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Steffen Horstmann

Kin to Dust

I brood on knowledge I am kin to dust,
Destined to reside within the dust.

A mere whim of the migrant winds —
The dead dervish in a coffin of dust.

Clocks stopped ticking in an abandoned house.
In silence its floors grew a skin of dust.

The palaces have fallen through their floors.
Remnants of kingdoms once sovereign, in dust.

I woke remembering seeds budding into stars . . .
My eyes held dreams in a ruin of dust.

Winds are still wrestling in the caves,
Where mystics conjured a Djinn from dust.

Moments of stillness before suns combust —
The dispersing light becomes thin as dust.

The Past

From the future Time cannot segregate the past,
It will become burdened with the weight of the past.

It is the mind’s cargo, carried forward
Nightly in sleep, the freight of the past.

Decades dissolved & you beckoned me
To that garden with a rusty gate, the past.

Thoughts linger & vanish — & memories,
Like coins, drop through the grate of the past.

The train you never boarded now arrives,
In the echoing station where I wait in the past.

Its pages no regime can erase.
Archives no deed can vacate, the past.

I dreamt myself in The Warehouse of the Universe,
& with a crowbar pried open an old crate, the past.

You were the stranger longing for God,
Destitute & searching for your fate in the past.

It exists in the mind’s vast spaces
As a city whose lights pulsate, the past.

It is the unfathomable depths from where
I hear your voice emanate, the past.


Searchlights chase echoes of footfalls at night.
Shadows of sentries sliding the walls at night.

Leaves become tongues speaking with the wind’s voice.
The dead return in their black shawls at night.

The shell of my ear houses voices
That escape to echo in halls at night.

Star, white asterisk on the sky’s black page . . .
Into the sea’s mirror it falls tonight.

We would talk until dawn or just listen
To the sound of waterfalls at night.

A drop of rain seeks the ocean’s refuge —
Exiled by the sky from which it falls tonight.

The water’s lip is pressed to the sand’s skin . . .
My dream when a soft rain falls at night.

About Steffen Horstmann

STEFFEN HORSTMANN has written more than one hundred ghazals in English. His poems and book reviews have appeared in publications throughout the world, including in Baltimore Review, Common Ground Review, Istanbul Literary Review, The Kashmir Walla, Texas Poetry Journal, and Tiferet. His book of ghazals, Jalsaghar will be published by Kariboux Limited. See Poets & Writes.