Escape, 2020

A woman scribbles with the movement of her pen
is able to change what’s unpleasant
and describes only water dripping below
or birds singing above
a melody forcing her ear to pay homage
as she writes of sun rays lighting
the earth with yellow, green, blue
all the while avoiding thoughts of the virus
raging outside or asking if the pandemic
will bring humanity to its knees


Even herculean imagination
will not bring the mind to reason
that newcomers mean no harm
mean only to lead
towards better destinations,
maybe, even to a place like Shangri-La.

Could they really be different
than the ones who arrived
lifetimes ago and left their scars?

In the beginning they too were sweet
yet always unknown
were calculations and secret needs
and the eventual picking off
of whatever was left of the flesh
fists thrusting further
to the heart underneath,
until reaching
the seat of the soul, Trust
which when shaken
is rarely ever the same.

So, imagination remains contained
as caution creeps up the spine
protecting the body from any more incursion
always parrying away to avoid a final blow.


Of tears, exclusion, pain
among the darkness
sometimes comes the ray
from lives of tumult
the turning of pages
pen to paper to survive memory
with this, books are made

“Saved from Summer” by Ayesha F. Hamid

She welcomed the end of summer’s oppression,
the pressure under, over, everywhere
having cooked her from within.

In summer, the sun weighed down, disheartening from dreams,
while the wandering, distracted mind meandered
wished to be someplace else,
wished to be free, somewhere else
where she was listened to, was esteemed,
someplace else where she never had to fear being suspect
for being something less than ideal
a place she wanted to welcome on hot skin
like a perfectly cool breeze.

“Girls on Trains” by Ayesha F. Hamid

Searching in cities, walking aimlessly,
looking for the past, she breathed in
remembering what she used to be,
believing, supportive, free.

Scanning faces futilely, she braced herself
for the realization that they really
weren’t the same faces though they appeared to be.
The ghosts haunting her wouldn’t easily
be excised, the torture of what could have been
will always continue to stay within.

“Love on the Street” by Ayesha F. Hamid

I look up crookedly, just a bum on the street
but I can still see the things you don’t think
I can see – the steps you take, the role you play
the stride with which you walk
makes its way deep into the recesses of my heart,
out through every tear, every drop
the liquid filled with lore and longing

and as long as I have eyes, which can offer
love at first sight, the greatest gift
a human soul can give, even when crouched
down on the ground, staring without a sound,
I give you the only thing I have to give – LOVE.