24 Feb Sehwan, Sheema and Faiz
By Anjum Altaf
For Sheema Kermani – because she went
(After Faiz Ahmed Faiz’s Aaj Bazaar meiN Pa ba JaullaN Chalo)
Unwept tears, inner torments
Hidden desires, silent accusations
Flaunt your fetters in the street
Arms aloft, enraptured, intoxicated
Disheveled, blood stained
Lovers are yearning for your love
Tyrant and crowd
Slings and stones
Sorrows and failures
Who else is left to love
Who else is left to fight
Who else is left to die
Arise and go
For love’s honor
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.