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Khalid Khan

Khalid khan was born in Rangoon, Burma, then brought up in Mandalay. He has lived in the UK, Burma and Iran. His interest in literature has resulted in over 2,000 poems, which have found themselves in over 45 publications, he has also had three books of poetry published. 'Under the Tamarind Tree' in 1965, issue 30 of 'The Third Half' in 1999 and 'Sometimes' in 2002. In his poems he expresses his disenchantment with social, economic and political conditions still prevalent in third world countries, he can also be humourous and romantic.Khalid has also had a novel 'Where the Irrawaddy Flows' published by Cromwell Publishers only last year. He also contributes regularly to the 'Coffee House' magazine. Khalid is a Doctor (Anaesthesiologist) in Karachi where he lives with his family.

Strange Clouds

I am the dry belt of my country,
waiting for the monsoon,
to throw rain on my face,
but the clouds pass by like strangers,
without bothering to see,
that my tongue is dry, lips parched,
the lustre of my eyes gone,
my babies fondle with breasts,
that are just dry wells.

My lakes are empty cups,
rivers, scars on my body, which do not heal at all
when it is hot and windy.

My barren mountains,
with outstretched trembling hands,
try to stop the clouds
and hug them tight,
without getting wet,
and they have plans
to go and drop off in far off lands.
The animals howl at night, the birds shriek, the insects creep,
the reptiles burrow deep.

My sons till the soil,
but nothing sprouts,
except hunger, want and pain
in this country of no rain.

Women with Shrouds

Women wear shrouds of poverty,
covered with dust of hunger,
sweat of labour, pain of torture,
over heads which don't think,
hearts which don't beat,
upon breasts without milk.

Their tongues don't speak,
nor demand their right
to live, wear and eat,
breathe the air of freedom
and do what they want,
besides serving a lord.

Life spent in gallows
of a husband's whims,
whose hand is a lash,
tongue is the law,
eye the warning bell,
home a prison cell.

Lust is the fire,
which razes sea and land,
owner and tenant,
guilty and innocent,
desecrates spirit and flesh,
creates replica of hell