Rumours of spring -they last from dawn till dusk-
All eyes decipher branches for blossoms.
Your legend now equals our thirst, Beloved-
Your word has spread across broken nations.
-Agha Shahid Ali
lunar grey, this barren winter of love,
life, a caricature in worn crayon,
hope wanders, tripping on orphan shadows,
on laments hanging from nameless sorrows;
a chill oozes through the silk veil of dark,
truth wavers like designs on crushed damask;
I watch you fall on this encumbered earth,
your wounds still open in our arms, our past,
this snow burns like fire, smells of distant musk,
rumours of spring, they last from dawn till dusk.
smoke billows stained with the crimson of blood,
as if the sun sweats in the mist of dawn,
mirages swirl like a concubine’s skirt,
as stories of a time still sworn to come;
between pyres we are still rolling the dice,
our destiny trapped in rows and columns;
where, where is that heated breath of wind,
here frost not flower perfumes the fallen;
while those fevered breasts still trade failed nostrums,
all eyes decipher branches for blossoms.
on bended knees we bargain for a smile,
with lives that are not ours to sacrifice,
we make rules to subsist in killing fields,
we make plastic souls for those whom we please;
new heroes are grown now in hollowed skulls,
we let hate surge ahead unabated;
remember the time we yearned for the rain,
remember the time the sky was our friend,
now the clouds have pierced our hearts, beloved,
your legend now equals our thirst, beloved.
is it peace that you hold tight in your fist,
tonight the guns cannot disturb your tryst,
tomorrow will come begging to your door,
wanting to make you a martyr once more;
just how many times must innocence die,
to gratify war’s twisted perversions;
but good will ascend to break out of fear,
some day the dead will find true justice here;
your song echoes in hushed supplications,
your word has spread across broken nations.