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Kabul in a Haiku

a city of never-resting beauty

By Parwana FayyazPublished 7 months ago 2 min read
a photo of Kabul city centre in 2018 (my own photograph)


Summer evenings in Kabul

dust fell into the valleys,

the trees stay tranquil.

Autumn rains ,

the almond flowers have fallen,

broken in feathers.

All the streets wrapped in

snow, I don’t see the

old man walking on the streets.

Deep down from the earth,

little flowers

sprout as spring runs in their bosom.


From behind the window

the moon edges

among the grapevines.

Early morning on the wet muddy streets,

the old man pushes a carriage

full of yellow mangoes.

With the midday sun,

the workers lean on

the trunk of the mulberry trees.

In twilight, next to the dried Kabul River,

the dusty gale walks so elegantly

back on the streets.


With the summer rains,

the neighbor’s clay walls

melt in mud-color.

By the end of autumn,

the grapes are well ripened, the bees

full satisfied.

In orange attire, the sun

comes behind the mountains,

the snow disappears over the clay-huts.

In spring,

the old man adds more clay to the roofs,

little poppies waiting for the sun.


The summer stream of Qarabaqh

flows over pebbles and plants.

The fish congregate in the opening

of the stream,

in autumn, blue and white.

The window frames are under frost

yet the stream still flows,

in the far sight.

In spring, the little girls

wash their dishes in the stream-

their noises falling into the air.

One girl comes back with tear

the water has run down her copper dishes.


At midnight in my village,

a white wolf whimpers in our kitchen.

The remaining smell of freshly baked bread

makes me feel the hunger of the hungry wolf.


mother walks with me to the wheat farms,

in the corners of her scarf, little cubes of sugar fastened.

Dinner is served in a big bowl-

two women and three kids, reaching for morsels

with their fingers.

Five people crawl under one quilt,

soft and warm, the moon stays behind the windows,

and sleeps in the arms of the night.


About the Creator

Parwana Fayyaz

I am an Afghan writer. Forty Names, my first collection of poetry, was published in 2021 and named a New Statesman Book of the Year and a White Review Book of the Year. I also translate both poetry and fiction from Persian into English.

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