Qaisar Bashir is a Kashmiri poet, translator, and author. He has a master’s degree in English Literature from Kashmir University. His first poetry collection The Cry of Wounded Souls was published in 2019. Once Upon A Time is his translation of Akh Dour a Kashmiri novel by Bansi Nirdoush. He has widely has published in reputed journals such as The Criterion, Langlit, Muse India, Setumeg and atunispoetry.com.
Walking Down The Empty Street
A torn book in her hand,
Walking down an empty street:
Her steps weak to go on.
On a dusty stone wall by,
She lies on her side, resting
Her head on the book.
A brook by, burbles a lullaby
Like a mother; and the tired soul
Takes off for a moment.
A decrepit, tall, lean man,
Grey beard almost touching his navel,
Passes by, telling a Qur’anic verse aloud.
The euphonious verse
Wakes the enervated soul,
Sleeping on the stone wall.
The eyes of the duo meet:
The lost soul found her destination,
And the aged, a disciple.
Cool breeze is playing a tune
From a broken window
Fearful eyes peek out:
Blackness is bare
Like a fortnight moon;
And the noise out there
Reminisces a WAVE–
Go back, go back,
From our Home, go back.
Starved men and women
Wild thorns between their fingers
Are patching the holes in their bellies;
Untamed wind blows in the wilderness
Of their minds; thorns pierce through their thumbs,
And the blood drips down, reddening the cemetery;
Crownless chinars reign the plagued vale,
Microphones amplify the shit hounds speak out,
Starved eyes look for a morsel in dustbins
And freaky frames dance in market squares;
But on sidewalks are, as you can see now,
The Prosperos readying to calm the tempest.