M. Shahid Alam


Again, the dogwoods, silver bells, magnolias and cherries
dash to life and light in a florid swirl of colors: red,
white and magenta twirls. It is the urge to procreate
so long suppressed that propels this playful excess.

In leaves,
                  the sober greens will speak
                                                                   when April turns to May.


A swathe of periwinkle blue thriving
in April: this won’t last till May.

A quartet of summer birds roosts
on the cornice: they are real not painted.

Once-green, rain-sodden leaves hug
the streets: scenes from an autumn massacre.

The light from distant galaxies varnishes
the winter sky: it is brighter than ochre.


M. Shahid Alam is professor of economics at Northeastern University, Boston. His poetry and translations of Ghalib have appeared (or will appear) in TriQuarterly Online, Southern Review, Prairie Schooner, Chicago Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, Sufi, Marlboro Review,Critical Muslim, Paintbrush, West Coast Review, etc.