Eyes of porcelain. Dreams of stone.
Pieces of porcelain. Screams of stone.
These impotent idols, this adamant priest,
This tyranny of faith, these regimes of stone.
A mouthful of dust; a handful of bones:
What castles of ambition! What schemes of stone!
The thirsty artificer sculpting miracles.
What consolation- streams of stone?!
Tombstones of regret: milestones of memory.
The carved epitaphs! The requiems of stone!
Sermons of sulphur! Rains of brimstone!
What petty gods! What seraphims of stone!
Dinners in Syria (and many other places).
On Mondays we have hope, somehow
Served in shinning silverware meant
To be used on special occasions(only).
A proper feast we have for
The sake of each other over
Fables and parables of God
And Men coming to the rescue
On Tuesdays, we have news doled
Out in careful measures: the bad portions
Kept back or ignored while the good portions-
Lucky Rehana escaped with a limb and
Her one-eyed-pink-son Aylan, who
Can now wear his father’s shoes–
On Wednesdays, we have restlessness like
Cows who sense what is to come tethered
As they stand- ruminating- while
The thunders roar and lightning strikes
Outside. It could be anytime now:
We all must wait patiently for
On Thursdays, we have grief, raw
And rancid, forced down our
soot-choked throats as we chew
on the roasted rubble under the sky
overcast with smoke rising from bonfires
of old eyeballs and worn out tongues. We
pick our teeth with small, slender bones
On Fridays, we have mourning, hot
For some and cold for others. Such gluttony
That we forget our manners. We have
Chest-beatings and Face-scratchings and
Tongue-bitings and Head-smashings till
We belch with wails and burp with sighs.
Later, we collect the leftovers and count
On Saturdays, we have rage, fermented
To such utter intoxication that we raise
Our puny fists against the sky. While the onlookers
Feel sorry or amused or disgusted. Or angry-
‘As if we don’t have enough to take care of’,
They say to each other and close their eyes till
It is over for the day. We all return to what
On Sundays, we have Silence.
Shabir Ahmad Mir from Gudoora, Pulwama Kashmir; gets bored every now and then. And out of this boredom he scribbles – sometimes in prose and sometimes in verse; and occasionally in ink as well-blue and black only. Earlier he used to scribble on loose paper leaves of his class-notes (he sometimes imagines that they were fallen leaves of a forgotten tree) but now he mostly scribbles on his Facebook wall… Occasionally someone drops in to read. His novel ‘The Plague upon us’ is scheduled to come this year with Hachette India.