Traditionally invoking melancholy, love, longing, and metaphysical questions, introduction of Ghazal form of verse in English poetry is popularly ascribed to Kashmiri-American poet Agha Shahid Ali. Working on the same themes, Sameem Javeed Wani here presents two ghazals invoking the grief and longing in a place that in itself has become a metaphor of grief – Kashmir:
The grief, like trinkets, is sold tonight
a lifetime of sweat is dust tonight.
Good deeds–stored besides the letters in archive
The scale will just weigh the sins tonight.
The voiceless have turned to stone in waiting
The fathers are set to wail tonight.
The tribe that has been nudging at the wall
Will the world hear that word tonight?
Pandora, on bureaucrats bribe has torn open the lid
Strange diseases will spread the land tonight.
The shrines are empty, the saints have fled
What shall we do with these threads tonight?
The young and the old, the pious and the wicked
There is just hell for all tonight.
The homeless boys have gathered all naked
the muezzins will first be ablazed’ tonight.
The death, like always shall exceed the ‘toll’
the closest guess will be prized tonight.
The internet is shut, the heart still aches
Whom do I tell of my pains tonight?
In a moment of recognition, I left you for you.
‘As the sun doubles it’s acclaim for you.’
At dawn, memories pile up inside my heart
At dusk, I shove them away for you.
Footpaths weep at night in want of your touch,
“Stop now”, I ask them, not to wait for you.
The moonlit balconies still ask for your address
The likes of such questions– I always evade for you.
If only that ache could give rise to flowers,
I would let them be a souvenir for you.
The horizons fit into the palm of your hands
Now it is all a haze. ‘Is it the same for you? ‘
I could steal your voice, and give it to the world
Prometheus tied to a rock, I would remain for you.
‘A pity I don’t know if you’re guilty of something!
I would-without your knowing- take the blame for you!
The studies English Literature at Jamia Millia Islamia. He likes reading poetry and is much inclined towards Spanish.
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