the poetry that matters

Afshan Shafi

Afshan Shafi lives in Lahore, Pakistan. She studied English Literature and International Relations at The University of Buckingham and Regent's College, London. She has worked previously at PEN Pakistan.


its newly released body , loosens the keen fret of a veiled mechanism;

a whole glib carousel, in the stomach of the bomb,

each wing hysterical, flaring, but the center,

,the pitched brain that eats the stone,

remains fixated to the idea of an faultless, toothed interlude,

which lumbers upon dawn for a moment and then bleached of skin,

begins arrogantly stalking the suspended morass, over the fanged imbroglio


its newly weighted limbs which threaten to obsess the godly gullet, loosening ramparts

and star-livered asphalt.

those outside this penultimate exegesis of flame , submit to the irrefragable muscle of collecting doom,

the brightening scandal of the flare, outflanking the heart of the explosion

and suddenly fluent ,the hoarse aria of hell on a debilitated axis

is spurred, hauled across age, history's vulnerable knees,

inebriated and imperial

coarsely shelling the dazzled china walls,

the hooked ear of dilating flame

suctions the loot into some havoc-cavity,

hunched upon the haggard dregs,

of coma-space stumbling onto the blank mosaic of an apocalypse-buzzard's waking up to zero




Bridge and Passerby

These dry pylons house a triad of pulses, seething cleanly

over american Piedmonts steadily learning to rove under

the tear-gnarled talons of the bridge arcs

hugging the green calves, the maternal rib-chassis of our fermenting, astringent ocean

wholly principled, water does not provoke the dangerous banality of its abettor

popular conception anticipates the heroics of panoramic visitation,

on Gods shoulder we are suspended, retrieved ,catalyzed to perform the tenants of a bird's supposition of perfect movement

conceding to scurrilously perching on a tawny brief woman

who is momentarily flawless in our column

of sight.

she will extricate herself from the pretentious memory of foraging, nightly, under

the flooded roof,

and the unappeased, flankless impasto of jade water bearing her

past resilience and past proof.

her having trusted the modulated girders to adhere to the prescribed numinous tenements

to not digress from the chthonic polarities of reliquary and mannequin,

which ballast our ill-conceived postulations of an earthly




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                                                                                                 April 25, 2012