Sunday, October 5, 2014

H for KASHMIR - A Mother's Monologue

Bloodshed is always ominous here
for I know I am being stripped
of another relation
the burnt house
is a pyre
love is a shackle
life is a handcuff

Faiz and his poetry
have long drowned
in Jhelum on
the curfewed nights
that feed on human flesh
Ikwans * and half-widows
and the disappeared
meet in nightmares

Bismil, Ashfaqullah and Paash
are imprisoned in history forever
in books oxymoronically labelled-
Revolutionary Poetry
My young men now
prefer stones

the masks
are lifeless
despite their colors
love, peace, democracy
and the biggest farce of all

gravestones bear
just numbers
names and people
complicate statistics
so madness is the method
only mad monologues
can bear the truth

like Yorick's skull
the conflict has
dead players
and an active battleground

truth and lies
wear the same shirt
like identical twins
they blur
only the ghosts
have tales to tell

the world is
an interrogation camp
with endless torture

only the gravediggers
can sing
death is a business,
dead, half-dead
and the rest
forced to flee
to nowhere

all end
as the bard said
"The rest is silence"
I am a mother
called Kashmir.

*armed counter-insurgency renegades

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To Kill a Mockingbird
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