Poems by Sameer Bhat and Badri Raina

This August

This August
our orchard smelt so sweet
But a huzn hung

What melancholy is this?
I asked the gardener
He simply said
in an impatient frown

Son while you slept
This morning
A decree
abolished our state

They broke up
old trust
into new, neat pieces
370 of them

And everyone sand
Hamee-asto, Hamee-asto
in monsoon rain

With holiday makers
all gone, and birdsong
officially banned
Our season of silence has arrived

The old ruler,
All, all of them
behind bars
Same rooms, same bars
they once consigned others to

You remember
the bridge
From the mountains
To the mainland
It vanished almost overnight

The soldiers outside
in dark, shiny armours
say we need permission
to pluck our own apples

- Sameer Bhat, August 5, 2019

 

Normalcy

Landlines are up.
Normalcy is on the way.
Soon other things will follow,
As they learn to obey.

Schools are open too.
The children may not be there,
But no normalcy can be lasting
Without an element of fear.

The trust of the people will be won
Through propagation.
And, if that does not work,
Through the pellet gun.

Any child would scream
When his toys are destroyed;
So, having lost status, they
May not be overjoyed.

But they will see how normalcy
Will leave them unencumbered
When their burdens are lessened
By being out-numbered.

The land and the forests—
They are our eternal pride;
People come and go,
The nation must abide.

- Badri Raina