Purple Shadows / Wrought Streets – by SHEIKHA A.

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 Purple Shadows


Dark flecks of a dry year erupt

on the moon’s radiant face,


there is no death of memory

that hasn’t been conceived


by various rotations of a black

rimmed sun


in a cosmos where your myths exhort

supremacy around shimmering bodies

of water that glides in the sky,


I created light in that part of reality


and pushed the dagger of your heart

deep into my body so it became

locked, the stars cast a dark


to where my shadow stood, my mouth

compressed like a key


jammed in thin metal lips

of an opening not its fit,


and my voice sank in its lake

of still white walls,


prayers that were no more a beam –


dank brown meadows

of desire growing as pale

purple tulips –



 Wrought Streets

 (after Oscar Wilde)


It’s a frozen road: the colour of the light on my cell’s screen. Between the cleaves that have formed on my walls from perpetual nights of drenching in seep water from top floors, my house still stands like the last leaf of an autumn’s wind shuddered rage. There is you being wanting, there is me being evasive. I have lost count of all the stars I watched fall to find Narcissus’s pond. But there is you promising, and then there is me speculating. Wrought my streets with the greenest dreams, the lanterns will still be cluttered by moths. This isn’t a new story: these aren’t new words: now isn’t tomorrow. There is you with reasoning, here is me squirming. Why can’t this be easy? Why can’t you be a grownup and disappear?




Sheikha A. is from Pakistan and United Arab Emirates. Her work appears in over 80 literary venues both online and print, along with several anthologies by different presses, the history of which can be accessed on her blog sheikha82.wordpress.com. She has edited and co-edited two separate anthologies released by Poets, Artists Unplugged , and has had her poetry recited at two separate reading events in Greece. She edits poetry for eFiction India.


*Header photo courtesy of contributor C. C. O’Hanlon*

*Flower photo courtesy of Brian Michael Barbeito*





























(after Oscar Wilde)


This sight has condensed like the summer frost on a poor man’s windowpane. In my story Wilde’s prince would give the gem to his swallow – be selfish, unstirred and immersed in the poetic ghastliness of her leaden face. I am no wise: I see forests as a waste. On one of the boughs there where the forest burnt blaze hilts over the highest cloud, the sky seared its skin off in brackish chunks. It was right out of the story books: the stars clumped in lustful pain and the ice of the winter moon fell like cragged shards of a broken crown. I am the god of my sky. I will de-statue you after sculpting your form by the rights of my vision. There will be no aftermath, no battle, no glory. It will end in a happy place – a garden in Eden, your soul embalmed and held on a pedestal for me to admire at whim.



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