“I want to guard flowers against animals
I admire beauty and promote love
I want a wholesome peace with no crack
That's why I'm continuously under attack!”

RAPIDFIRE POEMS OF AN INCARCERATED POET FROM PAKISTAN

World's Gift To Heaven

By Habib Sulemani 

for Baby Abdullah












I wanted to write a poem for you
But there're tears in my eyes
I can't
I can't
Oh, my  goodness!

Usually, I write poems in longhand
But today, my blurred eyes can't see the piece of paper
Whatever I see with hazy eyes is you:
a newborn baby boy who spent only a couple of days
in the warmth of his mother and rest of his fifteen-day life
alone on cold ventilators in the ICU of a hospital!

When I got the news of your birth
I could see you hundreds of miles away
I was happy to see another addition to the new generation
Born in my family during my ongoing incarceration
I was very happy to see you
As happy as a poor village-child on getting a toy!

I'd felicitated your Mama and Papa indirectly
Somehow, I didn't call them personally
I don't know why I delayed my call
I didn't exhibit the telephonic euphoria
Maybe, my poetic laziness delayed it!

And now when you've landed in paradise 
I can't even call your grief-stricken parents
Oh, I can't offer even telephonic-condolences
I don't know what to say to my parents!

I'm a citizen of no country
During these long years of incarceration
My National Identity Card has expired
My cellphone has been blocked
And I've lost my typical oratory power
I'm told the world understands whatever I do write
But I know the language of the world no more!

Still I haven't lost my mimosa-leaflike sensitive heart
My grief on your untimely departure is genuine
My tears are real
I'm not a crocodile on the seashore
I'm a sensitive shepherd from the mountains!

O my dear nephew
When we're mourning your loss on earth
Citizens of the heavens maybe celebrating your arrival in Eden
Your namesake grandfather maybe all smiles
And your great-grandparents maybe dancing on celestial tones
The world lost a beautiful baby, but heaven got a precious gift!

   
(Rawalpindi, Pakistan. September 15, 2015)