You sit by the sea all day long
Sifting heaps of sand,
Through a broken sieve.

You shuffle through the heavens,
And dig down to the earth’s heart,
Searching for your own shadow.

You look for what is not,
And that which is,
To you means naught.

Year after year,
Your barren pursuit continues
As I look on with detached amusement.

I am your present;
The future that would never be,
The past that died before it was born.

– by Shehar Bano (Islamabad, Pakistan. January 2012)