This poem about a clearing in the forest is accompanied with a photo journal to portray heightened imagery.

Poetry by Anaa Gulzar; “khula aasman, khula dimaag” means “open sky, open mind” in Urdu. Photos belong to Aisha Khan, shot in Beaverbrook Woods, London, ON.

khula aasman, khula dimaag

[open sky, open mind]

let’s go on an adventure
        i say to no one in particular
to discovery and beyond
how swell
in the thick of the bushes and wilting overhang
i push through this seemingly crude entrance

i crouch and rise
and come eye to eye with life
unparallel to mine
right left and centre.

canopy of trees

and then the forest giants spring high to show
their royalty in the thicket of prime
an age you think old
but exactly why?
so graceful as if maybe
they guard Terabithia,
the land of dreams
        lost?

alas i find no bridge
but the one my heart clings to
and i continue to press on in this darkness
with the mere exception of little rays of light
from the east as the sun continues to reach its zenith.

sun shines through trees

and so i walk upon a clearing
in the middle of this woodland
and it dawns on me
that it too was once covered
by perhaps the oldest tree this forest ever did see
for now their lies a stump so hollow
and the log a little to its left
i wonder when it fell
but it must’ve been years ago.
i wonder who was hurt and injured
i wonder if it was commissioned
or nature’s creed said it’s seeds are meant
for some place else, indeed.

i wonder if lightning came to call this guard’s end
but somehow started the beginning of another bend
of a glade not known before
but a wonder no less.

a tree is cut down

oh what it takes for a single tree to fall in a forest of many
but the clearing always reminds me of my mind
in all the beauty of the shaded clutter
i look for the bright blue sky that awaits
not left nor right, not north nor south

Woman looks up at treesnowhere else but up
        open sky

and no matter how much i crane my neck
i still can’t come to grasp how a single log on the ground is left.
vestigial. rudimentary, really—but
        what it took to come down
is a little like prejudice
for how do we understand the other
if we don’t allow for a clearing in our clouded head?
open sky, open mind
there goes by a breath-like breeze.

Feature Photo By Aisha Khan

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