We have come up with something novel.
Brace yourself, how should we put it -
It seems that your land will no longer be yours.
Unlike oral storytelling
The land not recorded on paper
leaves a vacuum in its wake.
And we rush in turbulence to claim the free
sites for Occupation, like wind rushes to the sea
we claim meadows of a no-epic.
‘If I do not take it, someone else will take it.
’By expelling you out what we RETRIEVE
is the plot you could not have utilized anyway.
That sounds pretty convincing!
We need our own pockets in your map skin.
We draw asphalt roads so as to facilitate this story.
The dark messengers carry no DEMOLITION notice.
I’m sure you want to make a few hospitals,
schools or maybe a few cop cities?
In the minds of grazing ranchers
My cattle and sheep—whose ancestors
sold themselves—have far more rights on this piece of earth.
We spread our legs as we please
and ENCROACH on our own land
but whose land did you COLONIZE?
I mark my territory with the droppings of my flock.
Once I’m out, would you go on an advertising rampage
to provide housing to the people of plains?
I wonder will you sanctify the land to attract pilgrim settlers?
But perhaps only perhaps they won’t dare.
And in this endeavour too you’ll fail miserably.
Like a priest once taught me to
prepare against nightmares—
I close my eyes and draw a line around
my house and whosoever trespasses:
A JCB or a Djinn, will be ashes.
It feels I am merely reporting
the peaceful events of everyday
that I can’t make any peace with.
The opening of poppy whorls bothers me
as much the wounds of a man who
is hurled naked into a chamber.
Should then one start a poetic news journal?
To catch up with merciless everyday
happenings via metaphor of flowers?
Is it not a poet’s venture to record
how many are killed during this
hour and in what manner or country.
If no one listens to what you observe or
foresee, should you write a poem?
Do you need to spice up a political
poem with artistry or an artful poem with
flakes of politics? Why do we need
to soften the blood to red poppies?
Danyal Hassan is a Kashmiri poet and a Masters candidate of English Literature at University of Delhi. His work has appeared on Muse India, Inverse Journal, Kashmir Lit, Mountain Ink etc. He is working on his debut poetry collection.