Namal Siddiqui

Edition I

The Kind of Love - by Namal Siddiqui

The Kind of Love

By Namal Siddiqui

I am not talking about romantic love,
I am talking about the love for life,
for living, for being alive.
Love that feels like thirst in a marathon
but you need to keep going to get to the finish line.
The kind of rush you feel right before presenting something you’ve been working on passionately for weeks.

Let this love be apparent,
ostentatious.
Put it on display for the world to see.
Let it trickle from the corner of your eyes,
let it beam back into my eyes,
let it drip from every word you speak,
let it bleed from every wound inflicted on you,
in its search, in its cause.

I am simply talking about the kind of love that keeps you going.
The believing kind of love.
Not pretentious, not selfish, not temporary.


Edition II

Writers & Lovers - by Namal Siddiqui

Writers & Lovers
“If a writer falls in love with you, you can never die.” – Mik Everett

By Namal Siddiqui

When we are gone
and reduced to dust and ashes,
when no one remains
to call our names.
When, without your warmth,
the floors and corners of this house become cold.
All that there will be
are these words.
A few commas and full stops,
maybe a lingering question
or an eager exclamation.
A bleeding heart buried in the depths,
but death will never do us apart.
For in the dawn that comes without us,
every verse that is read
will call your name again.


Edition IV

Tomb - by Namal Siddiqui

Tomb

By Namal Siddiqui

When I die, please do not make me a tomb.
I do not need a tomb or epitaph to declare
who I am, who I loved, what I did.

When death comes, in the years that follow
I will be known by the words I write now.
These will never die but will be
read by my children, sung by my lovers,
questioned by my cynics.

No I do not need a tomb

I do not need a place as homage after death
I will live on the lips of mad men
I will dance to the melodies of old women
I will stain as a tattoo on someone’s skin.

Human flesh decays, but words…

Words,

they become anthems and stories
that stir and move. So,
please do me a favor and do not make me a tomb.


Edition V

Lullaby - by Namal Siddiqui

Lullaby

By Namal Siddiqui 

Mother is a beautiful tall broad postured woman.
Her nose is a perfect asymmetrical structure,
her eyes are brown and speak more than the words she says,
her hands are large and able to hold many more children than her own,
her fingers are long like a pianist or a sculptor, guiding gently
creating and molding patiently.

Mother is a lullaby.
The wavy texture of her hair is a lullaby.
The smell of her skin, a mix of her soap and the food she cooked is a lullaby.
The gap between her perfectly square teeth is a lullaby.
The often intimidating sound of her steady footsteps is a lullaby.
The sound of my name in her voice is a lullaby.
The prayer she says in the middle of the night, when I am fast asleep, is a lullaby.
The hands she holds high and the tears she cries for her children are a lullaby.
The woman I see, the woman I want to be like, the woman I came from.
That woman. My mother, is a lullaby. 


Edition IX

defiance-by-namal-siddiqui-photo-by-mary-ellenPhoto credit: Mary-Ellen Greenwood

Defiance

By Namal Siddiqui

Mother said, Dear oh dear, put that dress on and smile for me
More so for everyone else, even if your heart does weep
Forget poetry, forget literature, but not the art of flattery
Let’s become well versed with placing your cutlery.

Father was a stern angry man, his blood hot
And word strong enough to break stone
His girls he cherished; but of his sons, he was proud
Money, monopoly, and banter out loud
All the men knew was business, and cards in the courtyard

She woke up one day; a strange man beyond her garden
His brown eyes fixed her gaze, with no sign of pardon
Weak heart; she fell in love, she made a mistake
With a man who promised allegiance and to never forsake

It was a hopeless summer day, she broke all promises for one
Lo and behold! There was Father’s terror and the sound of his gun!
The strange man to never again see her face, and father
Never to accept her in his grace

So with nowhere to go; but only onward
She made her path, through the alleys of culture
She carved a way through mountains of tradition
To become her own pride, to learn and teach
To never seek love which is not equal,
To never love foolishly again, but to love
With the virtue of a girl and the wisdom of a woman.


Edition XIV

elevator-people-by-namal-siddiqui-photo-by-bilal-khawliPhoto credit: Bilal Khawli

Elevator People

By Namal Siddiqui

The automated voice says,
‘Sorry to keep you waiting’
Morning routine. Faces still
wrinkled with the imprints
of pillows and bedsheets.
Laptop bags and paper work.
Overly priced coffee. Small
talk.

This stuffed elevator.

Today I smell a young man’s
sharp cologne. Yesterday it
was Mademoiselle by Coco.
I love that perfume.

30 people at a time, trying to
get to their floors.
The most frustrated ones
trying to get to floor 52.
Sometimes it’s nice to have
the bald man with a big
belly and suit. He
creates   …..   space.

The young lady with a stone
face, posed like a princess.
The cute guy who only looks
on the floor, at his shoes,
hands in pocket. Wait, is that
a dimple on his cheek?

This briefness of time and
lack of space
reflects the true nature of
man,
impatient, animalistic.
I hate this elevator.


Edition XXII

When Love Speaks - by Namal Siddiqui (Photo by Janko Ferlic)Photo credit: Janko Ferlic

When Love Speaks

By Namal Siddiqui 

You tell me all about Love
with expectant eyes brimming with hope
but I have seen it before
once and a few more 

In a dark hallway, I saw shards of broken light
untamed almost cosmic
it was Love reaching out to me

A busy street and a quiet parking lot
a gas chamber and a pathway lit with fire
it was Love, pleading to pick one 

A broken radio phone next to the sea
trying to tune in, but the last thing I heard was
Love saying, ‘I’m going to be okay’. 

A run over cat on the city streets
nobody to take it away, blood and guts on display
it was Love, in its truest form, revealing itself to me.

I found myself walking on cobbled streets
of an old town
coffee in the afternoons
margaritas at night
walking, dancing, chasing.
it was Love saying goodbye to me.


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