By Lubna Khan:
How is it to be surrounded by walls? White perfidious walls which have nothing saintly about them. The silence has a sound, an insistent assault not for the ears but for the mush between them and the hair on your skin. How do you revolt against this but to inure yourself or fade into a screaming mad man, anything to bypass the ricochet of the static absence of sound – of a breath, of a putter of activity, of a grunt of invigoration – against the walls in mutating loudness and straight into the folds between your eyebrows. The walls don’t live or have eyes or ears. They are not alive because they persist, they are imperishable and their assault boundless, their invasion pulverising. Try prevarication, evade and deflect and lie but the walls will respond in a confrontational asperity that makes you quiver and now you are frightened of yourself because the walls aren’t sentient but you are, so you blame yourself. Only the skint sunlight pays obeisance to these walls for we don’t see them – we feel them – but for a short moment we do see them for the lightened pool on the floor, a product of this reverence and we hear the chirps of the birds. The preface of an unlived mortality is written here and the walls, constant, forever, operating on peripheral fringes purge you out of a long quiescence helped along by the false promise of time. But time stands sentinel to the swaying of this mantle of sound; these white walls retreat to the edges of your perception and there you are – deflecting now, consuming now, purging now the lessons of yourself born of this silence.
When man didn’t realise what life is worth
People dying due to poverty and hunger; women and babies during childbirth.
Selectively ignoring such a sad reality was man, letting it ricochet off us in any way we can
Hurried and worried trying to achieve our makeshift goals
In this rat race, we had lost our souls.
With our useless opinions and feigned shock on our faces, we went on with life, went back to our assigned roles.
But god had a way to set us right, we realised this year his power, his might.
Brought down to our knees, begging for respite
By a creation so tiny, literally out of sight.
Love has a new meaning now, family has gained importance.
Humanity is spreading like never before, life as a whole has gained new substance.
Hope this change is here to stay, the flag of humility flutters high on the pole.
But knowing us, our ignorance, our idiocy,
its a matter of time we are immersed in pride as shallow as a puddle as black as coal.
Every night she dwelled upon the tiny immeasurable details the led to this moment of detachment from existence. Life was meant to be lived, not merely survived. Every thought richocheted in her mind, shattering the remnants of her self like shards of a fragile mirror, opening up the healed wounds of her heart with microbleeds. The thought of the beautiful rays hitting her at dawn again, was much to bear.
The whole universe resonated with the blessings she could count, but what were they if they couldn’t be enjoyed. That is how the mind of a broken soul works- every thought bounces off taking you to new places, making you forget the moments worth remembering. The bad taking over the good, even in minds struggling to make use of the good. Each breath leaves you with a void, only to be filled with more water, aching your lungs for a whiff of sanity.
And as the clock ticks and the sun hits her face, her weary eyes sparkle, the creases on her forehead ceases to exist, and she stands tall to brave more storms, only with a smile set out to sooth other souls.
By Maham Munawar Quraishi:
As I trudge down my way on the cobble streets, every memory ricocheted off an invisible wall. The mirage of emotions with a glint of hope kept me at bay, keeping up with the fervor , buoyancy and vitality of the moment, I amble passively towards the scattered rainbow glistening on the dilapidated ground which piqued my curiosity, but as I went near I was left awash with fear of nothingness and to my chagrin the rainbow I chased had worn some wings and flew away, however, the closer I tried getting to it, the far it seemed.
Is that how life beguiles one into make believe situations? Is life literally or figuratively a shadow of desolation? I still hope to reach out to that latitude of the ground which is submerged in the streaks and hues of mass colors of hope and resilience, for I am no weakling in the arms of time and memories, I am me and I shall ricochet and rebound fortitude even when the sounds of sorrow try to perforate.
By Anood Ahmed:
The beautiful sky
And the flags that fly
Hold my head high
As I weave a sigh
The colonel prepares
For the bullet to fire
A series of ricochets
Breaking my heart
As I see my sultan part;
Leaving me with a piercing pain
The loss which I will never gain
My baba, the father of the nation
Has left without any intimation
The empty sound of my heart
Ricocheted around my soul
I lost my sultan the king of our hearts
The ruler of the Sultanate
Sultan Qaboos bin Said
When a true leader dies
The entire nation cries
The power of love is so understated;
The power of love is just peace
The symbol of peace a true democrat
Who protects his children like a father
Growing up in Oman
I always knew this man
His smiling face, his bright eyes
He is my family, a soul to my eyes
As I see him leave
My eyes fill with tears
My heart aches
And my stomach is on fire
My love for him will never die
As the tears gushing out of my eyes dries
I just have one prayer in my heart
May Allah ease our pain
While writing this poem…
I tend to ricochet from sadness to prayer
My head bows down to Allah
Asking for the coolness of your grave
Oh my dear Sultan rest in peace.
So, do thoughts
A thought, a word so simple
Twines a world in itself
It meanders through continents and heavens
Lulls escape from my grind
Yet when it touches reality
It’s richocheted off to an ombre desert
That moment of sudden excitement
At the drop of a dime
When my thoughts stub reality
I hope it would go well atleast once
Ebbing away past sorrows
Yet it’s richocheted off to thousand bland hours
Bringing back effing ripples of life!
Once it breached those patterns
And blurred away childhood lessons of love
My thoughts barged out of constraints
Fell for heart’s call ; his giggles and grins
Only to be richocheted through
The same old robust pattern
That was it, thoughts couldn’t get dreamier
Reality couldn’t get drearier
I chose to Ricochet onto God’s abode
And it’s a splendid call
No thoughts, no dreams
No more ricochets and grindy breaths