Khwaab Tanha Collective

Ode to Corona: The Queen

A poem by Khwaab Tanha Collective, narrated beautifully in Urdu by Dr. Syeda Hameed.

  The Indian Express

It is a jungle of loneliness
that one leaves behind,
Moving to a hollow forest of thought
where sunlight never touches the ground,
Resonant with grief
that feeds on itself
The futile empty streets leading
to other futile empty streets
through which an ominous breeze blows
tender green leaves, already
with autumnal hues,
In a whirlwind of memory;
Not a sound is heard
in the limitless desert of hope
of thoughtless, forsaken joy
But the darkened sky turns azure,
with billowing clouds, wandering free.
While ancient trees stand tall,
freed from the foresters axe
Morning birds no longer grovel
on inhospitable terrace and balcony,
awaiting grain from unwilling hands.
Parrots sit conversing
on red sandstone ledges
Jutting out of green palaces
where man has been.
The joyous trees make a merry go round;
Fragile Gulmohar
with abundant red flowers
And its stronger friend the Palash tree
—flaming through the forest
lean towards the fulsome laburnum;
with its golden blooms
and bunches of iridescent leaves
to together watch in wonderment
the Jacaranda tree
shedding her lavender blossoms

to reveal a wondrously lissome form
in the moonlight,
when the moon never looked larger;
never so bright;
and with a lingering glance at the blue river
stream onto its banks’ rejoicing
that it will be have no more canes
no more hooks or cruel sticks
piercing the flow of her sparkling waters.
‘ I will tell my kingdom beneath’ said the happy river
To no longer meander fearfully’ .
And then appeared from a scarred mountainside
where man slaughtered thick forests
for millions of years,
A blue bird with an olive branch appeared;
‘Hail Corona the Queen!
Who has rescued us
from the slings and arrows of piercing misfortune
Inflicted by that grisly beast, man’.
Said the blue bird ‘ I will now circle the skies
And ride a chariot of clouds’!
I will circle the heavens and sing to my Lord
who made all things, which we knew all along.