It feels, again, like being a silkworm
Cocooned in a shell built upon its own saliva,
Reflecting the memory-aches,
With one thread hanging out of the shell
Living beyond time and space,
Which might be inferred as a calculation inside the cocoon.
The illusion, that it isn’t dark, inside, could be smudged easily
For darkness always stays in each corner
Wherever there is the name of a god.
The ‘Roza’ felt betrayed for the first time, in the naïve summer,
When the caramel of your lips was offered, a perquisite.
The religion had died many years ago, in my dry womb,
Before it could see the light of day as an infant,
And, before it could suckle the usual fluid
Of naivety from the nipples of slumber.
In retrospect… I feel, I can do the same again
For that ride to the wonderland. For one kiss.
Feet intersecting, mine placed upon yours,
Souls worshiping the void while standing
In the middle of another void,
With number seventeen at the end of its name.
The smell of the neon light grows stronger,
More and more intense as time transforms…
I could feel the gangrene
Growing in your stomach
The blues stay with us
In the saliva of that one kiss
Which remains our first and last
Ride to the wonderland.
Ramsha Ashraf is a Pakistani poet who tries not to let any tradition confine her individuality. She is the author of the poetry collection Enmeshed (Sanjh Publications, 2015).
MY CREATIVE PROCESS
What drew you to this subject matter?
I think the silkworm could be considered, or at least it appears to me, the most potent metaphor for creativity. It provides you a cage of paradox to live in; a sense of liberation yet a Promethean chain keeps you tied to an unknown responsibility. I write without knowing any legitimate reason to why I write... But, I guess, this is why art and literature is considered an apt barometer of mirroring and measuring what is called, and known in a much simpler context as, life.
Can you tell us a little about the origins of "Silkworms, Swathes and the Dead " and why you wrote it?
Well, the Muslim month of Ramadan has been observed all over the world. So, it brings a few sweet-bitter memories spent in the arms of a not-so-religious yet pious lover.
Why do you write?
I guess, I write because I just cannot accept the fact that time is going to erase my voice from the surface. Although, I am fully aware of the futility of my act.