Poetry / Poets

2 Poems by Ambarin Afsar

Dream, little boy, dream.

Dream of running into the sea with your little sunburnt friends.
Dream of the dogs that lap at your feet and run with you in great lunges across roads you only know too well.
Dream of the cities that wait for you and dream the cities that do not exist yet.
Dream of the busy marketplaces that hold you in their thrall.
Dream of their multicoloured delights blinking benignly.

Dream of the wind that you wish to ride.
Dream of the world that is to be your steed.

Dream of green days that drip soft, sparkling smiles.
Dream of a universe of strange numbers and stranger pictures.

Dream of new people and old, dream of friendly strangers and unknown companions.
Dream of streets that offer you but a vague glimpse and leave you thirsting.
Dream of maps that have not yet been etched.
Dream of roads that have yet not been told their name.

Dream of libraries filled with all kinds of sights and smells piled upon each other.

Dream of a piece of string, a few marbles and a dog’s silhouette in the doorway.
Dream of the simple, familiar things, and dream of the vast, great unknown.
Dream of a kind word at your ear, dream of a warm head sleeping by your feet.

Dream of a song that has roots in the wizened banyan, and dream a melody that no one has sung before.
Dream of tugging at someone’s hands and dream of the hands that have always soothed yours.

Dream of things so momentary and fleeting, that you only manage to ask them who they are.
Dream of the wisdom you found sleeping under rocks, dream of the tales you saw spinning in the leaves high above you.

Dream of stories that will be forgotten as soon as the dream changes. Dream of kind storytellers who will stay when your eyes fly open.

Dream of a window painted in a cathedral as old, as pure and as sacred as life itself.

Dream of a place far removed from time. Dream of heights that spiral and swirl around you.
Dream of a long road that winds up a cliff by a large blue sea.
Dream songs into your dream, dream places and people. Dream of the roar of the sea.
Dream multiple lives beginning and ending, dream millions of eyes waking and closing. Dream of the patient wait of the cliff.
Dream fragments, pieces, dream the world, dream some more. Dream of a place that has been promised by you for years.
Dream a crescendo, dream a symphony, dream a frenzy. Dream of the person waiting along with the blank rock, for you to heed your promise.

Dream silence, dream peace, dream pure white. Dream of pouring your words into cupped palms.

Dream of togetherness. And watch the world come alive.


I have a heart.
An empty little heart.
And I mean to fill it with all sorts of things.
I want to fill it with joy and happiness.

I want to fill it with warm paws and wagging tails.
I want to fill it with wet noses and playful bites.

I want to fill it with simple things
Like a plastic bag dancing in the wind
Like the sound of dry leaves crunching underfoot
Like the smell of woodspice in the air when the train crosses the marshland
Like my mother’s hands
Like kites taking wing
Soaring in the hot blue skies of noon
And gliding through the pale pink hues of evening
Like my father’s eyes
Sometimes stern, sometimes wistful and nostalgic
Very rarely tearful
And always warm upon my forehead

I want to fill it with childhood dreams
Lost summers, faraway winters
The patter of rabbits’ feet
The comforting lap of my aunt, who was more than a mother
The birds in the guava tree
Half-eaten rose hips
And nibbled away pomegranates
The clumps of hot dust rising from the courtyard
Freshly watered, and gradually cooling
Sparrows’ nests in the eaves
An ancient table crowded with inks, brushes and an easel
Bookshelves groaning under the weight of well-thumbed books
Floors and corners as cool as ice
Heaters as snug as a blanket
Stolen icecream
Borrowed tea

Most of all, I want to fill it with love
I want to fill it with you
I want to fill it with all the memories we’ve made in a hundred different places at a thousand different times
Like the pebble on the road where I first met you
Like the handful of sand from the beach where your hand lingered upon mine
Like the gravel from that night and those streets belonging to a city of old forts and new dreams
Like a clump of grass from an unnamed park in a foreign land
Like a fistful of water from a river where the moon walks
Like the dust that tumbled along with a few stray strands of hair on your spotless floor

Like all the streets and shadows and nights and mornings and lives and loves I’ve lived in every line I’ve ever written

Like a mouthful of sky from all the dreams where I’ve met you, walked with you, cried with you, laughed with you

Like all the things we have been, have never been and will be.

I just want to fill my little heart with so many things
Till it is bursting at the seams

And then I want to give it to you
In cupped palms
Like a prayer



7 thoughts on “2 Poems by Ambarin Afsar

  1. Ambarin Afsar works for an Indian photography magazine in Bombay and writes whenever the words refuse to leave her head through any other means.

  2. Both works are miniature wonders. The first, an unabashed ode to the power of dreams that refuses to heed the voices clamoring for simple propriety. The second, an invitation into a heart that beats only for love in all things. Both are an outright refutation of the cynicism that our world offers up in the corners of everything.

    “Like all the streets and shadows and nights and mornings and lives and loves I’ve lived in every line I’ve ever written”

    A line for writers that is immediately appreciated. Just one of many wonderful lines to be had, but the one I find myself compelled to draw attention to.

    Thank you for all of these words.

  3. Pingback: walking with my father. | Sick with Poetry.

  4. Pingback: A Dream Within A Dream | melanie's blog

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