A poem distilled from a post or poem you have written in the past.

NPM April 8th.


When I was growing up in the Deccan Plateau of South India, I thought that I would stay little the whole time. Growing up, getting married was never a thought. My brothers and I played in the courtyards of that huge place where mother had grown up. In one of the courtyards, there was a huge tree. My brother would climb it and shake the branches; all of us, including the house staff, would spread sheets on the ground so the berries, called β€œbeyr” would drop down and be collected, and distributed to the entire neighbourhood.

I loved eating them.

Then we moved away further south where father became the dean of a university. Several years later, I went back to my maternal home, and— here is what I have extracted from the poem that I had written.


The Courtyard

I played in my courtyard with a huge tree in the center,
all our games we fashioned around that tree. I knew
that the tree would stay the same for the rest of its life
and mine.

I stand under that same tree now, and wonder why the
courtyard had shrunk, and why the tree
had become so much taller!

(extracted from the poem The Courtyard, from my book Stray Thoughts/Winged Words.)

ZSA_MD April 8th 2016.

About Zakiah

I write poetry and some fiction, have a book that was published in 2012. . . Stray Thoughts/Winged Words. I have four grandchildren, ages 16 and half to almost 16 months. I love the ocean, and grew up along the Indian Ocean in South India. I am a retired physician. Don't know much else to say. Thanks for reading. That has been my profile for so many years. My daughter Saadia a great poet and story teller, has two sons; the oldest grandson is now 21 years old, doing architectural engineering at Missouri S&T in Rolla MO. His younger brother is almost 16 and taking driving lessons seriously and is in High School. The other two grandsons, children of my son Sayeed, are 9 and 5. I have recently published another book titled Gulistan, A home of Flowers. It has stories and memories of my childhood and of a distant land which I still consider as my HOME., even though I have lived here in the US for more than fifty years. Hope to see you on my blog.
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16 Responses to A poem distilled from a post or poem you have written in the past.

  1. slmret says:

    I love this, Zakiah! How true that children, without other experience, expect the world not to change, and how surprised we always are when returning after years of absence to find that everything has changed rather drastically! Can you identify the tree or its berries? They must have been tasty!

    • Zakiah says:

      They are tropical trees and quite large, Janet. During summer, (hah, it is always summer in south India) like in June and July, the tree is full of berries. They are about the size of dates, and meaty with a seed in the center. Very, very sweet. I haven’t tasted them since I left that part of India in the early fifties.

  2. Going back to visit childhood places is always interesting. I think those fun memories will always be there even if the courtyard looks smaller.

  3. Yes the tree was taller but about the shrunk yard i think this is due to a difference of perception of the space .This is like for time : that may seem be long ago or in acceleration .
    I learn your father was a dean of a University : a family of Universitaries .
    This post is food for thought, Zakia ( as always)
    Love ❀

    • Zakiah says:

      Yes Michel, father was a scholar and a great educationist.
      I agree about the shrinking of the yard…. small children always think that the play area is so large, and when they grow up, the room is so small; their little feet have now become larger and they can cross that same room in just a few steps.

  4. You make me homesick for a place I have never been. Only talented writers can do this! Of course, I love it.

  5. Beautiful, SweetZ.! This brought a smile and a sigh. Very poignant. Oh, I’m so glad for those happy childhood memories, even if everything is smaller when we visit as adults.
    Going back to the home I grew up in is too difficult (emotionally). So I haven’t done that for 12+ years now. 😦
    I wish I could sit in the courtyard you describe! πŸ™‚
    HUGS!!! πŸ™‚

    • Zakiah says:

      Oh if only you could come and see that land where I grew up, and hear the stories that I heard, and love the people I loved. It was a beautiful time and a beautiful life… my childhood. Thank you for the lovely words Carolyn. ❀ ❀

  6. I love reading about your life and growing up in India. Such a different world from mine.
    There was a tree I use to climb in my grandparent’s yard. Like you, I went back as a college student and low and behold, it had shrunk. LOL. It seemed so tall as a child. I still loved it though and climbed on up it again.
    love and hugs.

  7. marica0701 says:

    Beautiful poem, and I love the memory you shared! πŸ™‚

  8. r_hsw says:

    oh, i remember this πŸ™‚

  9. Zakiah says:

    Do you know, when I was writing this post, I thought that you might remember it. I know you have read my book. It brings smile to my face. Thank you.

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