My heart egos and my life drained from me
Simple life I live, I act as I know all
But I know not, no, not even a little
I earnestly seek for recognitions
But my life and my heart is a hole.
An empty vessel, soulless, loveless
I have been succumb by the pain of heart aches
I have become a broken man,
Know not what my future holds
I envy those who went before me, who were acknowledge
I hold on to the little shred of hope in me,
I am being drowned by my own sorrows.
Love, hate, a new beginning and ending of my old self never seems to happen
My wrath against my enemies is nothing for they humor me with insults.
Let not death come to me in misery and despair,
For life is full of joy and full of sorrows.
Love me, as who would love a stranger from nowhere.
Let my sorrows be taken away by the love of many
But at last, no one would.
Don’t cry for me, for no one knows me
They came before my grave and said “who is this man?”
“Why is the name not written?”
It is not written because I am nothing
Don’t shed a tear for the stranger such as me.
Life is like a dream on a calm sea,
As the captain gracefully steer and gently moves its rudder.
The passenger puts their lives in his hands,
A calm sea is the heaven of any sailor.
“So, where is my captain?”
The wind blows every so gently,
But my heart sinks gently into the sea;
Who will mourn for the stranger?
Drowned from my grief,
My faith begins to waver like a ship tossed around by the winnowing wind
My heaven, my calm sea turns against me as I sail the Galilean sea
“Where are thy words that calm the raging storm?”
Ay! I have no peace even in my passing.
I have not thy words of command,
For my faith has been tossed away by the hating winds,
Shallow, empty, and broken I lay here in an unnamed grave.
Only thy mercy will guide me to the third heaven!
Let my sorrows be washed away by the blood of the innocent lamp.
Let thy words be the honey drops for mine,
As this world knows only lies
Blinded by greed and lust,
They seek only to destroy of what they fear.
And my sorrows are tossed away by thy promises.
For thy compassion for lost sheep is great.
"Have I found peace?"
I have, for I know my heart is at rest when my body has aged
And my salvation has come
When I died with thy Words of truth
Copyright © LIde Sangtam
AFRICAN TRADITIONAL RELIGION
Our culture, our worship, our belief, our trait
From West they came, they marred our pride
As Blacks protest, the Whites defend
Religions they brought are filled with threat
So unprepared, the groom met bride
Right now in chaos, we still pretend
Now people cheat, and live un-straight
But if t’was then, t’would not be tried
We need retrace, let truth descend.
Our church increase, our Mosque expand
Our tears abound, our fears resound
And should I call for us to merge?
The more I think, I don’t und’stand
In time of old, our faith was sound
You dare not err, or try to serge
The gods would strike and take their stand
Those faiths from West could not expound
Alas! Oh God, our faiths enlarge.
Copyright © HOPE NWAGBOSO
I picture Kashmir through lightened KL. News of another massacre darkens my eyes
Winds are thirsty there. They continue to taste the young blood.
I groom myself with exquisite things,
Sipping ice tea in ac room, I comfort myself
And Kashmir burns. Kashmir set ablaze
I can smell the warm blood of beaten corpse
Where from winds bought this smell. Somewhere Karbala reborn.
Mosques are being slammed
There windows stoned. And the black boots leave their footprints on Mimber
Even God judges on evidence
There is one Imaam left now; he hides her daughters in his shadow
A blunt knife in his hands; soon he will sacrifice them to keep their innocence
Kashmir is burning. Kashmir is bleeding
And I write.
Army jeep chases the tracks. To find the associated bodies
They are alive now. Soon they will be dead
From Patan to Sopor, And in narrow passages of nostalgic downtown
Ghosts of curfew
Haunt the houses for young souls.
From the Kupwara cantonments, search lights chase emptiness
Nothing is left now. Search lights can’t see inside the graves
A boy there went missing for two days. His father starts digging his grave.
I put my earphones on and I close my eyes. I sleep
While my Kashmir is ablaze
“It’s me poor farmer’s son. Kupwara’s charm, I feel no pain”.
I see him so alive in my dreams.
He chants songs of Mahjoor from his burnt lips. My hands shiver. He has no finger nails.
I see his smoke tanned skin. Same as that of Khayam’s barbeques
He stands at a distance from me. I can still smell kerosene
“Tell my mother to let her heart become cold. Her heart will not bear my state.
Tell my mother to let her eyes become blind. Her eyes will not withstand my sight.”
I follow him towards his tortured body. He tells me to follow the spilled blood.
His blood has made its own Jhelum. I row on it. Until it gets lost in black boots
The story will turn into legend. I find his body no more.
On the streets silence prevails. Nobody has permission to wail.
Sisters are beatifying coffins while brothers look for stones.
For bullets there will be stones
Kashmir is ablaze. She is wailing in grotesque tones.
In Lal Ded hospital a new born cries: Father register me at cantonment then take me out
Death is recruiting in dozens at a time.
Tomorrow is curfew. Death has no curfew pass.
How they want to identity you. Becomes your identity
People burn up all you identity cards.
Copyright © Muzzaffar Ahmad Shah
Introduction: At some point of our lives, someone close to us departs off to the next
phase. We think of the good times and try not to think the bad; but sometimes it haunts us
back to how we responded in a naive way for our juvenile wishes. And sometimes we see them
in our dreams at the utmost optimism and glory. But the fact that we get to realize what
we did back then may have cherished and broken their souls in some ways, we always wonder
if we could alter the deeds that wounded their affection in our times of immaturity…And
pray that we get a second chance to do so for our next life. *the first two lines have some inspiration from another piece*
Even if our hearts were as strong as a storm, we’d still feel a little bit sad
Knowing that we’ve lost our grandfather, our friend, our dad.
For so many years, we’ve felt their presence
In so many ways, we’ve felt complete,
But truly, even if we deny – We sometimes skip a heartbeat.
Our lives are nothing but their memories and their art,
Orbiting us each day, reminding us of who we are
Where we stand and to whom we belong,
We pray and cry up oceans for them night after night
Praying to be together just one more time, in the worlds of light.
But yes you are so fortunate, that you got to leave,
You’ve made it to the greater step, I pray for us to meet.
May your soul be blessed and may it shine brighter than the sun, Again and again
‘I love you’ it’s not a lie, I may not have said it that much
But I hope you knew inside, even if I may have been unkind as such
Nothing is left for us to do but feel the tears stream down our eyes
For we, once in a while have broken their hearts with one or two lies,
Their face glows and vividly fades away from our dreams those nights
That’s when we fall, fall down to our knees, pray for we could have changed
The ways we reacted back in those days.
Thoughts of those moments, thoughts of their sorrow smile
Now makes us realize how we never cared,
For that to overcome, we treasure the good times we’ve shared,
The times we’ve heard them say “You’ve made me proud”
The times we’ve felt them lay their hands, oh so be crowned.
Their tender touch, their forgiveness
Their blessings for us and their happiness,
We pray to feel it all again
Bring it all again,
To the eternal life, after this time.
Copyright © Aqeb Be-Nazir Ibn Minar
When we die: A war cry
To all people who gave their life for Kashmir in pursuit of justice for suppressed.
We are murdered. Bodies are shattered. Our Jhelum to Euphrates, Our Kashmir to Karbala.
My eyes hear. My fingers speak. And my heat pains.
Lovers of Husain rip your limitations with chains.
Stand resolute in Karbala-reborn. In its heat. Vanish not! Your flames.
Show no fear in your eyes but give a cry
Death will bring us home. So we die
Times of glory went into ruins, but don’t sigh
The days of hope will be reborn. So we die
Blood bathed infants are we: this no one can deny
Water of freedom waits for us. So we die
Handicapped soldiers they have turned us, still our zeal is high
With weapons of light we will march. So we die
OH! You bureaucrats from the plains, your innocence is a lie,
We will set your tongues ablaze. So we die
One day you will cry that you can’t deny
We will bring the time soon. So we die
Keep your eyes dry my mothers, for you must know why
Your tears will cause floods. So we die
Don’t loose hope! My people, you still have threads to tie
Every drop of our blood will be resurrected. So we die
A coffin runs out in Lal chowk, scratch the earth for space
The white, will wake up angles of wrath. So we die
Land of Hamadan has been painted with blood
The lava of agony will burst. So we die
Keep the bangles in your arms, you widowed brides
Their music will shake the earth. So we die
Suppressed mortals are we, but Listen OH! Self made immortals
Immortal passion of Muhammad runs into us. So we die.
This fire of celestial blaze! Fuel it up with your rage. Defy the impossibilities with might
You will go down through history as the brightest stars shinning in darkest nights.
SOME WORD MEANINGS:
Karbala: place in Iraq where grandson of prophet Muhammed(SAW) were killed.
Husain: Grandson of Prohet Muhammed killed in Karabala
Copyright © Muzzaffar Ahmad Shah
Nana’s a safe harbour for a child,
a rattling baby taking water
at the christening font, and fluid
in the lungs. Little’s of consequence
for you, ceremony or theology, or
clan gathering. We pilfer your
routine deftly as rogue genes have
jellied your muscle. But held above
the waterline you’re safe now, if
perplexed to tears, the agony of taking
passage from death to life not quite
surpassing navigation of more hostile currents.
Copyright © Alistair Bain
Death on Highway 12
For James Gilman, c. 1970
“Among your saints give rest, O Christ,
To the souls of your servants
In a place where there is no pain or sorrow or grief
But only life everlasting.
May his memory be eternal.”
Memorial Hymn of the Greek Orthodox Church
In the white bed
Between the lanes
Wrapped in a black overcoat
A boy lies dead.
In Christmas thoughts
Hurrying across the lanes
A hiss of air
A muffled noise
Some metal distorted
A last breath.
The lights on the Christmas tree
All memories to cling to dearly.
This story is told by the howling wind
And smudges on the snow
My heart is made of sorrow.
Copyright © Apostolos Kizilos
Another son is dead, until five he lived.
For his long life at Shah-Hamdan he had threads tied
“Shehij ninder yee nai. Gahas Kormakh Khudayas Hawale”, his mother cries.
No news can penetrate across the mountains. Satellites work here no more
My Kashmir burns. And no one knows.
An old woman with torn scarf sits besides fire. While feeding her neighbor’s child
She sighs. Is my son dead or alive? She silently cries.
In Madrasa I hear children reciting Quran. A girl’s come out dragging her feet.
I remember her from somewhere. I remember her seeing naked.
Oh! God she is the one who was raped.
Nights have turned pitch black. My eyes are losing the habit of sight
Midnight soldier’s set another house ablaze. At least there is some sort of light.
Many letters have been written to God. Postcards posted of those raped girl’s
But its curfew again. No post office deliver’s the message again.
Death comes from everywhere. Close your windows mother
For bullet respects no womb. It turned Gulistans into tombs.
From the plains the visitors come to visit their God’s
They are our only witnesses but hypocrites at heart.
They say paradise is kaasmir. While my Kashmir is ablaze
They testify against us. Is anybody witnessing this? No one at all
Be witness to at least this. Open up your eyes my Lord!
When paradise is painted with colors of hell, certainly divinity loses its grace
In the news the reporter is beaten. Bamboo sticks are hungry for human blood.
Let Kashmir go to hell. A new promise in their portfolio.
Threads have given up at Dastegeer’s place. Even they are horrified at our fate.
In Maisuma boys are dragged by police. They close their dreams, end their screams
In a police gypsy.
Men shape into monsters when they are given right to anarchy.
The gypsy drives them into the dark cantonments. They will remember this day
Interrogation officer comes. After celebrating his son’s birthday.
The winds from the cantonments bring their news
Burned tires around their necks. Burning stoves near their heads.
The knife tearing up their flesh.
And the boys cry, “We haven’t batted yet. Cricket. We know nothing”.
Death wants children to be headlines
Hunger has affected the heavens as well.
Graves are full. No more space left.
We need land of the plains. For our graves.
In the ac car the bureaucrat goes. The mother’s with search full eyes
Ask about their sons they lost. They drink their tears
And he sips champagne.
Copyright © Muzzaffar Ahmad Shah
When you hear the sound of echos near
You know it's the souls
crying in fear
out of respect they stay very still
because of the outcome of God's will.
Copyright © Andrea M Christian
AS OF THE PROMISE GOD MADE TO HUMANS,
IT IS A SHAME THAT THE PROMISE IS FAR FETCHED
BECAUSE THE HUMAN RACE SHEDS BLOOD WITH EVIL STRANDS
THAT POLLUTE HUMAN EXISTENCE AWAY FROM WHAT IS SEARCHED;
"PARADISE! PARADISE! PARADISE!" HEAR THE CHURCHES SING OF
AS IF IT IS AT THE NEXT ROAD CLOSE TO MAN, MORTAL MAN-
MEANWHILE THEY STAY ALOOF FROM CRIES OF THE POOR-
WHILE PROSPECTIVE PARADISERS COLLAPSE ON THE FRINGES OF HEAVEN ON BAN;
WHERE IS THE PLEDGED PARADISE? WHERE DOES IT STAND?
WHEN MAN LINGERS ON THIS SINFUL STRAND
STILL HOPING TO BE WELCOME INTO HEAVENLY PARADISE;
WELL, THE ANSWER IS CLEAR AS HELL'S PARADISE OPENS ITS DOORS-
Copyright © Gerald Nforche
We talked sanely a few times,
About how he also had a condition like me,
Although my dad, who had a Medical Doctorate, when James was small wouldn’t say,
Obvious as it was that he had CF from his inward-growing finger-nails,
Dad decided to bypass the issue, medicine to assail.
I have CP, and needed James’s comfy chair to read,
It was given to him in misogyny because it was blue,
About three months before he died he said,
I could have it, and must convince mum and dad that it was mine;
They were Christians, fundamentalist and strict,
And so sometimes there was an elephant in the room,
Between me and James, about the physical.
Death is inevitable, but to them it was only a maybe for James,
When the doctors had said that 14 was the expectation,
I prepared myself for the worst well before it occurred,
As an atheist I am, with no qualms or hesitation.
James wanted for me the best, happiness and friends,
Wanted me to do my best physically, ‘cos he knew I wanted that too,
But he also suspected that I would grieve for him rightly,
Not like a sentimental fundamentalist who believes that Jesus is risen,
But as a steadfast atheist who knows what has been given;
So he knew to remark on my immediate life without him so as to adjudicate.
I cherished Christinna Georgina Rossetti’s poem, Remember,
Long before and for some time after James’s death,
And quietly held in my heart the loved-one’s good wish,
Mum used to think that sometimes I was cold as stone,
But really I'd faced the fact that James was dead and gone.
Although Rossetti was by no means an atheist,
Her poem recites the mantra of the bereavement psychologist,
That to get on with your life as best you can,
Is a right, the partner of grief, and the pathway for your lone self;
In the Bleak Mid-Winter puts Christ as relational to nature,
Instead of pertaining nature to Christ, as it is normally,
And so we must partake of it within our space and our pasture.
Copyright © Rhoda Monihan