in conversation with the attached photograph by an anonymous photographer…
In my homeland
beloveds are planted as seeds singly, or in mass 23, 54, 77, 131… (each madness has its method — each massacre its algorithm) marked, unmarked, empty graves or those packed like sardines in football fields where children once played or open meadows where people once prayed.
On Sept 7, we invite EVERYONE to come join us at noon, at the Municipal Park (near GPO), Srinagar, as we mark the “dark times” of the military occupation, and commemorate the luminosity of AZADI: the light of faith, of freedom, of our blood-soaked struggle for justice, dignity, and true peace. Luminosity that cuts through the deep darkness of the “dark times” and reflects the resilience of human spirit in all its grace.
A Cultural Aesthetic Tribute to the Resilience and Struggle of the People of Jammu & Kashmir
“In the dark times
Will there also be singing?
Yes, there will also be singing.
About the dark times.”
~ Bertolt Brecht
On Sept 7, we invite EVERYONE — and not just a handpicked 1500 — to come join us at noon, at the Municipal Park (near GPO), Srinagar, as we mark the “dark times” of the military occupation, and commemorate the luminosity of AZADI: the light of faith, of freedom, of our blood-soaked struggle for justice, dignity, and true peace. Luminosity that cuts through the deep darkness of the “dark times” and reflects the resilience of human spirit in all its grace.
We invite EVERYONE to send in cultural aesthetic texts: poetry, paintings, photographs, multimedia, performance art, songs, et cetera on the ABOVE THEME to firstname.lastname@example.org
kaaGhazi hai pairahan har paikar-e tasveer ka
Robed in paper are all pictures manifest:
this world is nothing but
by Huma Dar for my N, Z, many Shahids, and the One
The moon did not become the sun. It just fell on the desert in great sheets, reams of silver handmade by you. The night is your cottage industry now, the day is your brisk emporium. The world is full of paper.
Write to me. —Agha Shahid Ali, “Stationery”
The tilted goblet drips
liquid lunatic luminous.
And makes a slippery mess
of Highway 1
memory and desire —
relentless, ebon, a plumbless
dream of falling.
Like tresses distraught
entwining your imagined arm (make the bleeding black night all yours) your aching memories knotted in my gut
my exiled ghost lost, found
and willfully entangled
in the lines of your words
your stone-cold feet in my shaalfa —
an ablution performed in blood.
At death you measure
no more than our arms
When we rise
to blow a prayer into your charred lung
we find resplendent
milling about — lapidary
punctuations of our time
(eleven months in all)
Horror turned honey
as buds of new fruit
A night reading Rumi fills ancient wineglasses.
By day speed & freeway suck God out of me.
I have stayed up all night thinking of you.
Wall Street & City leech love out of me.
Who is my brother if the world is a village?
Jet and internet pluck my roots out of me.
If earth goes toxic, let’s move out to Mars.
This devil optimism takes the heart out of me.
When blue sky and sun wrap me in their arms, Shähid, this friendship takes the dread out of me.
M. Shahid Alam teaches economics at Northeastern University in Boston. He is the author of Israeli Exceptionalism (Palgrave, 2010). His poems and Ghalib translations have appeared in Kenyon Review(forthcoming), Critical Muslim (forthcoming), Clapboard House, Prairie Schooner, Chicago Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, Paintbrush, Black Bear Review, West Coast Review, Marlboro Review, Journal of South Asian Literature, Kimera, Sufi, Swan, Chowk, Blanket and Pulse.