Skip to main content

Sonnet for Karbala

I call out from the grand mosque's slim minaret,
"Allahu Akbar, faithful come to prayer"
At Karbala, site of the Imam's slaughter,
Where Muslims come to repent their sins, regret.
But is our ancient, austere religion yet
Ours to practice, free from haunting fear?
For I'm afraid, on the streets walks a slayer,
He rules the land with machine gun and bullet.

From the time when Baghdad was founded by flames,
The chants of prayer have merged with those of death,
It was not enough that one Hussein had bled.
Greeks, Mongols, Americans shall press their claims,
Fools shed blood in this land until their last breath,
Iraq shall come to peace, when all men are dead.


Popular posts from this blog

Tuka Mhane: A Transcreation

Tuka mhane: आम्हां घरी धन शब्दांचीच रत्नें | शब्दांचीच शस्त्रें यत्न करुं || शब्द चि आमुच्या जीवांचे जीवन | शब्दें वांटूं धन जनलोकां || तुका म्हणे पाहा शब्द चि हा देव | शब्द चि गौरव पूजा करुं || Translation (by Dilip Chitre, the renowned Marathi poet): Words are the only Jewels I possess Words are the only Clothes that I wear Words are the only food That sustains my life Words are the only wealth I distribute among people Says Tuka Witness the Word He is God I worship Him With my words My own transcreation: If you open my jewel-box, you will only find words If you raid my castle, only my words will defend me All I need to live upon, is the magic of words All my charity is done through my words Behold The Word: The Word is my only God Worship It: it is the beginning, it is the end

She's complicated

She's complicated. She'll charm you with charts, statistics and that corporate smile. But look into those eyes, they're fiercely bohemian. She's complicated. Her chatterings seem to resonate with happy sounds, but listen with the other ear, to an unhidden lament. She's complicated. Her silences agonise, her voice echoes in her absence. And yet there is a mild dread as her name flashes on the ringing phone. She's complicated. Sometimes she's a poetess, shallow, romantic, trying to hide a sardonic, world-weary wit. She's complicated. She could be a spiteful Fury, wrath unabated, but that's just to hide the lamb-hugging girl within. She's complicated. She's an enchantress, a fool, a tyrant, a nurse, an imp, a priestess, but she's generally a good friend. She's complicated. Published in Making Waves - A Poetry Anthology , ed. Pam & Bill Swyers; Swyers Publishing 2011. ISBN: 978-0-9843113-6-1.

Kosovo Polje

Who stood at Kosovo Polje? Who heard the guns at Waterloo? who remembers those days today, to bear the rancour this day too? The time we were meant to forget, the writer's pen traps it in ink. We read much but we do not think, and contrived hatred we beget. None lives who saw the mad work done. But mention an imagined past, None hesitate to pick a gun And swear to defend to the last. The last who remember are dead We rush to take their place instead. Published in  Remember , ed. Paragram; Four Point Press, Shepperton, 2014. ISBN: 978-0-9927123-2-7.