the knife of the slow word

In the murk the Way advances
    as the knife of the slow word -
    in the murk there is a mark that 
    breathes   which poem gets lost 
    in that breath? the knife of the slow word 
    cuts only when the river flows -
    I collect quills and count moons - where 
    the worries are taken to pitch and the quills 
    remain, there I anchor my poem -

I do not know its name
I style it “Tao”

– Lao Tsu

Until her knife had pared
The moon to a rind of little light.

– Sylvia Plath

Khadija in her own words

I did everything in every field, I just didn’t like cleaning jobs like sweeping and dusting. My mind was always towards creating different things. If in a day I wasn’t able to make something, or complete something, I would feel my day is wasted.


I had so many questions about religion. I go for logic, you know, unless something convinces me with logical reasoning, I wouldn’t accept anything.


Being a mother… I don’t know… I passed the formative years of my children very busy in my work. I would stitch clothes for children and supply to shops. Most of my time was busy in stitching away…


…and I don’t remember how much attention I paid to them… though my children are always saying ‘Mummy you did so many things for us, you made such lovely clothes for us, you cooked such lovely meals, you did everything for us,’ so I don’t know.


In a way it’s a good thing to get yourself ready for your final exit from this world. I created so many things, so many things, I’m proud that I did so much work…I’m not materialistic, I like to collect art, that’s it, I like beauty…I made something, for everybody, I took interest in so many things and it was worthwhile living life like that.

Quotations are from an interview Khadija gave to Sakina Marvi (her cousin’s daughter) a few years ago.


Khadija Mamuwala
Mother-in-law, Creator of all things beautiful
January 23, 1940 – February 10, 2021

In my daughter’s name
I bless your child with the mother she has
with a future of warriors and growing fire.

Audre Lorde

machine unlearning

Buying a plot of land, I saved the deed on my hard drive, and it began to run out of space. Not knowing what to do – imagination limited by happy endings and twist plots from too many movies – I attempted to de-fragment the drive only to find it had already been optimally atomized. How do you come to terms with a drive that has opted out of alternative spaces? Overnight, the plot thickened into a miasma filling up dropbox which then complained of fatigue, oversubscribed by technophiles dreaming of escaping to Mars and buying a plot of land.


I am silence of the boat
carved of necessary wood –

Will I sink with the voice of
the heaviness of name or

Will the fight in me fly home as
song, as the otherhood of song?