What if?

Noticed a lot of the poems – some of  mine too – I read these days has activist tones. This goes out to several poets, myself included.

I wonder how poetry would thrive
if the spikes of suffering,
of sadness
had been flattened out.

How many would write about
the magic in an orange moon
as it floated above the horizon?
How many would talk about strings of smiles drawn over streets?
How many would talk about tongues fumbling for the right words on a first date,
the sounds that seemed awkward but came out just right?

Would poetry miss the chaos
of brushstrokes ambushing each other
and creating thunderstorms?
What would fuel it when there are no fires to be put out,
when there are no worries wrapped around constellations,
no anger jumping over borders,
no words speared from one class
into the ribs of another,
no cliffs waiting to be jumped off,
no wars to be ended, or started,
about who would annex whom and for what,
and no floods to rise above?

You, my poet,
what would you write
when knives have been blunted,
when fires have been transformed into flowers
with stalks that spell peace in all languages,
when streams of blood have been replaced
by rivers of stars,
when we are all a billion continents
with no oceans to separate us,
when the sky stretches so thin
the space between humans and gods
is less than a hair’s breadth?

My friend, my poet,
what would you write about
if the earth’s pulse
became a steady flatline?

NaPoWriMo 2017, Poem 24


Let our country sleep


Take this.
Wear it like a medal around your neck.

If need be,
take it off and use it to strangle those anti-nationals.
You can use it any other way you wish.

Roll it into a ball,
and gag anyone who sets loose his evil tongue
against your decrees, your beliefs, your definitions.

Or take all of your medals, melt them, and make batons.
Beat the rascals who question, who differ,
who look through the glass of reason.

Silence them before the epidemic spreads further.

Get rid of them.
Yes, all of them.
For all we want is one united voice.
Just one voice.
Your voice.
We’ll make it ours.
No differences, no deliberations.

Invite them to debates where they must only agree with you.
Tune out their harsh voices; we need more of a melody here.

Give them dictionaries that define
the only words they can say,
they must say.

Yes, do give them freedom too,
to paint themselves in any colour they like.
Let all of it be saffron.

In that land of plain homogeneity, our guardians, let our country sleep.