Poet’s Corner: Home, Memories, Tribute

Here is the latest installment of Poet’s Corner, presented by the Edmonds-based EPIC Poetry Group


The first trip back to Karachi after my father had passed away. Winter 2018.
The captain says “cabin crew take your positions for landing”
And the plane glides towards a smooth landing.

It’s a lissome and graceful descent.
How can a plane be lissome?
In my book it can.

I do what I want with the pain in my heart,
with the pen in my hand.

I feel terribly powerful and secretly scared,
with the pain in my heart, with the pen in my hand.

Descriptions delve holes in my imagination.
They can be vivid like primary colors in a rainbow or lurid,
like pieces of red pulp from my heart.

There can be an absence in my soul like the one I felt as I stared down from the dark night sky,

the lights of Karachi, as always, were like scattered jewels, strewn across black velvet,
like gems from a broken necklace.

Twinkling magic they normally were.
But this time they were taunting me.
Teasing that absence in my soul.

Who are you now?
Who waits for you?

My father will not be calling to see if I have landed or how far I am from his apartment.
My son is quiet, lies down in the hotel bed.
“Will we go to see Nana’s apartment?”
I tell him we will.

And I tell that empty part of my soul to stop stirring
to accept the emptiness of his apartment
to accept the facts.

And let the pulpy bits of my heart bleed,
into that gap in my soul.

Where they can find a new shape
of memory…
Of love and wisdom beyond measure.

The remembrance of my father,
of security.
But right now…
It’s a cool winter Karachi night,
bright lights, big city.
I feel alone.

Zeinab Masud

~ ~ ~ ~


Memories are what keep me warm
Remind me I’m human
they keep me strong

My journey started years ago
I kept getting told
“there wasn’t far to go.”

We wandered far
We wandered wide
It was never I
who got to decide

Tired now, I pause
for breath
Only to find
that they have left

I saw much of the world
Perhaps that is why
I can’t find home
Even though I try

Little bits of myself
Never feeling quite whole
Lost along the way
Distributing pieces
of my soul

So now, I find solace
As I remember, I write

Of Mummy, of Daddy
of pleasure, of plight

I write of places
that I pretended were Home

I write of race, of color,
the cruel difference
in creed

I write, I feel

Through the sweet
and bitter taste
Of Poetry.

Zeinab Masud

~ ~ ~ ~


How can memories be complete
Without a tribute to mistakes
Most lovingly made
Quite carefully construed

The ones without whom
I would never have become right

Those years when
dark was exciting
And light just too banal
too bright

Coals: crazy, black,
simmering, more my style
Warm to the touch

Got burnt? Not really
Not quite. Not as such

Fumbled and often found my way
Fell down, bruised heart
Didn’t know what to say

Yet learnt and dealt a hand or two
Eventually realized
it was not about you

It was me, all along,
the weak, the bold
I kept me warm
I left me cold

Generous of me
to think that it could be you
Who could cause that
quite perfect pain

When all along
it was I
Me, myself, my choice
My stain.

Zeinab Masud

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Zeinab Masud Agha is a trained Humanistic Counsellor and a Certified Tiny Habits Coach. She has a passion for prose and poetry and has had articles published in newspapers and magazines. Zeinab is currently working on her first book as well as a collection of poems. She loves the writers community in Edmonds and the greater Seattle area. Zeinab was one of the recipients of the non-fiction award at WOTS last year. Currently based in Seattle, Zeinab has straddled cultures and crossed continents, having lived in over 10 different countries. She’s still searching for a place to call home.



  1. Zeinab, I can hear your heart through your poems! Beautiful. I love the last one especially. You are very effective in your use of rhyme.

  2. I always love your work, and the poem of going to Karachi after your father’s death spoke to me. After my father died (in Ohio) every time I drove by the airport exit in Columbus I burst into tears. From then on, he would not be waiting to greet me when I landed.

    I hope you will read at EPIC open mic on February 16, 5-6:30.

    1. Thank you for your kind words, Laura.

      And also thank you for letting me know about the open mic, I would love to attend.

  3. Love you, Zeinab! I find that writing short snippets about the people we love is a great way to remember all the good things they did for us, even if they didn’t always do the right thing, or what we wanted. You know how to but memories and sentiments into words that we can all feel.

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