Pass on a poem

Children of War in Palestine by Indian poet Manash Bhattacharjee

1

The little girl

Runs after a butterfly

Among the graves

2

Their ghosts play cricket

In the ramshackle courtyard

After the boys leave

3

Her nose bleeding

The girl in her father’s lap

Shouts at the world

4

He draws giant insects

Flying down from the sky

Aimed at his eyes

5

Absorbed in prayer

Before the house went up in flames

He pleaded mercy for jasmines

6

She ran faster than her shadow

Shells chasing her heels

Trading a slipper with death

 

7

The soldier lifts the boy up

Stares at his guts

And hears a hollow rumble of wings

8

Through broken walls

Boys play hide-and-seek at noon

With rocket fire

9

As a little girl

Walaa thought barbed wires were meant

To keep out the soldiers

10

Between a bird and a girl:

“Why are they cutting down the trees?”

“To drive you away, so we can’t fly.”

11

Nights explode on his ears

He dreams he is a burning star

Sleep is another country

12

She stares at the sea’s blue

Her blue heart bluer than the sea

The air bluer than her heart

13

In a battered street

Little Yasin lies dead with flag in hand

The Rabbi’s cheek is a moist wall

 

From: Ghalib’s Tomb and Other Poems, The London Magazine, 2013.

 

Notting Hill, London: next reading Wednesday 15 October, 7.30pm  at the home of Frances Stadlen. If you would like to read a published poem of your choice or listen to others email [email protected] www.passonapoem.com

 

More from Pass on a Poem

Pass on a poem

Reveille by Primo Levi  (Italian, 1918-1987)  In the brutal nights we used to...
Read More

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *