Nibras Malik is a second year Politics & IR student at Cardiff University. Her poetry has been published in Acumen Poetry and the Trouvaille Review. In addition, she has been long-listed for the Felix Dennis Young Poets Awards 2020. Her hobbies include climbing trees, playing catch and watching documentaries.
‘Solitary confinement is too terrible a punishment to inflict on any
human being, no matter what his crime. Hardened criminals in the
men's prisons, it is said, often beg for the lash instead’.
Emmeline Pankhurst (1858-1928)
I am a prisoner to ceaseless night,
A torment without end or beginning,
Everything is suffused with pain,
My heart is a bare hinterland,
Utterly empty and vacuous,
As my mind splinters like glass,
There is no consolation,
Silence is my only witness,
It offers no companionship,
I pray for sweet oblivion,
The cold comfort of death,
Signals an end to my misery.
‘I am opposing a social order in which it is possible for one man
who does absolutely nothing that is useful to amass a fortune of
hundreds of millions of dollars, while millions of men and women
who work all the days of their lives secure barely enough for a
Amidst the grinding mills of capital,
Hours of hard and solemn toil,
Crush the spirit of the working man,
Progress is an unjustifiable crime,
Its fruit is nothing but avarice and greed,
But there are no murmurs of discontent,
The working man has sold his soul,
To the idol of bourgeois prosperity,
Though it is doubtful if he will ever claim it,
There is no promise of redemption,
Perhaps it is better this way,
Hope cuts too close to the bone,
Absurdity fills the spiritual abyss,
When reality is phantasmagoria,
Civilization reveals its madness.
Every word is like an unnecessary stain on silence and nothingness.
Consciousness thickens like fog,
So dense and oppressive,
I close my eyes and meditate,
Utterly dead to the world,
Witness to pure silence,
Calm finality and oblivion,
The eternal and starless night,
Surpasses all understanding,
Unburdened of being and time,
I am relieved of my suffering.
The Kingdom of the Clouds
‘Now, if God made the clouds so beautiful, did He not mean us to gaze upon them and be thankful for them?’ ― Alfred Rowland
Lying under a sun-drenched sky,
Utterly glorious and heavenly,
Observing the feathery white clouds,
I awaken to the promise of enchantment,
Within this blessed and golden realm,
Where the soul calls to higher things,
I am left to contemplate all things,
In awe and deep thankfulness.