Sehwan, Sheema and Faiz

By Anjum Altaf

 

For Sheema Kermani – because she went

 

Go
(After Faiz Ahmed Faiz’s Aaj Bazaar meiN Pa ba JaullaN Chalo)

Unwept tears, inner torments
Enough
Hidden desires, silent accusations
Enough

Go
Flaunt your fetters in the street
Arms aloft, enraptured, intoxicated
Disheveled, blood stained
Go
Lovers are yearning for your love
Go

Tyrant and crowd
Await
Slings and stones
Await
Sorrows and failures
Await

Who else is left to love
But you
Who else is left to fight
But you
Who else is left to die
But you

Arise and go
For love’s honor
Go

 

Note

Sehwan is home to the shrine of Lal Shahbaz Qalandar, a major sufi saint in Sindh, where a suicide bombing killed 88 devotees on February 16, 2017.

Sheema Kermani is a symbol of defiance in Pakistan as a dancer who has continued to perform in public all through the rise of fundamentalism and suppression. She went to the shrine to join the devotees on February 20.

The news story is here.

This poem appeared first on 3 Quarks Daily  on February 23, 2017 and is reproduced here with permission of the author.

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