Diplomacy

In a world where hawks and armchair generals call for war on a daily basis, diplomats keep the peace - and the poetry.

We are the angry men
We are the confused men
Confronting each other
Our heads filled with anger.
When we shout at each other
Our voices are loud and meaningless
As screeching fighter jets
In a war zone

Anger has no shape, anger has no colour,
Anger is a misguided force, a violent emotion;

Those who have trespassed
With full knowledge, to the anger’s underworld
Can’t remember anything at all – are lost
Forever in the serpentine labyrinth
Of anger, those angry men
Those confused men.

II

Dare not meet their eyes
In anger’s underworld
They are everywhere
Here, there, the eyes are everywhere
Like burning ember in the cold, dark nights
There is a dog howling
And their anger
Is shooting up
And up
Like a gathering storm.

Let them go deeper
In the underworld
Let them go naked
Wearing nothing
Without masks
In the ring
As true wrestlers
No less –
For their final meeting
In the dark underworld

III

This is the doomed land
This in the nuked land
Here only heaps of bones
Are left – charred, scattered
Vapourized, melted
Under the cold glow of the moon

It is exactly like this
In anger’s dark underworld
Walking alone
Wearing an anti-radiation suit
Through a mountain of bones
Without uttering a word
Without shedding a drop of tear.

IV

These eyes could see once
Not anymore
In this valley of tears
In this valley of doom and death
The lost paradise
As whispers in the wind
We glance at each other
But can’t speak
Drifting in this dull lake

In no particular direction
Suddenly there is a ray of light
A lotus blooms in the lake
Wisdom reappears
In the dark underworld
Weaning away anger
From the angry men.

V

Here we walk in the dreary desert
Dreary desert, dreary desert
Here we walk in the dreary desert
All the three hundred and sixty-five days of the year

Between the talks
And the war
Between the promises
And the delivery
Revolves diplomacy

For ours is anger’s dark underworld

Between cooperation
And coercion
Between demarche
And summon
Revolves diplomacy

Life is short

Between Aman ki Asha
And vicious Jihad
Between the doves
And the hawks
Between annihilation
And co-existence
Revolves diplomacy

For ours is anger’s dark underworld

For us it is
To choose life or death
Survival or extinction

This is the way the world is saved
This is the way the world is saved
This is the way the world is saved
Not with wars but with diplomacy.

***

Aman ki Asha translates to “Hope for peace”, and Jihad to “Religious war”.

Madras Courier originally ran as a broadsheet with a poetry section. It was a time when readers felt comfortable sharing glimpses of their lives through verse. If you too have a poem you’d like to submit, do email us at editor@madrascourier.com.

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