“and mother... Why tell me the story of a tiger,
the one black on golden stripe,
that chewed its own arms and legs
in silent rage at night?
Also, what about the dragon,
who ate apples and fire,
lived inside impractical caves
tucking in wings of lost desire?
waiting, day after day,
breath held back for fear unseen.
Will the knight meant to free his soul
be fearless and keen?
The spear flung and true,
caught its jaded breast;
in the end my dragon was a
forgotten winter mist...
So I ask oh mother,
why sing such a song?
The tiger of those years
lives undefeated, strong.
Why fear the dragon too?
They both are
I hide my eyes
struggle on my knees bare
bathed in lies, neck exposed
veins pulsing heat,
I know my tiger
waits in hunger,
gnashing emerald teeth
...you shrink away in pain,
mother so have I too, and in vain.
Me, myself and I, were not to be
a tale with happy end.."
In a winter morning's tranquil despair,
the last shiuli hung on a branch gone bare.
The bough heavy and burdened
sunk towards the ground, a single petal
poised on its neck, forced it to the earth.
Pulled the planet's core, a promise of rebirth.
It was the last dew from a dawn withdrawn,
that sat at the tip, swollen to the brim -
the crystal womb, a forgotten hope.
Did it witness a wish slip off the edge?
Did the arm reach out, at the slightest sign?
Did it hold on to the fragile light of life,
tasting eternity in an atom of air?
Did it travel to the end of hell and back,
in that fractured tilt of uncertainty?
Yet, poised at the brink of the truth
that kind of gravity will win eventually.
The last dew of that morning held inside,
all of the earth and all of the sky.
Sabrina Binte Masud writes creatively in a number of genres and has won international awards for her plays.