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Cashmere: Four poems

Prajna Anirvan

Image courtesy Sehar Qazi

Quarantined thoughts in a locked down city

The river whistles a tune
Caressing the fort city,
Cajoling the ramparts
Into her entwining arms.

Undying city.
Carrying its timeless vestiges
To the end of Time,
and the great river accompanying,
With its silt, sediment and sentiment.

As they churn history.

City of dust and dirt.
Avenger of druid time.
City of hypnotized denizens.
How dogged you have been!

Alluvium bed,
Cradle to monk, mystic, seer
And warrior.
Show me your heart –
Leaden, graphite or conglomerate.
It’s bleeding.

Wide river with aquiline curves,
Tarry a little.
The ramparts are falling.
This is no time for lovemaking.

In Ibn Sina’s quarantine,
I behold
Wrinkled waters,
Broken stalactite,
Listless cries,
And mute whispers.

O city!
The world is falling.



Is barbed pashmina
Wrapped around us.
Your and my agony.

We are kangri carriers.

As the frosty wind
steals a furtive glance
through our half-ajar doors,
Embers glow.

There is no Faith.
Only surreptitious nods
Of crumpled men.

Between me and my dying child
Rages an unassailable storm.

Do not seek us among the valleys.

Beneath the soft snow,
Lies Kashmir.



I will go to the mountains…

I will go to the mountains
Where the Sun rises over
Free men
And Love flows through narrow creeks,
Wide basins and
Clear fountains.

I will go to your land, Che.
And talk to your Children.
I will bring an ounce of
Your soil
To sprinkle on my dead brethren.

I will go to your abode, Commandante!


A sky within a sky

There is a sky within a sky.

Your sky and my sky
Are different from their sky.

You have birds in flight and the foamy clouds,
I have the blue expanse all to myself.

Their sky has layers like
The sandwich the Earl used to devour.
There is a sky within their  sky you and I see and there are skies within, too.

Some have flying reptiles,
And some have streaky meteorites.
You can’t trust their sky.

Our sky is full of dreams.

In their sky,
All dreams get realised and turn into pterodactyls.

Sometimes you wish
That all skies were blue and foamy and breezy and dreamy, too.

But their sky has skies within.

Their skies are traded at the Sensex.

Your and mine are dreams.

An aspiring poet, Prajna Anirvan is a physician, currently doing his residency in Gastroenterology in SCB Medical College, Cuttack, Odisha.