Immortal City-Shahid Imtiaz

(Dedicated to the Palestinians
I walk through the city of the dead,
Burnt bodies, broken limbs, and shreds of flesh hung down from their white bones,
Like mummies, they lie marinated in Pyramids amid pots and utensils,
Sometimes I hear eerie sounds coming out of their hollow skeletons,
Air makes a rustling sound while passing through the debris, enters the compartments big and small,
Finds some broken toys, muddy linen, and rusty school bags,
Damaged furniture of grey dust and black soot,
Assumed frightening shapes under a little shower of sunbeam,
Blasts and fire shake the foundations of the city,
And send a cloud of smoke and fire towards the heaven.

It fills the human heart with fear and terror,
Even the Sphinx is saddened with human grief, who are these demons in human shape?
Are they the disciples of Beelzebub?
Or the companions of the fallen angels?

They are the offsprings of Achlys and Erebus,
Bent upon the destruction of human history and civilization,
They take delight in a deluge, and kill men for their sport, But where are its inhabitants?
Where have they gone?
Why does the city look so deserted?

Suddenly, the city echoes the azan from the fallen minarets of a mosque, haiya alas salah haiya alal falah,
And I hear the chanting of Allahu Akbar carrying the dead body of a Shaheed rapped in the national flag,
They pour in from all the corners of the city, big and small,
They march towards a nearby graveyard,
Already filled with graves of young and old,
They blossom like cherries and bloom like a black iris.

Professor Shahid Imtiaz is a Lahore based Pakistani poet and intellectual. He has vast experience of teaching literature in prestigious institutions of Pakistan.
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