Write — A Poem by Omair Bhat

Oct 28, 2019

A poem by Omair Bhat for the times, that is for all the times where war, love, separation, longing, struggle, death, life and resilience have marked human existence. A poem such that it flows from other such poems by the greats celebrated in verses that are alluded to herein, perhaps by compulsion or concealed despair camouflaging as hope, also as a tribute, for the tribulations of the past are carried in the tribulations of the present and the future.

A poem by Omair Bhat for the times, that is for all the times where war, love, separation, longing, struggle, death, life and resilience have marked human existence. A poem such that it flows from other such poems by the greats celebrated in verses that are alluded to herein, perhaps by compulsion or concealed despair camouflaging as hope, also as a tribute, for the tribulations of the past are carried in the tribulations of the present and the future. 

Write

a poem in the fine weaving
of barb wire and
a mutilated cloud because
— what else will suffice a true
love knot? Even the rain —

— a paisley drawn on the earth's
rugged fabric — the vision of God —
howling pain in the gut of night?

Begin with a sacred revelation,
that demands poetry to be read,
in a state of panic. Ruthless,

in its command. Its prophecy,
deciphered in history, will
conceive the imagination

of a new language
in which one day they will
declare her independence

from the sorrow of time.

Then, quickly, address
her as, “Dear love..
I was so lonely
before you arrived. Without you,
if I could summon
my courage to imagine my life
beyond the snare of love,
it'd be a total wreck.

Without you, effaced
from your memory,
picture me as a broken house,
its walls creaking,
as I begin to crumble."

Write: I am scattered
between the rubble
and ruins when

the house falls and
you're long gone.

Write: Without you, there's
no poetry. Without you,
I descend into
pitch darkness.

Then say a prayer,
so ancient, it will be heard.

Breaking free
from the curfew,
all the lovers
will meet at the Red Square
and grind
the occupation against stones.

And, once again,
they will promise each other
to spend life and eternity
together in rain, sun
and snow,
so that, after 72 days of
siege,
no one has to write
a silent obituary to Basra.
No one has to write,
she is no more.

— A manifesto for love.

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About the Contributor

Omair Bhat thinks of himself as a memory keeper. His poems have previously appeared in Critical Muslim, The Sunflower Collective, Celebration, Cafe Dissensus and Kashmir Lit. In his free time, Omair reads poetry from all over the world while researching international poets and their writings. He is currently finalizing a manuscript of his first book of poems.