THE LEAF OF THE NEEM TREE by Jamal Mehmood
130 x 195mm, 126 pages, black and white printing, perfect bound, 2021
A meditative collection of poems and short stories, contemplating turbulence and repose.
Known for their bitter taste, neem leaves have been used for centuries in South Asian traditional medicine. In The Leaf of the Neem Tree, Jamal Mehmood unravels bitter truths that come with growing out of youth and confronting the concrete realities of our world.
Weaving free verse and ghazal, English with Urdu, the poems lead the reader through the author’s wandering mind, which moves from Gillingham to Kashmir; Ghassan Kanafani to Mansour Hallaj. We also peer into the worlds of a struggling graduate dealing with the harshness of life after university; a shipman who finds himself swimming to England; and a man who decided to leave England behind altogether.
Balancing movement with pause, this impeccable collection deals in the alchemy of introspection—the quietness of loss, longing, memory and spirituality.