Poems | Anjali Ojha

Photo : Lee La

This Christmas

I see how bright is your Christmas tree
Yet, not as bright as I would like it to be...
The city, never quite though, has dulled...
There are still couples walking hand in hand,
Breathing out white vapour,
High on the fog
That suddenly enveloped the streets
On the Christmas morning...
Jesus must be here...
But truth, like love, has few takers...
Jesus needs a disguise.
This blanket of smog, a cover for him
Just as the manger was that night
For Joseph and Mary...

Santa Clause can be seen on the roads,
Selling, marketing, trying to pull the crowd
Shops are decked up,
Not as glamourous as last year though.

But the three wise men,
Live only in tales.
Gold, frankincense and myrrh
We can now imitate...
The gift of Magi
They say, is just a myth...

Would Jesus not be roaming around as well?
On the streets of my city
That has dented its spirit forever...
Covering the homeless with blankets,
Feeding the poor...

Or begging outside the pubs,
Where we drank our fill and sang a loud song...
Or sitting with the urchins in Connaught Place
Sniffing a handkerchief like others.
My city lost its Christmas,
Somewhere between the worship homes and markets...
My city clinks and clatters
Like the loose change left in my pockets.

How did you kill your poets ? 

How did you kill your poets?
The ones who sang of
desert roses and fountain of miracle?
How did you poison their dreams?
The vales that whispered
Tales of love, melancholy
and sacrifices
How did you taint their verses
with blood
Replacing the ink that coloured the sky
with stars in the night
and clouds during the day...

Pens and diaries
Replaced by guns and diktats

There was a door
With a dream catcher
Now, it has dents.

Did you use bullets or bombs?
Or just sealed it tight
So tight, that neither the zephyr
Nor the sunlight could walk in.
The poems trapped inside
Knocked hard
Banged on the sealed entrance...
It must have been the impact that left the dents...

But I know, the last dying flower told me,
The screams had silenced
Before the wood cracked
Out of agony.

In collective grief,
The sun, the forest, and the gardens

Now, a dry heatwave sweeps
The streets where unwritten words
Wander like a madman.
The poet's body, still walks,
A zombie, adapted to routine.
A day, that is sans melody,
Nights, that sleep quietly,
And mornings, that pray,
But only through their lips.
The hearts,
And the eyes,
Are empty.

How did you kill those poets?
Their verses seek justice
They counter, and question
Your chants and diktats
But there are no listeners...
The city is dead.

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