Two Poems by Rizwan Akhtar

Free Market Economy

Not for ambition or bread—Dylan Thomas

just when the evening is about to collapse

like a market haggles rattles and shut

his tea settles in a cup bringing a reprieve

behind window a dusty urban Narcissus

flouts lavish curls (on a glossy cell phone)

so that when the day is done and the memory

tucked inside body is worn by sweating labor

nine to five battle with bread culminates

he is on a soft pillow munching dreams

indeed his muse is an aristocrat unaware

of her assets whipping world’s stock exchange

compare to this mean vendor of survival whose

poetic is so undernourished even trees he choose

gasps for more oxygen and grass craves water

the sun is so capitalistic intent on lurching him

a wildness lives at heart’s surroundings.


We do not live in proximity

with a sea and neither are

there gods so our pantheon

never originated except an

encounter on a bench since

then only personifications

be any other implicit way

to wind up all our chapters 

we shouldered even trees

close by called for glossary

ever since there is a simile

stuck on some page treated

your arms for all sorts of

purposes from a nuanced

analogy to a wild biting

to say I love you was the

death of punctuation till

an alcove of silence and

the book alone shelved.

Rizwan Akhtar’s debut collection of Poems Lahore, I Am Coming (2017) is published by Punjab University Press, Lahore .He has published poems in well-established poetry magazines of the UK, US, India, Canada, and New Zealand. He was a part of the workshop on poetry with Derek Walcott at the University of Essex in 2010.

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