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Volume 13

Metropolis - October 2014


Waqas A. Qazi

Written by
Waqas A. Qazi

Waqas A. Qazi is an earth scientist by profession and specializes in analyzing satellite imagery to study the Earth and its processes. He has been an amateur fledgling writer since many years, but has only recently begun to take himself seriously as a poet. His work has previously appeared in Papercuts.


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Ode to Lahore


City of my splintered youth
Unravelled by the years
Twined into the school-dust.
City of crumbling relics
Reeking of the history of man’s
Successes and failures,
Battles fought for supremacy
Dynasty upon dynasty.
City of concrete behemoths
Grazing over the detritus
Of many empires past.
City of fabled minarets
Under whose languid shadows
I walked and wept
With my arms splayed.

City of marble women, and their ashen hair
City of unwavering lips and slanted looks
City of colorful duppatas with that manic whiff
That could sear a man with a single swerving touch.

City of my eternal madness.
City where I learnt
The much-coveted arts
Of writing, loving, and losing.
City where I counted alone
Clammy hours of summer nights.
City where I scratched lines on walls
With my half-eaten fingernails.
City which cut me into half,
City which built the jagged canal
That runs through me
In its own image.

City of my lacerated past,
I am at your doorstep again,
I am stepping off the bus again,
Yearning to be roused,
To remember, and then again forget.
The air is already catching my breath
In its iron grip, crushing it
Into a million filaments.
Already my skin is flaking off,
Thin layers falling away,
The bristling shell of unfeeling
I had built
Painstakingly around myself, melting off
As I take one, two, three steps
Each step for a year
The layers of time, melting off.

City of my captive soul
All my debts to you
Are now paid;
What more do you want?

Waqas A. Qazi
7th March, 2014

Artwork by Usman Khan

Artwork by Usman Khan



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