The Brink of Enough

alright, here is your secret map,
your battle lines like the churning wheels
of a runaway train,
a calendar, a clock,
the universe itself, crumpled along the stars,
and existence, its spine curled around a single ragged breath,
now point for pity’s sake,
raise your benumbed hand and point,
show us what is enough,
where is enough,
when will it be enough,
it is already too late,
to end your war;

we walk out of your hell,
unholy wounds dripping a macabre trail,
point to where
your fire cannot reach,
your ire cannot preach,
we are going there,
where it is enough,
where only the ocean
tosses in the deep,
where no one is killing,
where no one is listening,
where even the shrouded living
smile slowly in their sleep;

on the shoulders
of our bedraggled human stream,
move the coffins of life and love,
even the sky bent low this morning
to cover them with the edge
of her burning shawl,
point to beyond
the brink of enough,
so we can bury them both
by the river that weeps,
and keep vigil under the choking trees
until a sun ascends again;

look! here are the dead,
the songless children,
the wingless mute,
greed that sears the broken voice of the earth,
fear that chills its trembling shrivelled toes,
point then for pity’s sake,
raise your guilty arm and point,
to the graves of those who might have lived,
to the pyres of those who might have loved,
for they walk with us,
along the bloody road from hell,
to the place where it is enough,
to a time when it is enough,
where the weeping river waits,
you cannot follow,
it is too late,
they walk with us,
their lifeless feet,
tread the smoke-dense air,
leaving behind no prints.


main akela hee chala tha janib e manzil magar,
log saath aate gaye aur kaarvan banta gaya!
(I set off alone towards the destination but,
people joined by and by and lo! soon it was a caravan!)
– Majrooh Sultanpuri (Wikipedia)

25 thoughts on “The Brink of Enough

  1. A strong and powerful write ~ I specially admire this part:

    to the place where it is enough,
    to a time when it is enough,
    where the weeping river waits,
    you cannot follow,

    I pray for that time when wars would end and rivers will not be weeping


  2. This piece is very much like a L. Cohen protest ballad/poem; nice job of ramping up the tension & intensity as it progresses. Your plea is righteous, but deaf ears & pre-ordained responses, pre-bought
    politics lead us to war’s profits, without caring about the human toll.


  3. The Brink of Enough —– eloquent title that says so much in just four words……and then the words that follow….the burning shawl….the pointing. A really tough one to read as it is a cameo of what is happening in so many places. Powerful indeed.


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