Thursday, August 03, 2017

A new poem

If (with Kipling's blessings)

If you can measure yourself
with the eye scales of the woman
who survived your enemy

If you can hold the woman
you had leaned into until she warmed
and, looking into her eyes, say
why you are afraid

If you can walk out of the shadow
of your father's failing,
your mother's distress,
and then if you can turn to the cleansing heat
of summer sun and make a vow
to care a little less

If you can make flowers flower
on poisoned land
and kiss every fruit

If you can shut up
about a woman's dress when
you do not hope to wear it

If you can mutely nod
when women speak of what is done
in your name

If you can say,
never again!
and mean it

If you can stare deep into the well
of your heart and drink
up your twisted truths
and speak, though aflame 
with shame

If you can build the grand things
that feed your hate

If you can cook the animals
your ancestors ate

If you can smile at neighbours
who will not cease their cry of 'apart! apart!' 
and invite them in every weekend
for their antidote of art

If you can build a school
where all-all-all is the norm

If you can build a storm shelter
for lovers on the run

If you can take the place of sons
murdered for the wrong hat
or those mothers stripped and paraded
for living with their pride intact

If you can learn to dance 
just because no one dances
any more

If you can sing the song 
of the weak when their throats 
are too sore

If you can hear the howls outside
and step out, 
armed or not

If you can turn away from 
those videos of the naked 
and the harmed

If you can rally against those 
who trade off your will
for wealth 

If you can force your vote to translate
into water, hope and health

If you can let the gods be,
One or many or all,
let them speak from themselves 
from above

You will have learnt to be a man, 
my brother, my friend, my love.

(c) Annie Zaidi

5 comments:

Hrj dc said...

If you can stop defining how a man
a brother, a friend should be

If you can get a hold of yourself
And stop wishing like a witch,
A narcissitic bitch,
Who thinks a man's life
And meaning should revolve around her.

Rudyard won't roll in his grave again

Unknown said...

If you can reach deep inside,
and discover the strength
to restrain yourself,
to break free from your conditioning,
to realise your manliness,

Rudyard might find a little Harsh as he looks down on you.

Hrj dc said...

Let, culture be conditioning,
meaning a myth.
Let dignity be social construct
Divinity something dumb.

But, we know all the fact,
The truth Darwin spit,
theory of evolution
sexual selection.
Women select, men present.

The female decides the fate.

Now, What can a a man do?
What can I do?
"to break free from..."
So called "conditioning,"
to realise manliness"

Should I terrorise? or
should I troll?
Can I be a doormat,
providing comfort,
collecting dust?

I yearn for love
I like beauty,
a woman who dolls up for me
and waits at the door for me.

Should i do what a woman says,
proclaiming,
"You will have learnt to be a man,
my brother, my friend, my love.???"

Where is "I" when i do that?
where is "for me"?
What? Is it all about "us" now?
Does it mean i should lose "I"?

Wrong or right
I won't give up "I"?
You keep dancing, girl

A day comes where you will
dance to the beat of my toe.
and step to the wink of my eye.
Its not too far,
Its not fantasy.

Because I know you
And that's what you want too.















Unknown said...

Should you terrorise? or should you troll?
When to challenge, when to fold?
The decisions you face; the choices you make,
Separate the boys from men.

Your "I", your "me", your "wrong or right",
Your sorry "I won't give up I" plight,
Betray an infant's urge to fight,
A indolent, perverse child.

A child learns the joys of "I", until he discovers "we".
He wakes up to the world beyond just "me".
He learns not to shoot his mouth off just because he can,
That is the sign of a grown-up man.

You want to dance with me, son?
You may.
The only thing is, twinkletoes,
If we do, you will be gay.

Anwar Zaidi said...

troll them,if u r not man enough to call them
and know, that they do not care
life is like that, if u cant walk them, Maul them
forget, that for them, its a scare
if u act like this, just tell me
are u a man? or a mare?

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