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Why Write Poetry?

A hard-hitting poem which enumerates a number of reasons which prods one to write poetry.


A hard-hitting poem which enumerates a number of reasons which prods one to write poetry.

As if you haven’t asked yourself umpteenth time already,
they keep asking over and over
why poetry, of all things?
After all, poetry is what
just a signature on winds,
a possible legacy,
but mostly love’s labour lost
’cause’ money is still crap.

You want to take their hand and
put it on the belly of heaving monster,
so they might feel what is invisible to the eye
so vast that it can’t be touched all at once
but, you invite them for a walk instead
till the end of the road to see,
what lies beyond the bent.

Every time you step off the edge,
to wander into the underbrush,
you get to choose a different reason
pure hedonism for one thing
it’s a licence to get high on love and other stories
tipsy enough to speak the unspeakable
be provocative or maudlin,
blame it on muse later and
all is forgiven the next morning.

You write poetry to get away with shenanigans,
or so you thought until Kalburgi.
You know better now,
no ink can get away as well as Karni Sena did,
terrorizing school kids to defend the honour of Padmavati,
no more a stray group of ignominious right wingers,
fringe is mainstream now,
growing out of sundry cracks on pavement,
until it disappears under the thicket.
Liberty is now conditional,
catering to the whims of jingoists.

You write poetry to construct
a new plot for your story,
unsullied by the values of patriarchy,
where the honour of an entire clan rests between
thighs of nubile girls to be owned and controlled
by men who believe that worth of women lies in their vaginas.
You refuse to play goddess of convenience,
invoked at will only to be sunk in wet dreams
after days of revelry.

You write poetry to birth new gods
comminglings of yearning and hope,
in dystopia where secular is the dirty word,
Washiqur Rahman couldn’t get away with
and Gauri Lankesh paid for it with her life.

No land with a thousand flowers is pure enough
for those who addled by complexity
take refuge in false piety.
You refuse to be part of ritualistic cleansing
of chaotic, multifaceted composite you actually are
and embrace your mongrelizing,
even if it is the last thing you do.

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You write poetry as unofficial civil disobedience
because you do not count if silent
and your personal freedom does not mean a thing,
until all men and women are free,
to live and die with dignity, something
Mohammed Ikhlaq, Pehlu Khan and Junaid
were denied in Republic of ‘Lyncherdom’.
You write every time the monster heaves within,
threatening to rip you apart, if you do nothing
you write to save yourself,
it’s as basic as that.


Image Source: Pixabay

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