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,
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


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…


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


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


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

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
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.

Edition XXV

Fresh Out The Oven - by Namal Siddiqui (Photo by Yara aka Peroculus)Photo credit: Peroculus

Fresh Out The Oven

By Namal Siddiqui

Please do not fall in love with me
I will read you like a book, beginning to end
search for old scents in your pages
over analyze and think of you when I drive to work

Please do not fall in love with a girl like me
I will make a character of you
and write stories about it
reveal you unintentionally to the world even if you don’t want to

Please do not fall in love with me
I haven’t understood who I am
my body is a bottomless pit of diffidence
and my immutable darkness will consume you until there’s no light

Please do not fall in love with me
I will terrorize you with my meaning of love
there’s no black and white, no compromise
you see I’m an extremist in nature
I have no concept of middle ground or halfway

Please do not fall in love with me
I will love you and leave you
in the museums of the world
like an artifact, an ancient relic
empty, dark, hollow, echoing the beat of your heart
in its alleys and corners
our aches reverberating in the ears of passers-by

Please do not fall in love with me
I have felt the pangs of love, a love that has no remedy
I have lost in love so I know what it is like to be found
in the clutches of life, dazed, suddenly pulled back to reality from a dream
or was it a nightmare, I can’t tell the difference

Please do not fall in love with me
for you will hate me – because – you love me
you will suffocate in the fortification I would provide you
and the moment you feel the salty breeze of the sea
you will release yourself softly
to taste the ocean, to swim freely and incautiously

Please do not fall in love with me
because you will want to remove my layers
undo me like a Russian wooden doll
know the woman beneath the girl, the girl beneath the woman

Please do not fall in love with me this way
I am not a foreign language you need to deconstruct
I am not a question nor a puzzle
I don’t need an answer, I don’t need a solution
or your opinion about my life

Please understand why you may fall in love with me
I am for you to remain unsettled, I am for you to keep in motion
I am for you to remain in wonderment of the universe and nature

as you are for me

in moments of glory, to thrive
in moments of darkness, to survive

as we are together

Just as loves energy, like the sun – to create, to multiply
and when the world turns around
to accept defeat quietly, without losing pride;

These are the reasons.

Because maybe if you do fall in love with me
we might just rise.

Edition XXVII

Broken Radio - by Namal Siddiqui (Photo by Duaa Alaamer)Photo credit: Duaa Alaamer

Broken Radio

By Namal Siddiqui

You’re like a broken radio

Inhibiting my thoughts with all the static and muffled voices

I am trying to hear you out

But you don’t say much

Rather you don’t say it right at the right time

I know you’re broken and I shouldn’t expect perfection

But I am flawed too

What happens when I am broken

When I need your voice to speak for mine

When these burgeoning thoughts are waiting to burst off of my head

Who is to blame when we are both broken

And we just don’t do right at the right time.

Edition XXXI

A Game of Chess - by Namal Siddiqui (Photo by Hakim El Haj)Photo credit: Hakim El Haj

A Game of Chess

By Namal Siddiqui

You are love
the purest of its form
I am fear
the strongest of its kind

You are determination
beating with the resolve of the ocean
I am resistance
stubborn like the strength of the mountain

You are hope
resilient in the desperate of situations
I am despair
escaping in an oasis of hope and love 

It’s a vicious cycle.
A game of chess.
A tug of war.
And one of us must lose.

Edition XXXII

On Love - by Namal Siddiqui (Photo by Hakim El Haj).jpgPhoto credit: Hakim El Haj

On Love

By Namal Siddiqui

Mediocre love never settled with her.
              She needed soul.
              She needed mad.
              She needed untamed passion.
The kind of love that touched
every fibre of her body and
jolted it.
The kind of love that made noise and
The kind of love that changed
the order of things.

Edition XXXIV

Magnolia - By Namal Siddiqui (Photo by Annie Spratt).jpgPhoto credit: Annie Spratt


By Namal Siddiqui

here, within the girth of evergreen pine trees
is a garden of magnolias.
Captivated I stand, like a swarm of bees

stung the earth of my skin.
I see countless shades, pale and pink
to your demeanor akin.

This majestic magnolia embodies
the characteristics of your beautiful body;
what is apparent and what is within.

Wistful and wild; soliloquy of a wind chime.
Roots that reach out, to the earth, to the sky
a dazzle of your pink, ancient but survives.

I see the blue of the sky, peaking through
countless magnolias, pale and pink,
accounting for me. Natures debt I accrue!

How can I give back, what my eyes owe?
as I stare at the pale of your shoulders
and the pink of your cheekbones

here, within the girth of evergreen pine trees
in a garden of misty magnolias.

Edition XXXV

Mud and Blood - by Namal Siddiqui and Agnes Tan (Photo by Valentin Salja)Photo credit: Valentin Salja

Mud and Blood

By Namal Siddiqui and Agnes Tan

We are born
We are born
    Of mud, and blood
    Of mud, and blood.
We must live
We must live
    Red, and tooth in claw
    Red, and tooth in claw.
We are gone
We are gone
    Like dust, and rust
    Like dust, and rust.

Video Archive

“Elevator People” – by Namal Siddiqui

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