I hear a low rumbling noise,
the same my grandmother so dreaded of.
They must be at it again—
the world’s largest pickle factory,
deftly manufacturing history.

The news of his death lies deserted on the streets;
Newsstands are selling the first snowfall in Kashmir.

I see the sinews of the earth, moving
beneath my feet, constricting aversions.
They must be at it again—
the debauched artists,
drawing mythical lines on maps.

They can’t even pronounce it well.
I wish they wouldn’t utter the word Kashmir.

I feel, bizarre to say, abandoned;
like a leftover on a plate.
I mustn’t be at it again—
the hapless fakir,
begging shamelessly of you.

Cold yet beautiful; suspended in time—
indifferent to summers is the icicled Kashmir.

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It’s cold, yet again;
the children are huddling around
the dying embers of the struggle.
He must be at it again—
the embittered koshur,
bequeathing the conflict to his sons.

There’s no revolution that hasn’t failed, except
the one that took place in the heart of a man.

I have seen worse than the wait in her eyes:
I have seen mouldy resignation.
We must be at it again—
the miserable,
looking conveniently the other way.

The weatherman of Kashmir was, after all, right:
‘It may rain in a couple of days, or it may not.’

(This Poem was published in the April 2021 print issue of the Mountain Ink.)

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