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IMAGES OF AFGHANISTAN, THE FALLEN ANGEL- A POEM by Dr. K.V. RAGHUPATHI

Updated: Sep 29, 2023



Images of Afghanistan, the Fallen Angel by Dr. K.V. RAGHUPATHI


I

They dragged him out from the dusted car,

hands tied to his back,

made to lie down on his belly with his face facing the west.

They wanted him to be in the country,

but he wanted to flee the battered country.

The woman accompanied him kneeled and prayed,

but they shot him on the back of his chest at dusk and stole her

amidst the pandemonium of birds and roaming dogs;

while the helpless men and children rented the air Allaho Akbar.

Is life worth living to die at the nozzle for no crime?


II

Like scared rats, they rushed to the airport,

all to flee from gunshots.

There were no rules on the tarmac and the runway.

Soon, the airport was transformed into an old railway station

and the stranded flights like trains to pick up the tyrannized.

They scrambled like the flood victims for food,

some squatted on the wings, some hung to the wheels,

some held whatever their hands could,

yet hundreds ran with the moving flight

as though escorting the wounded Freedom.

The flight took off, the pilots unmindful

throwing off the people on the wings

like fireballs

to fall to their death from the sky.

Freedom was so elusive,

it flew with the wings,

off in the sky and then vanished like a falcon

in the thick ashy clouds that partly concealed the bleeding mountains.



III


Twenty years of hard-won freedom

flew away like a paper kite in the sky.

Is freedom so fleecy as cloud?

Only the boom of bullets, the shrieks of shells

in the battered valley heard.

On the roads and in the streets, gun-toting men with flowing black beards and headgear

roamed like hunting greyhounds let loose from the cages

shouting ‘death to the disobedient’.

Where are the pigeons that cooed in the morning light?

Only the doves are making shrill sad calls.

Where are the smiling strutting women on the roads?

Only the street dogs are howling

Will the hard-won freedom return to the tainted Hindukush mountains and valleys?


IV

Not one or two, but tens and tens

babies were thrown over the razor wire like food packets to the quake victims.

But this one baby, tender as red cherry

hard to cry and open eyes

to see the country in blood

landed in the hands of a British woman soldier.

Its mother fled in fright ducking past gunfire

to save her skin, she thinks right what she did.

Its separated father lost in the melee

in the fall of freedom like a paradise lost.

Soon, the booming of flights in the sky ceased,

the abandoned machinery like mute witnesses in the war memorial

as the gun-toting bearded men in peraahan tunbaan outfit

with the blood smudged knitted blankets across their shoulders

roam the tarmac like lost messiahs.

Kabul airport is no more the gateway to freedom.


V


Crowded, the airport looked like a confusing marketplace.

People jostling and surging with wheeled suitcases,

mothers like langurs holding their babies, children clutching their fathers

refused to return to their abandoned homes

to fall prey to the tuft of bullets.

The night before he sat by her bedside and felt

the dropping pulse as the city is caught in the flue

with the temperature rising like the summer sun on the sub-Sahara.

Kabul like patient bleeding with no doctor in the vicinity

to stitch the split skin and bones.

The other day, a couple of months ago

the trees fell by thunderbolts,

now, men with bullets in veins are falling

as women shut peeping through the slit doors and windows

the gruesome terror, burning like the tropical forest fire.

How long does it take to dissolve the hard-earned freedom in the grave?

The little girl asked the passer-by in askance.

Can you show me a place where sleep and silence merge?

Can you show me a house where there is no anchorage for grief?


VI


When women judges are fleeing like the frightened hare

to save justice from being butchered;

when women are being kidnapped and raped for not conforming to the Shariat Laws,

where are the Me-Too Movement activists, feminists, liberalists, and the secularists?

Hiding in burrows? Why not they speak with a beer in their mouths?

What is the gun-toting masked men looking for?

Blood, or money, or power?

Or all the three?

Allah is only a scapegoat.

“Life is too short for me to face the terror.

The world is big

but there is no space for me to hide.

I may never be a butterfly to flit

but to reinvent my immediate caterpillar in the chrysalis

is to reverse Darwin’s biological evolution.”

Each day passes as we grow in fear with less certainty.

At least, life on the moorland is quiet in the swamp.

Perhaps you need to be like Sphinx with enigmatic silence

to witness the human tragedy on the earth.

How is it possible to craft silence amidst the sounds of bullets?

Perhaps, like the saints have spoken from their hollowed tombs;

or perhaps stand in each other’s silence and smell the blood from the nozzle.

Only the wounded can hear from the wounded.

but not the unwounded from the wounded!


About the Poet


A former academic, born in 1957 in a Telugu speaking family in Andhra Pradesh, K.V. Raghupathi, holds a Ph.D. in English Literature and writes in English. Poet, novelist, short story writer, and critic, he has so far published thirty books. His first passion is poetry. Began writing seriously in the early 1980s.Since then, he has published thirteen poetry collections, two novels, and two short story collections besides edited eight critical works and six books on Yoga spanning over four decades of journey through writings. His poetry collections include Desert Blooms (1987), Echoes Silent (1988), The Images of a Growing Dying City (1989), Small reflections (2000), Samarpana (2006), Voice of the Valley (2006, 2014), Wisdom of the Peepal Tree (2006, 2014), Dispersed Symphonies (2010), Orphan and Other Poems (2010), Between Me and the Babe (2014), On and Beyond the Surface (2018), The Mountain is Calling… (2018), and Transition (2022).His poetry is endowed with rich and dense philosophy, mystical/transcendental thoughts, romantic elements, and imagery comprising similes, metaphors, personifications, apostrophe, irony, climax, anti-climax, and full of rhetoric and symbols. His two novels are The Invalid (2012) and The Disappointed (2014); his short fiction includes: The Untouchable Piglet (2015) and A Gay and a Straight Woman (2017). His poems and short stories, besides thought-provoking and stimulating scholarly papers, have appeared in various newspapers like The Hindu, The Statesman, Print journals, and online journals. He taught in three universities: S.V. University, Tirupati (1997-2007), Yogi Vemana University, Kadapa (2007-2011), and Central University of Tamil Nadu, Thiruvarur (2011-2019). He lives in Tirupati, AP He is a recipient of several awards for his creativity that include Michael Madhusudhan Dutt Award, Kolkata in 2001, H.D.Thoreau Fellowship, Dhvanyaloka, Mysore in 2000, the best-chosen poet for 2003, Poetry Society of India, New Delhi Poetry Chain, Mumbai, Life Time Achievement Award, Chennai Poetry Circle, Chennai in 2010, and Rock Pebbles National Award for creativity, 2014, Bhubaneswar and Phrasal King Arbind Choudhary National Award for Poetry, Mahatma Gandhi Education and Welfare Society, Parbhani, Maharastra, a citation of Brightest Honour for his distinguished contribution to Indian English Poetry by International Sufi Centre, Bangalore 2020, Panorama Golden Book Award for the book, The Mountain is Calling… (2022, World Capital Foundation); and two awards in Yoga, Best Yogic Publication of the Year Award, 2018, and Lifetime Achievement Award in Yoga, 2018, New Delhi.



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Venkata Ramana T
Venkata Ramana T
25 sept 2023
Obtuvo 5 de 5 estrellas.

Graphical presentation of imagery through striking images. It's picturesque or may be pure ekprastic but touched the level of videography.

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