IMTIAZ DHARKER (1954)
Imtiaz Dharker was born in 1954.
She calls herself a Scottish Muslim Calvinist, brought up in a Lahori household in Glasgow, working in Bombay. She is a poet,
artist and documentary film-maker and all her books, Purdah,
Postcards from god, I speak for the devil and The terrorist at
my table, include her own drawings. She now lives between India,
London and Wales.
I know this frosted landscape
better than it knows itself, its layers
a busy clock of history, still ticking.
Under my feet I feel the trail of the slug,
the snail, the earth’s deep squirm
around an anklet or an amulet, a broken cup.
Lost, the names of the ones
whose fingers made and used
and threw away these things,
written and rewritten in the calligraphy
of roots. The worm’s heave
and turn delivers messages up,
scribbled in folds of soil and mud, afterthoughts
that grow to trees, trunks with arms,
branches with fingers, twigs with nails,
scratches on air, tear
after tear on a white page.
These names have given their artefacts away
to be sparse as winter. Here I am, they say.
Here and here for you to see,
fingerprinted on the sky.