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Rehan Qayoom  (email)


About the Poet:

Rehan is a 28 year old British-born poet of Indian origin.  He reads English literature at Birkbeck College, University of London.  His English and Urdu poems have appeared in various magazines and 2 anthologies (Loving Feelings, Twighlight Road) and he has recited his poetry in many countries of the world.  He has also just completed a book in celebration of the hundredth anniversary of the birth of Sir John Betjeman and is working on another book about the poets buried in the Seven Magnificent London cemeteries.



Under the duvet

Last night I wrote a poem in my head
But found nothing to write it down
This morning I remembered
not a word                                   

How welcome it felt then, half a world away
From the sights, sounds, smells of the world outside
Nothing possible, emptiness
provoking me to yarn my dreams of the Hortus Conclusus
A return to the womb Till daylight-burst
Returned sight, sound, smell and the world outside



This Place Is Not For Single Men
If the path of memory on which you've been walking
For an age at the same pace comes to an end
Walk on a few steps further till you reach
the crossroads of the wastes of negligence
Beyond which there is neither an I nor a you
and the field of vision holds its breath for who knows when
You might retreat, transcend, or turn around to look

Though the eyes know this is all a lie
If ever again we do see eye to eye
Some other path will branch out from that point on
and hand in hand we will begin the journey
In the shadows of your tresses to the movement of your arms

The other thing is also a sorcery for the heart knows
There is no turning no desert no spell
Veiled in which my months can pass
if the path of life runs with your thoughts - All is good
If you do not turn round to look behind it doesn't matter


Neither conquest won, both mad

Love enshrined the dreamy room
Nor delighted and not bad
who is now in love, with whom?

Much desire of apposite
Peering an executive
Don Giovanni is tonight
ignorent and recondite

Who dares love? And who dares win?
Who can bear to lose their life?
This a life of double-spin
dry and iron and no wife

Saskia Rabinovich
Glad of her argenticum
Daughter's mother, canard, bitch
'This is my Praeconium'

Boundaries a-blur again
What is right and what is wrong?
Who's to listen who's to speak
blotting out oblivion?

And an odd computer geek!
Does he know what now is not
Why the England that is rot
far exceeds what he has got

Do I dare to be in love
Even tho' I'm ever out
3 below and 9 above
do I claim to be about?

Diss the city death has built
Brilliantly and very neatly
Silently but so completely
in its comely guilt

Like a Lie
She was pregnant and in pain
Stabbed by her ex
Lived, I think, on the local heathway
on sex
Allowance book, Bible, toothbrush: all covered in toothpaste
condoms coated in toothpaste flowed from her black handbag

She asked at the tissues for recipience
And she swore and she swore and she swore
But I can't now recall a word she said anymore
just that her mother had told her it was futile to flip
At people who stared at her
I stared at her
as she scribbled something in a notebook
(in case it rhymed)!

Days later I telephoned
Asking for a Ms Cheryl Cooper
They had let me go after some tests
and kept her
But none of the departments had an inkling
of who I was on about

So many obstacles to overcome

Before you came things were just as they were

The sky: horizon-fixed, the road precisely road

Just the edge of that which could be seen from here

A glass of wine, contained the wine that flowed

You jerked your wrist and lacquered black the night from day

It made me feel electrifying aftershocks!

Finding your threshold out I walked away

knowing that you dwelt among the crags and rocks

Now that you are here again Stay close to me

This time things will certainly fall into line

The road can be a road again The sky the sky

A glass of wine a glass of wine, a glass of wine

Tear-filled for me When you're in sorrow drowned

There will be freedom for we're freedom bound