Help Kashmir with Covid-19 Relief

Kashmir is struggling in its fight against the Coronavirus pandemic due to its poor healthcare infrastructure. The resources aren't enough to combat the rise in cases and the system in place is overwhelmed. Kashmir has just 59 beds per 100K population. The only two tertiary care hospitals in Kashmir are located in the capital city of Srinagar.
Kashmir-based non-profit Athrout Kashmir is on the ground and responding to the crisis. It is acquiring concentrators, therapeutics and oxygen cylinders while continuing its mission to get food and basic supplies to those in need.
Finally, put this link in your social media bios to spread the word: https://linktr.ee/kashmircovid
 

In Promise of a Reckoning — Two Poems by Parray Shahid

May 20, 2021

Parray Shahid presents two grief-stricken poems that travel to a distant land and to its peoples, who in many ways are closer to the heart of Kasheer than any nearby neighbor—especially in what concerns a kinship formed from a state of subjugation, and sealed with a pact of resistance.

In Promise of a Reckoning

I write to you for I must
not as a tragic hero or a scapegoat
nor as a tribal outcast but as poets must,
as one with the burden of truth
though in your possession are truths
and versions of truths many,
that best serve modern conveniences.

You know not, in polluting multitude,
what men and gods of men are these,
hovering around us even decades after.
What mad pursuit of power they wear
beneath their cloaking unravished quietness,
wherein seasons after, sleepless,
evil goads more evil.

My people, doomed to sicken they are,
and perish all; betrothed to betrayal and victimhood
and long mocked by an ancestral fault.—
‘A crooked oath whereby a demon was hired
once and so it drew nearer, and marched
slowly on in state to overrun our lands,
all our borders, near and far!’

Spend years a troublous life and you can’t flee,
you’ll get nothing—proven!
Dreaded dreams, torched visions, torn and broken bodies,
and faces disfigured with immeasurable grief.
All but have left us withered, spinning
our fatal passion. Look, and see if
my speech is a worthless gift to you!

Here, come—‘O you with wintry flesh,
clutching your dead souls’, come;
I have this to say to you: ‘Our days
fade away like shadows decease
into sunset. And desperate now,
it wearies us, this freedom,
our hearts’ desire’

They say years take all, one’s wit included,
But what of the gunpowder,
that cleaves the sturdy blocks still
its choice long made
O bodies buried in perpetual slumber?
—these tremors of passion, these battles so dire,
great hearts thumping inside their tiny breasts,

these little princes, whose fervent will
all things devours, singing,
 “We will rise! From this pale mist—
We will rise in epiphany one day—
For the day of doom has not yet come—and
whatever scant may be, we will have profit by sacrifice’’

—they have made me too a poet.

 

 

Our Beloved City

 Who runs this city now?—
Is it God?—
Or God no more?
He cares not ­­— asks not — sees not —
As the hymns flush out in death’s sight —
As does mourning for the dead —
The speech of men on the shore of evening, death —
To-day — strange to the crowd — speaks comfort no more:
“You are too soon,” they cry, “You are too late,”
Who runs this city now? —
Is it God? —
Or God, no more?

Share This!

About the Contributor

Paray Shahid attended Kurukshetra University (India) for a B.Tech Honors. With an MA in English and a minor in creative writing (IGNOU), Shahid works as an entrepreneur in the IT Systems Integration Sector. His poetry publications include “The First Few Notions” (2015). Shahid can be reached at: shaid09@gmail.com , @parraysha_ on Twitter

0