Maaz Bin Bilal \ Winter 2015
Biryani in Belfast
Making Biryani in Belfast
Is no Trouble.
You get the ready-made Pakistani spice-mix
From the Indian store,
Follow the recipe, add some saffron,
And chillies and cardamom,
And Wallah, there it is!
The green enmeshed in the orange rice,
Even as some grains fail to catch colour,
and remain simply white,
it all smells delicious.
The brown meat stands out.
Ghazal- This Night
Many a memory at stake this night.
Do you think of me too, awake, this night?
Shahid stares at me from the book cover.
As I tempt a ghazal to fake this night.
The moon in the sky and I in my bed.
I wish I too could turn a rake this night.
This monsoon, with my tears, the driest ever.
Would your tears for me form a lake this night?
So much water has flown under the bridge.
Why do you not give me a break this night?
Gave even the echoes of my best poems.
Would I not get one word, to take this night?
One law shouldn’t apply to men and lovers.
Will there be born another Blake this night?
Lord made Meraj long, so to travel seven skies.
It appears the same God did make this night.
“Ripeness is all” and all time passes.
So too is dawn about to break this night.
Ghalib-o-Faiz couldn’t drown grief in ghazals.
Then what spires, O Maaz, will you shake this night?
Maaz Bin Bilal is a young academic who recently returned to Delhi from Belfast where he was working
for a PhD in English at Queen's University. Maaz has published poetry and translations in Muse India,
The Postcolonial Text, and The Four Quarters Magazine among other journals. He enjoys poetry, film,
and football. He may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.