Two Poems | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, May 19, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, May 19, 2018


Two Poems

Atypical Haiku Dedicated to Caliban

You taught me language, and my profit on't
Is, I know how to curse.
—Caliban (William Shakespeare, The Tempest)
1: Caliban, run run!
Run run run run run run run
I know it's no fun.
2: “Caliban, be in!”
Between “being” and “seeming” 
Caliban is drinkin'.
3: Caliban is stinkin',
While Prospero is pukin':
And who says, “Come in?”
4: A fleshy white guy:
Caliban's dream and boredom 
He wants to buy.
5: You care! And you care?
But I don't, rain or sunshine.
History—a snare!
6: Layer after layer
You make the same old damn point
On my foot, on my hair.
7: “Progress is history's
Dirty joke?” Or its bad rhyme:
Caliban fakes a sneeze.
8: Caliban comes back!
In boredom under the moon
Someone talks of lack.
9: “Be quiet, Caliban!
Don't dirty my Miranda!”
Caliban takes a U-turn.
10: The night's dark—it's ink.
Caliban pees on the brink,
His pee-stains stick and stink.

Tentative Textures of Silence

silence is not a thin glass
you cannot break it
neither can I
for silence is a country
of forever-fumbling
trying to drop a hint about the last syllable
of a lost word
after our bodies meet and mingle
in their concord and discord
after the Hijal wood burns
in your eyes: two drops of
silence writes its name
words cry and die
and turn into stones
when you sprinkle your footprints
on the sand
and silence slips and slides
like a ghost of a sign
a tall dark woman
her silences
accumulate over time
while my guilt warms itself
by a moment's musical fire
just in two minutes
you killed my love
with words
eternity is a perhaps-land
in the world of smoke
eternity is a slippery soap
fallen from the hand
of a washerman
an urgent plea
in the manifesto of the rains
silences of the world
Azfar Hussain teaches Liberal Studies/Interdisciplinary Studies at Grand Valley State University, USA and is Vice-President of the Global Center for Advanced Studies (GCAS).

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