Salim-el-azhar Ebrahim: Epigrams I

 Profile: Salim-el-azhar Ebrahim was previously based in Seattle, USA and is presently stationed in Karachi. He is an epigrammatist, poet, essayist, dialogist, and film-maker, and author of a newly released book Reason! The Measure of Thought, a collection of 500 original epigrams (publisher: kindle books). His previous work, The Hourglass and the Pen – the Measures of Thought, a short booklet of original epigrams and poems is now out of print. In Seattle he hosted eighty hour-long productions of Moral Reasoning Forum for SCAN television.

Salim-el-azhar Ebrahim - "everyone is born an artist"

Salim-el-azhar Ebrahim – “everyone is born an artist”

Salim feels that  everyone is born an artist. He says: “The quality of one’s work is dependent upon both, inspiration and application. An artist may be renowned in his lifetime or ‘discovered’ centuries after his demise. Often economic need motivates to get one’s work to the market place or the desire to make known one’s work – and then again not!”



An epigram (an aphorism) grasps the thought on the wing – if lost, it’s gone forever.  Life, living and values are the fodder of the reflecting mind and when an insight is expressed with precision and brevity, the epigram takes birth.

To teach is one’s debt; to judge is not one’s right.

 When humility is for display can it be humility?

Love forgives and Love withers pride.

Avoid combat and let silence be the shield.

The seeds always bear fruit but one must have the patience.

The world applauds and in the same breath condemns: never fear opinion.

Yesterday stooping under calamities I was feverish in my praise of God.
Today, freed of my burdens, I am full of self adulation.

I fear not want but I do fear my insatiable greed.

The roots of courage lie within the folds of love.

Achievement is built on initiative and the perseverance to follow it through.

Every desire is accompanied by an equally intensive fear.

Rule the mind to rule the world.

Even the mightiest of men have moved amidst jealous eyes and fallen
to treacherous hearts.

Every man crowns his life with some such deeds, some such words.

A life without love, is it Life?

The absurdities that are men and I one of them!
Wonderful mad is this madness of human rigmarole.

My jealous heart kills even the few sproutings of happiness.

You shed tears for the flower now withered but see not the flower
that shall be.  When will you understand the wisdom of mortality?

I was created a human and given freedom of Will yet with false
bitterness I complain: “God created evil intent!”

Passion, blind in your grasp, I awoke to find I was but cheated.

They come to confer, aye, to mislead and to measure.  So beware!  Talk
less and listen well.

The parting is inevitable and I so nonchalant.  We smile farewell but
little you know how I weep.

Trust must be earned not demanded.

In times oppressive even hot blood and proud spirit must learn the
wisdom of silence.

Charity is
your softened speech
your understanding hand
your smiling face

The spontaneous
the unaffected in you
captured me.
Alas, in mistaken notions
you destroy beauty
in the tainted stance
the painted face

I sit in paradise
basking in the fragrant environment
unpardonably oblivious
of my allotted time

How young the old are become
in the toddler’s little hands
fondly leading them away
to play

Throw my ashes
where you will
but lest you err
know this
I want children’s laughter
in my dead ears

Date posted: 2009.


2 thoughts on “Salim-el-azhar Ebrahim: Epigrams I

  1. These epigrams are phenomenal!

    I was especially able to connect with “Humility…”, “The World Applauds…” and the very last one “Children’s Laughter”

    Amazing stuff, Salim!


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