POETRY:  Audacity to speak

Audacity to speak

Mirza A. Beg


During the long night of colonialism, Urdu poets gave voice and sustenance to the freedom struggle of India.  In the Urdu cadence, this poem is dedicated to all yearning to be free.

Power amuck, demands conformity

“Those not with us, are against us”

Intolerance shrouded in naiveté

Repression cloaked in democracy

Will the meek inherit the Earth?

Not here, not today

Silence soaked in subtle conformity,

Sustains ignorance and tyranny

The impudent power to kill withers

Faced with defiant courage, to speak

Executioner’s tired arms tremble

Scared of brave heads on the block

The struggle to breathe free,

Arduous, tenacious and eternal

Ordeal, bearable adorned with hope

Of the bliss of a distant morning


When the plunderers stand exposed

Their power swept away

Failing to imprison the fragrance

Failing to muffle the Song-bird


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