Poems

I Take the Aegis

My love!
Zeus is my friend.
I take his aegis,
mighty as a Himalayan mountain,
the shield of the gods
I take it.
It is heavy as lead,
the cosmic shape,
circles and gold mosaics,
Gorgon face, snake hair.
Come with me
my love!
There’s nothing to fret
the deuces.
For you my love
I take it
to protect you and me.

_____Muhammad Shahab.

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Poems

Free

Smoky shadows behind me halt,
I’m a climber
The mountain is my friend, the shadows,
I leave.

Clouds leagues after leagues,
Gather round me
When I summit a godly mountain.
I’m close to the sky.
Heaven and earth unite here.
They are with me,
The wind as old as the mountain
The cloud, a blanket of the sky.
It is their home.
All in communion embrace me;
The mountains,
The wind,
The clouds.

Free from the clutches
Of civilisation, the laws, the bounding laws—-
The enemy of man.
Wander
Wander
To see, to find;
To forget the miseries.

What miseries are to mountains?
The wind and the fairies?
Though I often behold them—
But frightened as they are of me, of us.
Will not come here, whence I go.
With them I see in nature,
My nature, mine own.

_____Muhammad Shahab.

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Poems

The Mirror

It is
A mirror.
The second self appears
On the other side.
Hopes and fears
Over head and ears.
I wonder–

Who’s real?
The one that sees
Or the one that is seen.
You tell me when you look
In the mirror
That sticks to that wall
As still as death;
Quiet as a lamb;
Who was there?
Though it has a truthful eye,
But the eyes that see and;
The eyes that are seen–

_____Muhammad Shahab.

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Poems

A Harrowing Tragedy

What I don’t say
Is what you see in my eyes–
They are clear.
My strange silence is known to you.
You’re the exuberant joy,
Living inspiration;
I see in you an effectual remedy
Of my heart.

Though piercing eyes
Seldom see
What is clear.
Lost in a pardonable pride;
Your apathetic smile, beguiling–
Is a harrowing tragedy
For the heart you animated–
Now extinguishing
In delicate tact.

____Muhammad Shahab.

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Poems

A Pang of Painful Joy

I’m petrified in my room
The light is off,
Tenebrous as the inside of a coffin.
I see darkness stretched a million miles;
Beyond and beneath,
No horizon.

A grave so wide, each horizon dark,
Wide as a black sky–
Starless.

There is a rabbit,
A lizard,
A moth,
The fly, the fly.
I cry a pang of painful joy–

I’m alone.
Yet a world
In a shambles;
A creation of my own being,
A revelation of my own desire.
A crocodile in the labyrinth.
A spark of light I see in a crack in the door.

I crawl heavily,
At a snail’s pace;
Ohh!…how I long for it.

____Muhammad Shahab.

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Poems

A Troth

Plucking stars.
Taking ventures to deep oceans
When we were mariners.
Dreams dreamt;
Waking promises kept;
Holidays in heavens
When we were astronauts.
Flights in imagination when we were writers.

Dying together
Living upon the tip of an iceberg
Seeing our faces across newts
Winking
Bathing in a white foam,
Fingers running in hair,
Massaging palms delicately,
Spiny sleep on a fairy bed,
Borrowing the wings of fancy,
Exploring peaches in a Turkish fog,
Red envelope in white wine,
White daisies on the navels
Slumber in our waking dream.

I plight my troth,
Not in a dying sunset,
But the morning star;
Is the herald of my promise.
My asking lips would not hesitate.
I see the memories we keep,
In each breath we’ve inhaled together.
Only your smile would break
The claws, the claws
Of death. When we’re together
For a life and the life after life.

_____Muhammad Shahab.

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Poems

My Head and His Head

I’m a sales rep;
Beside the Cafe Square
Lies my head
In a penthouse.
I wait for my head
To rise, to rise.

He is a shithead.
Office hours have gone.
He lies and lies too,
To me and to his own head.
Such heads are not fit for heads.

I see a head of my friend’s
He is the real head;
And his head is real-real head.
What a head my friend has;
I often get jealous
With him and his head.
Do I wait for my head,
Or change my head
For a better shithead?

_____Muhammad Shahab.

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