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In My Zone of Silence

A Collection of Contemporary Poems

poetry by Quddus Mohammed




Nature bears poetry within. She manifests her poetry through the mountains and the seas, through the earth and the trees. She can be seen in the dawns and the dusks, in the radiance around the ring of fire eclipse and the stars that shine over the ocean like diamond dust. She can be heard in the rhythm of life and in the seasons. She can be smelled in the fragrance of flowers and the rain on fresh earth. She reminds us of the many treasures she hides, and she persuades us to find them. And in this search, she leads us to the most precious treasures that are to be found within us.

We all have incredible powers hidden inside us, but our self-limiting fears and beliefs that spring from the smoky corridors and murky recesses of our mind hold us back. Nature reminds us to look within and explore the treasures that lie within the inner doors of your heart. For surely the gates to true happiness lie within. Break your self-limiting beliefs, free yourselves from shackles, overcome fears and you will come forth with the strength of wisdom to claim that heaven within.

poetry by

Quddus Mohammed


O serene shadow hiding behind the fragility of life Let us take a stroll in the vibrant autumn foliage Through the slumbering majestic ancient trees And the moss covered twisted native vines Golden-yellow leaves cover the pathways You told me there is a bench in the woods Let us sit there for a cup of delicious spiced tea Smell the scent of the pollen Listen to the humming of the bees The sound of falling leaves and fading light Listen to the hymn of the Angels Listen to stories of trees that bleed Stories that filled our distant past

O serene shadow, my companion of solace Hold my hand as we take a stroll

In My ZONE of S

LIKE A PIECE OF DUST IN THE WIND O my Love, leave not my side Breathe the fragrant air from slumbering trees Butterflies glide from flower to flower Sit by me as we sip the tea of cardamom and cinnamon And listen to the distant music of the flute The ancient tree withers its last foliage The autumn rain will stop in an hour The birds will depart on their flight, far away Don’t go too far, my love, you will not hear me, for it is time; The Soul fly bare feet in silence Like a piece of dust in the wind It is dark there. There are no lights on the road Don’t go too far Stay close to me. It will be too late I will be white, a shell, dust I will be a ring of fire *** When you visit my zone of silence Rip off the weeds from earth Plant a purple honeysuckle vine

In My ZONE of S


Me: IN THE MIDST OF ALL In my zone of silence I enter the inner door of my heart

Locked inside the smoky corridors of my mind Bewildered mind wanders far above the dizzying cloud All is dark; the sea never sleeps The rising temperatures strips the arctic fortress deep Drenches the forehead and feet in sweat The fish are stuck between the algae covered mesh As the winds grow loud, body stiffened in flesh Grain of weed entering the veins like poisoned wine Lightning rises in the palms as I unchain the shackles of my mind Inside, there is something smaller that wants to burst out

O HEART! OPEN THE DOOR I open the dusky inner door to your light I find You! standing beyond the seas flying a paper kite In the heavenly stars that shine over the ocean like diamond dust In the poems of Khayyam; heavenly perfume of rose and jasmine’s lust In the forgotten pages of Persian scholars Whose bazaars birthed the knowledge of celestial lights In the water clock at Isfahan witnessing Saturn’s revolution around the Sun I find Your wisdom in the historical aphorisms of the East In the flame rising from the belly of the frozen sea that fuels the light In the fracking of the earth that feeds a wealthy trade to heat In the fisherman’s catch, and in terrified hearts of oysters in the shell Your wisdom in the buds that blossom from frozen land In the singing of the nightingales “O spring is we greet” Your wisdom in the farmer’s grain from barren land In the wrinkles of Bedouin mothers, and sweet bleed of old frozen maple In the pesky ants that carry a load ten times of their bodies They are all connected. We are connected O The Creator, who bestows on all His light divine I open the dusky inner door of my heart to Your mystical light God, my friend, companion for truth and guidance

MINGLE EGO IN THE ASHES PART 1 Awake, O Dear! live in the moment of the day Rise up, rise up to the bright sky of sapphire With naked feet on sandy beach we walk Where seagulls look far, far and soar on wings Sand-loving critter crabs come rolling from the sea And sea turtles come to lay eggs on the shore Distinct from each other, and still leisure together They are all connected, we are connectedFeed your grain to the grazing sea birds Share a loaf of bread with strangers and water for pilgrims Man doth not live for bread alone Love is wise, hatred is foolish, the tongue bringeth disgrace Sin is he who barters good for evil O Soul! to home we depart at sun down Mingle ego in the ashes of night fire PART 2 O Universal Man! rise up to love and freedom from ego A new day awaits on self-journeying path to happiness Pure fragrance breathes your tamed new shell Early we return to beach-birds waiting for grain Smoke from wood fire of last night still pouring in the air Embers dying in the charred wood Burn the stubborn ego before it burns you And immerse the ashes in water O calm sand dunes, turtles come to take refuge and lay eggs And I to connect with myself, to my spiritual self Nature’s work of art in red and golden sand like jewels glow Gaze the unconscious waves sail away the wounds ashore Miles of silence, years of solace, and pure Godliness Vapor the smoky weed of life Draw life plans on blank paper

In My ZONE of S

TWO WINGS OF A BIRD Rise up, O Dear! rise up on this early spring morning Get out of the dusty attic of mind, we need no silk so fine Come fly on with me, breathe scent of the ocean and morning breeze Live in harmony with nature, with bees, the timid fireflies They smile at you. You smile at them, we are birds We are two wings of a bird

We came together a thousand valleys afar Journeyed the rough seas, walking till dawn on moonless nights Amidst thunder, clouds, squeezing water from clay Far, and far, we fly soaring high, we are birds Feeble body, aching wings, veins dried Preened with pearls and liquid gold We are two wings of a bird O Dear! tremble not for tomorrows rain We have a charming nest and straw to sleep And enough grain for winter freeze Hoard not tight seed in greed, we are birds Share more wheat with friends and foe We are two wings of a bird Let us stop a while by the tavern light Breathe pure nature, chant a song and dance Fret not for tomorrow, we are birds Celebrate the moment with Midori wine Calm O Dear! and the storm will pass We are two wings of a bird

Dedication The poem “Like A Ring of Fire� is dedicated to my family who shared my childhood and youth in my native town in India. A home full of love, compassion, fun, smell of jasmine and goldmohur bloom. Heartful memories of those moments fills my heart and radiate my skies, forever-

LIKE A RING OF FIRE In my zone of silence Golden rays of sun streaming through the gap in clouds Passing over the magic carpet of orange gulmohur bloom And shining upon the dark silhouette of my native home Bricks and cement eroded the tall arches Great hall streaked by the drippage from the leaky roof And hundred years old windows While the wind never stops howling Nothing doth dwell here except stories to tell A note left in the coat pocket With names of merrily flirting butterflies And the time to feed grain to the pigeons The stories of childhood, youth and elixir of love Light, colors, freedom and fun Odors of wood smoke and frying onions And ashes of the night fire Where love unite our hearts And protect the withered leaves from falling O you, who shared a loaf of bread with me my eyes swelled Air is blown into the burning wood And tears roll, soul hovers in the house we once dwelled Today’s emotion is scurf of yesterday’s tale Like priceless pearls every moment is sealed in my heart A waterfall of joyous shooting stars pouring down from the sky The images of celestial celebrations stay in the seed of my heart Blissful memories of childhood radiate from earth to skies Like A Ring of Fire

In My ZONE of S


Part 2

I painted a contemporary portrait

I framed and hanged the portrait

A Mannequin with a heart of glass

on an empty wall near the window

Crazy sexy in her new hair

The portrait is anonymous, unsigned

Scarlet bright silk scarf grazing her lily-white arms

and silent under dim light

Soft shimmering light from crystal chandelier

The uncertain ocean-winds

fall from the ceiling on her weary eyes

come blasting through the courtyard

Flames of carnal desires in the brush-strokes

Heart is delicate. Ceiling is weak

of red and orange tones

Keep the window closed

Staring at the cracks in the floorboard She curls her knees in fear She comes to life for her secret lover At night, she plays Koala-hug On the thin layer of freezing ice With a slight smile, melancholy and fear She speaks “live everything” And my Love! when we part speak not good bye to me A Soft Goodnight!

The precious crystal collapsed on the mannequin The priceless portrait of my beloved Is broken in thousand pieces Wall is empty again A hole is left in the wall And the rope staring at the floor The energy and color of brush strokes dipped in blood will never be destroyed or dull I wipe the dust Fold the portrait of mannequin And keepsake close to my heart Until I die

Love is not one thing. It is expressed in many ways; as a finely carved sculpture, in the colors that goes in the painter’s brush strokes, colors in the scarf. The beauty of the beloved is shown as a soft light falling on the mannequin. The artist's love affair with the portrait becomes so real, so delicate that he is afraid no one would appreciate his work. Breaking of hearts is the worst feeling in the world. So, he decides to keep it to himself just like the mannequin who comes to life for him. At the end of the day all you have is the memories that live.

QUDDUS MOHAMMED Assistant District Governor 2014-17 President, Rotary Club of Hicksville South 2013-14 Charter President, Hyderabadi Cultural Association Board Member, One World Under God Advisor, INOC Telangana Chapter Co-Chair District Literacy 2014-16 Chair, Humanitarian Projects Chair, Food for Hunger Program Cook Book Author

Promoting peace and harmony through his passion for food and poetry Happiness is a choice, and true happiness lies within us at different levels. It is about knowing who you are and what brings you happiness. It requires lot of self-attention. Like a shadow both flowing light and body must be present. Our spiritual well-being is the transformative force that shapes our mental, emotional and physical health. Some attempt to seek spirituality inside the walls, some experience in the openness of nature as nature resonates rhythm of life, and for others spirituality is an act of establishing a deeper connection with another human being through compassion and kindness. The human experience is all about making a deeper connection with each other. “O the Creator, who bestows on all His light divine�. We are all connected. Believe in the unity of all creation and love in the creation of the divine as one family. Compassion and kindness are the two central tenets that will elevate consciousness, bring inner tranquility and like a polished mirror, will illuminate the divinity within us. It is the shimmering thread that unites and holds humanity together. It is also a core of our moral responsibility.

In My ZONE of S