In the lanes of my city

I walk through the streets of my city,
the rivers and the lanes
Ancient walls that stand still
have become ruins of the present
By the end of the corner on this road,
and the turn by the shrine of the saint:
famed martyrs house is home to a green parrot
I wonder if he talks, or has he been silent
From the day he lost the shadow of the boy whom he talked

If you walked further, you will find a butcher
Terrified I was at the sight of him slitting the throat of a lamb,
His eyes have bags below, a beard that looks more gray than black
Hanging behind his seat, the martyr son’s photograph
Thomson Radio laments the depth of sorrow in his eyes

“‏The way of the world is a meaningless storm
I invited a difficult fate
And I lost all day on the way”

In the moonless night,
the wedding ballads echoing
in these god-forsaken lanes,
A woman lets out a cry in pain
The raiders have taken away her husband
She hung on to the boots of the Sahab,
As he dragged her: hitting her in the head
Blood oozes: the red springs in the lake of tears
Her son hears on the phone, “They took away your father”
The wedding songs go through the night,

“The way of the world is a meaningless storm
‏I invited a difficult fate
‏And I lost all day on the way”

“The boys of Kashmir break so quickly,
we make their bodies sing, on the rack”
Chains have made marks on Rizwan’s body
You can see bones through his glass skin,
Wondering if his mother awaits him, or is he forgotten,
His closes his eyes to sleep, a childlike grin on his face
His arms strapped with chains that held her, once

In the park every month,
the women of the land assemble
Their pain turns to words
words to poetry
The picture of a young lad in twenties
In the hands of a woman, whose face swollen
by the nights of tears, and days of longing
She carries a picture of a lad with a childlike grin,
“Rizwan” reads the photo written with green crayon

I return home before the sun rays,
kiss the occupied fort at Koh-e-Maran
Mourning the loss of my childhood
I turn into a story-teller,
entwined with remembrance
of what is lost and what is found,

“The way of the world is a meaningless storm
‏I invited a difficult fate
‏And I lost all day on the way”



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