Endless Summer – A poem by Zainul Abidin Khan

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Roads don’t wind rivers don’t hum,
Homes so stark, with no hearth
The sun sets straight into the earth,
Like a funeral, without a shroud,
And not behind a mountain
Nude and bloody,
Skyline is buildings, trees, or fields,
Not the zigzagging Pir Panjal
Vestiaire sans wall
I feel exposed
I miss the mountains.

So unloved, without a heavy quilt,
Not hugged nor caressed all night.
Slumber descends with a guilt.
As a constant hum, numbs my eardrums,
I miss the mountains. I long for the haunting silent sounds of the vale,
An orchard keeper calls far away in the fields,
A pile of stones is upturned for crushing, somewhere
A muezzin calls in the far away mosque at Khrew
Evening breeze rustles poplar leaves, there. Algae laden puddles disguised as grass patches,
Near the Boulevard,
Sunlight making criss cross hatches

To kiss them, willow branches crawl,
I still would lunge for a water ball,
At Nishat
To put on a fountain top,
While I drench myself in the ditch
on the side of the garden that would pass
hidden in long blades of grassThe smell of pines in the forest,
I would wear a perfume made of that
or the smells of the meadow,
grass, shrubs, dung, mushrooms,
pine needles piling as brooms,
I miss the mountains
A friend once asked,
“How are the winters here?”
We have no winters
Just summer, endless summer

Zainul-Abidin-KhanAbout the author
Zainul Abidin Khan was brought up in Kashmir and was named after the King Badshah. A student of Tyndale Biscoe School, Srinagar he started writing at a very early age. His first work was first published in the School Magazine when he was in 3rd Standard. Thereafter, he wrote and recited his work at Radio Kashmir Srinagar. Besides, writing, he also took part in radio plays.

Writing is one of his many hobbies. He has mostly written Urdu Ghazalas and Nazms. A qualified Engineer, Zainul runs an Executive Search business, Prosperitors. While he is based out of New Delhi, his heart stays connected with Kashmir.