the colour of mourning

for afzal guru/kashmir


maybe you can tell me the colour of mourning,

on this day when the hangman's gallows

outnumber the branches of trees that no longer bloom

even with forgotten sorrows,

on this day when the blood of shaheeds runs more abundantly

than snow melted rivers

thawing in the first warmth of spring,

on this day when the sound of military gunfire and batons meeting bones

carries more clearly

than the bulbul’s morning song,

on this day when laughter abandons children

who can no longer afford to be young,

on this day when the land weeps for the people

whose ashes mix with its soil

as they die defending it.


maybe you can colour me the scent of freedom,

ringing in the tones of swaying trees

on those far away hillsides

that have never questioned the need for azadi,

smelling like wet earth and new sprouting growth

re-emerging from ancient seeds

planted firmly in ground made fertile

by feet dancing to the familiar rhythm of resistance,

and ghazals about love

that can never be contained by chains.



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