Issue 10, Poetry: Poems from Sophia

by Sophia Naz



The Tale of The Incarcerated Tree and the Arrested Pigeon

In the City of Incarcerated Trees a Banyan of Amputated Arms was subject
to a double sentence, that of being
both jailer and jailed

The crime of the Arrested Pigeon was to cross an invisible border in the unpartitioned sky
the crime of the Incarcerated Tree was to be in love with his winged captive
the crime of the Arrested Pigeon was to carry a paper anklet with a love poem

The ribcage of the Incarcerated Tree was made of multiple amputations
each mutilated limb sprouted leaves shiny as a green wound
the captors of the pigeon burned the love message and rubbed its ashes into the ground like a cigarette stub
from that moment onwards the sky turned the color of a crematorium

The homing pigeon lost her way that day
what is the point of flight if you can never go home?
As for the Incarcerated Tree, it is so easy to silence a banyan, you just keep cutting off its aerial roots before they touch the ground

Before there can be a gesture of witness.


Chappan Churri

The jilted’s fifty six stabbings
could not kill Janaki Bai
thereafter known
as chappan churri

When I type
churri, autocorrect is also
a stab at language
giving me the option
of cherry, char
cheri, churn, churl,
chi and occasionally, chai

A conjoined cup I sip
walk a tight rope
of english-urdu
one foot in each bone-cheeni
my lines are burning fiercely

Like Janaki
each wound giving me
a brand new mouth


Poems by Sophia Naz, Illustration by Mavni

Sophia Naz is an Asian-American author who writes in both Urdu and English. She has been anthologized worldwide, in both print and online journals including Poetry International Rotterdam, The Adirondack Review, SCROLL,  Chicago Quarterly Review, The Daily O, BlazeVOX,  The Stonecoast Review, Cactus Heart, Askew Poetry, Bank Heavy Press, Spilled Ink, Lantern Journal, Convergence   Antiphon Poetry UK,  AAJ, The Sunflower Collective, AntiSerious,  Zubaan Journal, The Ghazal Page etc. Peripheries, her debut collection of poetry, published in September 2015. Links to published works  can be found at

Mavni is a goofball of curls who speaks about Murakami as if she is having a love affair with his writing. She gets amused and amazed by the mother of wonders that is philosophy and loves telling anecdotes that climax too soon.

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