Rhetoric dreams

kashmir was heaven not now


Where mountains ring the city

dreams are dead

dreams born to fight the ethos of Dark Ages

Steeped in an impish conflict

Elaborate arpeggios of assertions

Unnerved in

Sizeable slices of the sun

Coaxed into life – unscathed

Cupped by sinewy walnut orchards and saffron fields

Or razor wires and bunkers, sandbags, tanks and guns?

A roaring fire

Or hum of a love song

Sung on the banks of sloshing Lidder River

Knock-kneed beneath crimson Chinars

When horizon is bleeding red

And bullets fired across Jehlum

Injuring Zabarwan’s aghast voices

Where moon doesn’t lift veil

Where dark nights confuse dreams with absolute nightmares

Sun doesn’t shine

Dreams as Trojan Horses

Take over nightmares in a home

Where there was little food and charcoal

But dreams.

-Muhammad Nadeem-


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