Along the Shore
by Munia Khan

It was the seventeenth September of my life
when my heart was floating
on the north side of the Alps; on a lake!
People named it Lake Geneva;
but I called it “Heart Lake”
as it flowed into my heart’s core
through the grace of its royal serenity

And in disguise of a fountain
Jet d’ Eau was there every second
to pump 500 liters of my excitement
to the height of 140 meters
towards the limitless sky
as if it wanted to be
the symbol of my youthful vigour
instead of symbolizing
Switzerland’s strength and vitality

I loved the afternoon sun playing
with its own rays along the shore
And while I was going to meet
the flowers and sculptures of Montreux,
I smelled Lord Byron’s ink
sweating an amazing darkness out
from the medieval body of Chillon Castle

Right away I had to stop
Yes, I had to;
not because I read “The Prisoner of Chillon”
but because of a magical effect
the castle’s external splendour cast upon me
They said “it was one of the most
feared dungeons in the whole world”;
but strangely my mind sensed something else
During those moments, I was happy being imprisoned
by a certain dejection I could never express
I felt I didn’t want to leave that place
I began to inhale the breeze
carrying ancient love and mercy
reflected by the lake
The architectural beauty
of the oval-shaped Château de Chillon
buried all its historical mortification and guilt

AUTHOR’S PHOTO CAPTION: Me, at 17 in front of Château de Chillon (Chillon Castle) in Geneva, Switzerland  (Sept. 2, 1998).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: This poem is inspired by my visit to my sister’s home in Geneva, Switzerland, 1998 when I was 17. It feels like just yesterday, as though time stands still along the shore of Lake Geneva. Through this poem I’d like to thank my one and only sister Fauzia Haque and my brother-in-law Enamul Haque for giving me so many precious memories in my life.


Munia Khan
 was born on a spring night of 15th March in the year 1981. Her poetry is the reflection of her own life experience. She is the author of three poetry collections — Beyond the Vernal Mind, published in 2012, To Evince the Blue, published in 2014 by Xlibris Corporation, USA and Versified, published in 2016 by Tiktakti Publishing Company, Tel Aviv, Israel. . Her poems have appeared in several anthologies around the world. Her works have been translated into various languages: Japanese, Romanian, Urdu, Spanish, Bengali, Irish, and so on. She is a member in The Poetry Society, UK, and also a founding member of Poets & Artists For A Different World Movement.