Death by Rejected Visa Application

by Waqas Naeem

Death came for Ibne Batuta,
as a bandit first
and then
a shipwreck,
and in a storm again,
and again
as a palace intrigue.
He escaped each time,
until the last,
to die
when no one really cared if he lived anymore,
not even Death,
nor Ibne Batuta.

Musical composition by Victor David Sandiego

Waqas Naeem is a college teacher, journalist and part-time poet. He currently teaches journalism and communication at the National University of Sciences & Technology in Islamabad, Pakistan. He has previously worked for The Express Tribune as a news reporter, translates news stories for Global Voices Online and his poems have appeared in Papercuts and Asian Reflections. He also works as the volunteer-director of the South Asian literary community, the Desi Writers' Lounge.


Very moving, very powerful. The spare language keeps the subject matter on course, and the last two lines are a one-two punch summarizing this man's tragedy. Thank you.
Marsha S., Apr 08, 2016
Waqas Naeem brings a certain balance to this piece that serves it very well. We start and end with both death and Ibne Batuta. In between, we have a man who ā€“ although subject to various threats of bandits and shipwrecks ā€“ lives only to avoid the inevitable. Sad, poignant and all to common of a human experience Iā€™m afraid.
Victor D. Sandiego, Nov 20, 2015
That's pretty good! Bravo
Faraz, Nov 20, 2015
Brilliant Waqas
Riz, Nov 20, 2015
Thanks for reading and appreciating, everyone!
Waqas, Nov 20, 2015
Hey Waqas. This one is just brilliant!
Animesh, Nov 20, 2015
ali, Nov 20, 2015
Really lovely.
Natasha Joshi, Nov 20, 2015
I love this! =)
Rhonda C. Poynter, Nov 14, 2015