a restless siren of a lonely ambulance

It’s 4 A.M. I am wide awake, for some reason. I can’t seem to remember why. Maybe it’s the impending doom of everything near and dear. Or maybe it’s the foolish hope of finding a news article – ” We killed the virus. Now, get back to your shitty lives”. Or maybe it’s the nocturnal neighbor who talks so loud, night after night, almost as if he’s talking to a dead lover, far far far away – afraid she won’t be able to hear him from beyond the broken sky. I wonder what he’s saying to her – his anxieties about the state of the world? how he misses the sweet scent of her brown eyes? He has gone quiet now, all of a sudden. Can he hear my thoughts? Man, walls are so fucking thin in Tokyo you can hear each other’s silent monologues. Probably the only way to form communal bonds – in this big city full of conveniences – is through secrets. There should an index that measures the number of people who go to sleep every night fearing the insignificance of their death – afraid that the only thing which would announce their demise is the stink that surrounds a stale corpse. Definitely a better measure of societal wellbeing than GDP. Jesus, what a morbid thought.

I keep trying to write a poem. In vain. migrants dragging their lives and loves on bare feet, hunger stranded like a lost child in their weary eyes, men weeping on phones sitting beside their dead infants, babies playing hide and seek behind the sarees’ of their mothers’ corpses’. A shame too public for any disease to hide, for any virus to subsume. I have no metaphors left for these miseries. All I have is grief that screams when you soak it up with sonnets, an nger too boundless to remain within margins and a helplessness that runs deep in the veins of my ink. Everything I write, I feel like I have already written it before. Injustices that survived the whiplash of my pointless syllables. A recurring nightmare I long to escape. This is not writers’ block. There has to be an another word for this.

I hear ambulances drifting through the neighborhood, loud voices signalling the demise of strangers, floating alarms of panic waking up frozen streets. A farewell dirge drifting through our despair. I remember writing a verse like this, an year or so ago,

‘a restless siren of a lonely ambulance

knocks on my sleepless window

like a whisper from a drowning mother’

 

So many whispers

that it is an eternal shriek

 

So many mothers

that the world is an orphan

An empty plate of eulogies – that is all my pen is good for these days. Burn these pages to the fucking ground if only to give a shivering soul some warmth on their deathbed.

*

Abul Kalam Azad

Abul Kalam Azad

Abul Kalam Azad was born in Guntur of Andhra Pradesh. Now living in now living in Japan. Previously published in Cha, The Sunflower Collective, Muse India, Raiot, Routes, Antiserious, etc. The first published one was 'The hunted ones' in Kindle Mag. Oct 2015 http://kindlemag.in/the-hunted-ones/

5 comments

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  • The poet expresses his aroused emotion effectively. Who can comfort so many mothers in a developed city like Tokyo ! Congratulations to the poet.

  • Abul Kalam Azad’s article reflects his agonized emotions after witnessing the heart-wrenching , miserable and pathatic conditions of migrant workers who began to walk hundreds of miles with children and women on the roads.
    Some of them passed away in the journey. Some pregnant women also deliver roads.
    His lines”Men weeping on phones sitting beside thier dead infants. Babies
    Playing hide and seek behind the saree of mother’s corpus” expresses his mental agony.
    His lines so many mother’s that the world is an orphan.
    Motherhood is taking care of children.
    The nation should maintain motherhood not in slogans,but lt should be in protecting lives and self respect of it vulnerable working class citizens.
    The society is always insensible and muted selectively.
    But poets are not persons they are spirits. They see and observe every thing.
    The heavy hanging chains will fall,
    The walls will crumble at a word of poet.
    I appreciate the spirit of the poet Abul kalam Azad.

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