Sheikha A.

Autumn should have arrived ten days ago
but the days are mystifyingly clear
and with a cool breeze today – 
we are probably receiving the residual
monsoon winds from across borders.

This stray monsoon doesn’t know it can
never initiate rain on my ground – 
we live under a despot sun.

My skin hasn’t started to flake,
darken and wrinkle like autumn-inflicted trees,
but has turned a shade lighter – 
an unwelcome unexpected 

Spring never arrived; summer hasn’t left;
autumn is late; the months are shedding
days faster than the leaves in flight
to desiccation.

The days carry themselves with eccentric
precision – eight years have seen no change.

Winter will be its nonage burgundy self;
the nights crusting with sadness,
the hours condensing with slowness.


SHEIKHA A. is from Pakistan and United Arab Emirates. Over 300 of her poems have been published in various literary venues, both print and online, including several anthologies by different presses. More about her can be found on