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Äŧül Oct 2016
Hid behind the beautiful veils,
Inter-Services Intelligence – ISIPak,
Sends some female agents undercover,
Research & Analysis Wing – RAWInd is no less,
RAW & ISI have always been fighting,
Do we keep count how many die,
And that be an unsung death?
HP Poem #1182
©Atul Kaushal
S M Aug 2016
When the guests arrived we would hasten to sit in separate rooms.

Quick to cover and observe deep voices through walls,
Men with domed hats and flowing kameez would arrive and wait
for steaming chaaval,
brought in a mound topped with cloves.

Dishes placed and eyes down, they would acknowledge with
half nods,
hairy knuckles to pour the saalan over geometric bowls.

My aunts would hush in the kitchen,
pinning their scarves in a zig-zag fashion.
The colours burning from the tiles,
watching them made me dizzy and inside
I longed
that my plait would one day thread gold like theirs.

Timed silence was a key,
and a pyramid that was never fell,
unlike the tasks that could be
stitched to your hands,
structured stiff – like a testing lap.

Boiled milk in china cups,
there would be nods, gap-tooth smiles, low chatter
with ears pricked to
the humming of satisfaction within.
Sounds through division that showed that yes,
in the right hands
the colours could burn brightly,
and that yes,
in a brush of joint henna,
we would stand separate from your

Vision of us.
kameez = long garment
chaaval = rice
saalan = gravy type sauce

For a heads up.
Moji K Apr 2016
the colour of freedom
a whispered memory
a mother's touch

the colour of blood
needlessly spilled
a river in the streets

the colour of despair
but a remnant
of the candle's flame

a colour of...
it must be a colour
the pallor painting the father's-

it seems lost
among heartache, loss
will the memory ever fade?

the sky under which children play
will they again?
for the sky is grey

the mother's nation
birthed of strife, breach
shining through
Chelsea Jean Apr 2016
This war does not resemble those which our World has seen before,
no muddy furrows carved into the earth and
no cavalry is coming to the rescue.  

Instead we hear the gunfire at night,
that forces us to sing our songs in little rooms
and hide ourselves from the light of day.  

We no longer hear the birds sing in the mornings,
or the pattern of children's dusty footsteps on the rooves.  
We breathe more quietly than the wind.  

We write poetry on the walls in the streets.
We read our textbooks under the cover of darkness.  
We smooth our scarves,

and cover our faces, heads lowered
as we pass by the rifles, trying not to
look at their ***** beards or turbans.  

The fear turns over in your heart,
hardens into something closer to spite.
We used to sing, before.  

Now, the sun never shines and your radio is hidden.  
They tell you to keep quiet, and you do--
Otherwise, your existence will be hushed by gunfire.
A sonnet that I wrote inspired by the novels I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai and Christina Lamb.  Written in the style of "American Sonnet" by Billy Collins.  The title represents Malala's age when she began writing for the BBC.
Chelsea Jean Apr 2016
A gunshot in the street,
Mama whispers a prayer.  
Pakistan trembles.  


The riots spread like wildfire.
You say, do not bite the hand that feeds,
But we are ravenous.
Haikus that I wrote, inspired by the novels I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai and Christina Lamb, as well as Teatime for the Firefly by Shona Patel.
Chelsea Jean Apr 2016
This land of violence and darkness is not the city of your kings,
    Rather a state cast from love and into the arms of the Taliban.  


The death toll rises, and Assam mourns--
    in the throes of insurgence, nobody wins.
Couplets that I wrote, inspired by the novels I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai and Christina Lamb, as well as Teatime for the Firefly by Shona Patel.  Written in the style of two traditional Pashto couplets found in I Am Malala.
Chelsea Jean Apr 2016
This is not an ode to Malala Yousafzai,
but bring her to me.  
Bring her passion, her fury.  
Bring her laughter, her pain.  
You see, she is just an ordinary girl, with a beating heart,
like you.  Like me.  
She is just sixteen and on her way to school when a man climbs into
the back of her school bus and demands that she quiet down.  
Halfway around the world, I am counting down the minutes until class ends.
Tick. The first shot explodes into the air.  
Tick.  Her blood pools on her best friend’s lap.  
Bring her & we will breathe, we will recover from the battles fought.  

& Isn’t that what being a woman is about?
Not the victories we’ve had, but the battles
we have fought, the battles lost and
the blood spilled.  The shot through her eye, and out of her shoulder.
The fresh sting of insults,
the hungry eyes ravishing my body.  
The keys held tight between my fingers.  

Those battles.  That’s womanhood.  


Think: Amal Alamuddin marries George Clooney,

& it’s “one of the greatest achievements in human history.”  

Forget her law degree, forget that she is trilingual.  
Forget her humanitarian work, that she was an advisor to the United Nations.  
Forget the real achievements--and this is normal.  

This is just another day.  Are we not worthy of the credit we deserve?  
Of the right to an education?
Of empires being created and destroyed in our name?

Always, we are fighting the losing war.  It’s never been easy,
never will be.  

I am sick of writing this poem,
but I refuse to stop fighting.
I demand a revolution, to bring back our fallen soldiers.
This time, no more battles will be lost.    

I will at least stand with Malala.    
I will raise, & stand beside
The Girl Who Stood Up For Education.
Here, take my hand, and we will stand together;
when the lightning strikes, we will be thunder.
Directly inspired by Danez Smith's "Not an Elegy for Mike Brown".
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