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The Last Words of a Dying Moon — Two Ghazals by Sameem Wani

Jan 20, 2021

A young and avid writer of ghazals, Sameem Wani shares two of his latest from a wider collection. These two arrive in the English language, yet have Kashmir inscribed deep within their melancholy.

A Song for the Shattered


The last words of a dying moon lie scattered in the Jhelum.
Whose are these clothes that lie tattered in the Jhelum?

The little boy out there has been looking for something,
His—of all the shrieks—that could have mattered in the Jhelum?

Do not threaten us, God, with time’s vicious whip,
The boats of our longing have been battered in the Jhelum.

Send down some angels to discern your ache
from all the aches that have gathered in the Jhelum.

The blasphemous Muezzin did not call for prayer,
He sang a song for those shattered in the Jhelum.

How to extract truth from these hushed voices?
For all the loud ones lay slaughtered in the Jhelum.

You—who were made homeless by history’s hands
Your exiled sighs still lay clattered in the Jhelum.

Come God—stoop low— and drown in the waters,
We want our petty prayers answered in the Jhelum.

Once Again


Subtle grief—you knock at my door once again!
Who could hear your numbing lore once again?

God—brimmed full of mercy—orders for an arc,
But who could row without an oar once again?

I have arrived, on time, for a meeting with fate
“begone,” it says, “grief is in store once again.”

Amidst all the rush and clattering of the world,
Home is an unknown shore once again.

Just because those green eyes refuse to give up,
Would you call her a ‘whore’ once again?

Through storms, if hands had hands to hold onto,
I would not be rendered so poor once again.

Store all you can in the lockers of your hearts,
The price of grief is set to soar once again.

One in a hundred promises are meant to be kept,
The unkept one has to be your once again?

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About the Contributor

Sameem Wani completed his B.A. in English from Jamia Millia Islamia, and is currently pursuing a Master’s in English from Ashoka University. He was born and brought up in Kashmir, and is currently based in Delhi. He has been writing ghazals over the last few years.