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Kashmir – her unending poem

Kashmir – her unending poem
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On the intervening night of 29 and 30 May 2009, two Kashmiri women from Shopian were raped and murdered by armed men. The incident was followed by protests and curfew throughout the entire valley. Shopian observed the shut down for about two months. It is also observed that there was a systematic denial of justice. In the poem, the young poet Kaienaat Reshi, explores the unending trauma of a bloodied history that Kashmiris from all walks of life in general, and women of Kashmir in particular, have to carry throughout their lives. The poem in its continuity is a ‘continuum of wails and mourning’ that Kashmir has metamorphosed into.

She writes on old yellowing paper
inking the color of her eyes
and it is a long poem

it is a long poem
of unwritten couplets verses
fermented in her marrow
resting on an unseen parchment

a long poem
irreversibly latched to her soul
the words of which stride in violent waves
and form a small sea

it has desolation of curfewed days
where crusts of dried blood are earth to her
and the orange diffused over evening sky
where moon is melted silver

no commas cut this poem
there are no fractions
it is a continuum of wails and mourning
of live bullets and tear gas shells

KASHMIR she writes again
as alphabets stare her back
a sad crystalline gaze
into the void that consumes her

gawkadal handwara kunanposhpora
sopore bijbehara kupwara doda shopian
her pen quivers
massacres rapes  with no commas in between

it is a stream of words
illegible to the world
that sever from or tie to
a sorrowing stanza

this poem where words wear thin
but a bloodied tapestry gleams
woven from threads
of gunshots meshed as a difficult knot

these letters speak myriad fears
from garrisons of death
hope hurries to its descent there
as meek sun of a dark-cerise dusk

KASHMIR a languageless poem
only images circling like flocks
of migratory birds
over the red lifeless Dal

srinagar a city of unknowable losses
grieves over each murdered child
through these lines
all its veins cut open on paper

old smell of a chinar leaf beside her notepad
seeps into every word
yet the poem only reeks of blood
with slow storm of her breaths

she rests her head on a dead wall
tiring clockwork of memories
unhinge her conscious
from concertina of despair

these lyrics are relics
of past and present too
stoking embers and fire
a woe strewn in all hearts

KASHMIR the saddest place
it turns into words
into sorrow and longing
a love story ensuing in loss

this metamorphoses into
wrinkled face of her old mother
the creases above brow-line
cradling grief into “KASHMIR”

a senseless account growing into
rage and hope
ruin of cities
wrecked razed and torn

this poem changes into
fathers mothers sisters
brothers friends comrades
old and young dead or alive

it never ends but
reaches the edge of her being
cliff of her flattened heart
to  “aazadi”


Kaienaat Reshi is a poet and a graduate in Engineering. She can be reached at

Disclaimer: Views expressed are exclusively personal and do not necessarily reflect the position and editorial policy of Oracle Opinions.

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