The war-lacerated region: a poem for Palestine

Yanis Iqbal

The soundless sobs of the martyr’s mother
Dissolve into the curfew-blemished sleepless nights
The cadaver of the martyr lies uneasily on the scorched and treeless
Ground of Humanity.
In this war-lacerated region,
The blued steel of the rifle
Shines eerily against the rays of the mutilated moon
In this war-lacerated region,
Steel-shod army boots
Trample over the people’s tenuous tapestry of dreams.
Weapons of war have slowly splintered the bones of this region.
Just see the charred olive trees,
See the scarred slopes,
See the bloodstained boundaries of verdurous forests.
O mother country! Your dismembered body lies numbly on the pellet-strewn streets.
I see your body everyday
In the form of the countless students,
Wounded, maimed and drenched in blood
But still standing on the rugged barricades,
Demanding freedom and strenuously sustaining
The brutal blows of oil-fed iron rods.
Hope is meaningless in this region.
It eventually melts in the unshed and limpid eyes of mourners.
In this ravaged region,
Promise is like the brittle birdsong of a Palestinian sunbird,
Finally fading into the dim sky.
The spirit of life in ashen-faced Gaza,
Is embroidered with sharp shrapnel,
The sapphire lakes too,
Are reduced to splinters of rust
Where iridescent fishing boats lie frozen,
Submerging in the beclouded beams
Of forgottenness.
Here, you can only see a blood-dimmed dawn,
And a dusty dusk, inwrought with
A silk of sorrow.
The Faqua Iris flowers in this region are withering
In the airless shelters of lockdown.
Resplendent flowers of the valley,
Are clinging on to the lingering light of
The perfume-laden freedom.
Alas, this freedom also gets enmeshed
In the sheaf of dictatorship.
And the region becomes a cemetery of ashes.
What will the monarchs say about the dust-besmeared Palestinian keffiyeh?
What will the monarchs say about the fire-steeped words
Which they wrote on the unruffled clouds of justice?
These are questions which will get buried under
The swiftly-scattered sand of secrecy.
They will again be written on the cracked walls of yearning
With an iridium-nibbed pen of freedom.
With the concertina wires,
You want to circumscribe our freedom
No, this can’t happen.
My poems have left the oasis
They are standing on the desiccated desert of war,
Intertwining themselves with the barbed wires.
My poems are writhing in pain,
But they have still not been crucified by the lords of war.
With the brick hammer of freedom, they are breaking the shapeless,
Stone-sculpted soul of iniquity.
Look! My poems are returning,
Encased in the scabbard of tears of victory.

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Jun 3, 2020

Yanis Iqbal

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