My Work - Poetry

Pangs of Birth in the Valley Of Muses

Thousands of poems die in my head before they are born.
They are terminated consciously or sometimes miscarried
Against my will.
They die with my eyes closed and my head on a pillow
They die with my hands on a driving wheel,
They die in any place
At any time
Their death is commonplace.
* * * * * *
Hundreds of my poems die soon after birth.
I tear them up on pieces of paper,
I extinguish their lives
They are swallowed up by waste baskets
After I had spent long nights
Carving their glowing words on the coals of the night,
With the chisel of one who treats art with exultation
Until the magic of beauty stirs in them
And my eyelids fight away sleep.
* * * * * *
Yet amongst the thousands of stillborn poems
And the hundreds of new born ones
A poem survives
Here or there..
It evades all deaths..
It foils all plots..
And remains in my notebook
Or in my mind
It continues to sing persistently..
And a poem is born.

Dubai, 1981