“A Tryst Between History and Memory.

I am tied to the bonnet of history riding fast
On the roads built over the bones of my ancestors;
A bird flying high over my head falls down dead
Shot by the accurate fire, a hiding sniper fired;
As I parade through the blood canals of past
Smoke and dust slap my eyes;

Would that Gods were kind to us─ in this slaughterhouse
Of ailing minds, of marked bodies; of wounded souls;
Hush; where is that sound coming from;
Must be the dawn of darkness cracking past
The despair of hope wandering where the light flew
Into a gorge of sorrows that defy human intellect;
There is an art to darkness, of darkness; one that grows into
A heart of hope without a flaw tied to my existence;
Would that we were kind to us─ in this amnesiac life
Of killing with joy, of bartering sorrows, of dealing with the dead;

Hope is a thing past when history defies your memory;
Hope is a thing lost when memory defies your history;
Walking backwards helps not; going forward helps not;
The present leaves us smitten by the steel insects of time
Biting us while we grope to awake;

There is an art to darkness; one that grows dark
Into memory exposed like a dandelion head
That grows into my lawn; I was never the gardener
Of my lawn; the records prove it neither;
History tied me to a bonnet; I am sailing through
Life─ of un-forgiveness; of rushing to the judgement
Despite the warning; “thou shall not judge.”
Am I wrong if I stake claim to my body?
Am I wrong if two roads don’t divulge in my case
And I have no choice to make?
Am I wrong if no road crosses through my woods?
And I stay gazing like the ancient human worried;
Shocked; dazzled; by the too much of history;
History be kind to my memory; memory be kind to my history
The two can meet and have lunch together;
Who denied us lunch together? ─ In rain;
Through snow; in wind; through fog!
We could be kind to each other;
Move past the traces of human weakness
And seek refuge in a lunch together ─ where
I make no claim to sit on a chair while the attendant
Waits for my call; where the bill that I pay
Does not hurt his eyes;
History- be kind to us; memory; be kind to us.”

©Ashaq Hussain Parray