faeces.

Together they fight
Amir Hamzah
The Lord of Conjunction,
before whom the moon
and the sun both bow,
whose valour instills fear
in many who’d kill, tear
with their swords and their spears
and not once show remorse
even they, when they’d hear
his name their pride would run
like a disease from a medicine.

But the point where
we choose to enter –
our senses surrendered –
the point where we
let ourselves be
in this magical world,
this magical world
where the difference
between the real
and the imagined
is perhaps a trick
between the awake you
and your sleeping self,
the point where we enter
is the one where Amar Ayyar,
confidant, friend, chief trickster
Amir’s lieutenant, masquerader
has murdered Mahtaab Jadoo
and has in a jungle taken refuge…

© Dan Husain
March 27, 2007

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

A New Year's Party

That there is room for other conversations too
is a thought, a double-edged sword
for me,
and for you.

My friend on the next bar stool
is mesmerized with your heaving breasts,
your slender frame sitting straight,
laughing, sipping wine, while the world waits
to genuflect before the moment
when the woman in you will glow.

“Yes! Yes! I know what the world has come to!
Hunger, intolerance, head-butts, Zizou!”

Please! Please take note of what I’ve become too
but I don’t know how you do that
I forget my misery; laugh at your jokes.
You caress my cheek, playfully pat.

“No seriously! I mean there are more bombs than childbirths.
Ask a man gone casual walking in Baghdad, Madrid.”

Somewhere the ghazal singer croons Faiz…

Aur bhi gham hai zamane mein mohabat ke siwa…

Ah no! I remember “dukh” in the original work.
Dukh” is stark, naked, intensely painful than
Gham”; a ghazal singer's mellifluous, melancholic version.

“Ha! Here speaks the poet
whose only tool to a woman’s heart
is semantics!”

Everyone titters, I feel naked.
You giggle, wink, blow a kiss.

“Don’t you think it was chilling to watch Saddam today?
As if he’s walked into a bar asking for a table!”

I feel a shiver up my spine.
Raise my glass, toast the wine.

“Long live America!”

We all laugh.
“I love your sense of humor.”
But I wait for the inevitable.

I wait for the moment
when your own thoughts
conspire, chain your heart.
I wait for the moment
when my poetry's logic
play tricks, seal your lips.
How long,
how long can you duck, efface
before my joy trips on your face?

That there is room for other conversations too
is a thought, a double-edged sword
for me,
and for you.

Ah! She sings my favourite Momin ghazal now…

Ulte wo-h shikwe karte hain aur kis ada ke saath,
betaaqati ke taanein hain uzr-e-jafa ke saath.

Maanga karenge abse dua hijr-e-yaar ki
Aakhir to dushmani hai asar ko dua ke saath.

© Dan Husain
December 31, 2006