Green Bench


An expression doesn’t just come about.


It is first inhaled, lingered at the nostrils,

then transferred to the tongue

where before being processed,

the palate performs a founding ritual

by, firstly, letting it float a few seconds

in the closed mouth, whisking it

and then allowing it to sediment gracefully

into the body of the open buds.


An expression is like a practised recipe.


It cannot be served untried to the tables

of veteran maxims, a High Court of Supremes,

robed deliberators en-tasked for banishing frivolity

from staunchly guarded books of Language.


Their palates may be bland to change

but, an expression can be a possibility


to experimentation; sitting solo at this green bench

on a green day of an excitedly buzzing green park,

barely in contemplation, in utter deliriousness,

I whim upon the act of teleporting


I inhale mouthfuls of the rain-scented air,

the green becoming an enormously magnificent vision,

my mind strays towards clichés

entrapping the overused modicum (of a colour)

unexplored in its robust conceptuality.


I lick the roof of my mouth, the taste seems right.


How delightfully queer for thoughts to float

in the unreached expansive universe,

chancing upon a fertile cell of a mind

to impregnate with what isn’t originally its own

writing out secrets of an unknown

green bench.





Spring is like a perhaps hand – E. E. Cummings


If Spring would spring from my perhaps hand,

I would dip its nib in the cobalt ink of a night sea

and find green re-birthing leaves painted on

cobblestoned walls in a romantic alleyway

of an old forgotten Italy; all of the flowers

in my life would bloom in grandmother vases

where summer stoves would practise staying alight

under the dancing skirts of a linen breeze, my skin

would cosy against fresh smelling grass growing

on mountains behind a cardinal horizon of lovers

where my house would be a limestone igloo of doves

on which a sparkling silver sunlight would shimmer

its curves; in my mind I would live the spring

of change – the falsely autumned winters,

the change long overdue

and watering the seeds.




The hour of grief brings epiphany,

like an intervention of the high


orders who send you a satiating

drink from the moon’s soothed


river, and in that limpid clasp of

tomorrow’s day, you see pebbles


turned to a path of feathers,

the brow’s heaviest perspiration


wiped by cool cloths of hands

of furling breezes, wrapping


your body in a fogless calm

that has never known burning;


it is possible for a human to cry

tears of gratitude for a thing past,


let the world stop for that hour –

in deadlock –


let the chest exhale, breathe only

light, the oil of liberated skin.


Sheikha A. is from Pakistan and United Arab Emirates. Her work appears in over 60 literary venues such as Ygdrasil, A New Ulster, Rose Red Review, Wilderness House Literary Review, The Penmen Review, Mad Swirl, Open Road Review, ken*again, Shot Glass Journal, Right Hand Pointing and many more. She has had her poems appear in several anthologies by different presses, most recent being Silver Birch Press and Kind of a Hurricane Press. Her work is upcoming in The Stray Branch, Halcyon Days, Indiana Voice Journal to name a few. She edits poetry for eFiction India.