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An intense poem, by Dr. Jernail, depicting the grim ruthlessness of urban reality, from his book, Voices from the Void, for Different Truths.

In a house where all are hungry…
How can I have my fill?

I can fill my pockets with flowers
Not in an industry
from where the exhausts
can give me nightmares only.

I will have joy and happiness
only when it is available to others.
If there is a pool of happiness
I can drink from it.

The poor chawls in which young dreams have to live
below the poverty line
lacking amenities
and there is no joy around
and if these dark quarters are on the increase
from where shall I bring sunshine?

In these realms ruled by
contract killers and sharp shooters
where is joy
except what they grab with bar dancers?

The life that dazzles at night
has a harrowing face
look at it during the day.

How can I think of happiness
How can I inhale fresh air
If there is smoke, dirt and dust?

You can’t be an oasis of joy.
If you want happiness;
Let these multitudes have some dreams
And the wherewithal to realize them.

Or all the dainty dishes that you have put in your ‘thali’
are the stinking flesh of injustice.
I wonder you can be happy
by eating meat from the corpses.

Photo from the Internet

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1 Comment
  1. Nizar Sartawi 4 weeks ago

    A great poem! Full of wisdom! It reminds of a classical Arab poet-philosopher, Abu al-A’la’ al-Maa’rri. In one of his poems:
    May no clouds send rain to me or my land — if they do not send it to all countries.

    Like you Dr Anand he is call for equity between people.

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