ever met with people who when speak it feels like poems are fluttering through them? poems in colors. crimson emerald sapphire rustic poems. colors in full bloom. wholesome and hearty. an orchard of poems. scattered around.
people when they walk it feels like poetry is on stroll. on an evening walk. poetry written on exile. poems created in exile. poems wrapped in melancholy. drenched with longings. swollen in anguish. coming back to home with utmost pride. poems that cost so much anger and pain and suffering to even imagine.
people when write their prose turns to poetry. voluntarily. effortlessly. naturally. rhythms. rhymes musicality filled in spaces. spaces between words where poetry is born. spaces between words where poetry is matured. voluntarily. effortlessly. naturally. so much to envy and steal. so much to take from them. so much to emulate.
have you seen people like baldawin speak. have you seen baldawin speaking. when he spoke his eyes brightened up a little more than usual. the radiance of his eyes tend to illuminate the aura around him. fearlessness. so much conviction. when he spoke he made other listen. and think. he made people lose the eye contact with their conscience. he made people feel ashamed of their history. he made them afraid of the coming times. no matter how much troubled and messed up his world was. the harmony in his thoughts in his words in his utterances remain something to learn. to steal. to emulate. to envy.
have you read people like derwish. poets of exile. who carried with them their cities. their streets. and nourished them with the air of longing. they carried with them resistance that made them leave homes. homes they never had. homes they can never have. homes they searched for the rest of their lives. and they carried with them their history. history that was distorted yet saved by them by their memory. through their poetry. and they carried with them their people. and they carried with them torment and distress of their people. and they carried with them the tortured skies of their people. and they carried themselves and their dreams and their poetry on the road to exile. for their people.
have you read essays on freedom and resistance. on defiance. on liberty. some got killed for writing them. many by acting upon them. written centuries ago. but remain so viscerally relevant even today. word to word. a commentary on the life and history of our forefathers. a commentary on our recent past. a commentary on our present state. a commentary on the inherently brutal attributes of human race.
even though our battle is different. our reasons are different. yet the struggle for identity remains same. the homeland we are born in. our parents born in. countries we have our hands in building. the soil in which we buried our people. people whose blood spilled to nourish its soil. people who owe so much to their country so much been settled. yet they. their country in its reality with its huge spaces still remain to be filled has absolutely in any way possible not even the tiniest place for us to live on.
and who are we even. if not the offspring of oppression. if not dreams nourished in vengeance. if not rage in its entirety. if not hearts severed from body. if not identity-less beings looking for refuge. if not tales of abandonment tinted with bitterness. if not all of these.
we dont know how to remain silent. we no longer know how to make things look pretty. to keep writing poetry to adorn their skies. poetry in harmony. poetry on stroll. poetry fluttering. or how to keep us from putting you under scrutiny. to stop holding you accountable. we dont know how to make your oppression look presentable. how to filter your hate. and ugliness. we dont know how to filter our rage. our language. its not our job to make you feel comfortable. to purify and beautify your tainted history and images. our job is to read the life and works of baldawin and malcolm x and toni morrison and brecht and dostoevsky and achebe and faiz and jalib and derwish and agha shahid and manto and arundhati and their likes. thats our job. to amplify them. to magnify their struggles. our job is not to write for you. our job is to write to you. our job is not to cover up your oppression but to unveil it. our job is to make you realize of your mistakes. our job is not to let you repeat them. ever again.