I have been meaning to write you,
For some time now,
But my words simply cannot cascade,
Across my page like the rivers,
Falling across your mountains,
My words cannot descend from this pen,
Like the tears your women still cry,
How do I embody their strength – in this?
How do I paint the remnants of children,
Across maps of our valleys,
In search of a heart that might just be beating,
I have been meaning to tell you,
I have fallen so in love since I left you,
I dream of your valleys,
I cradle them within me, unwilling to let go.
But the memories of my love,
Are encrypted in the painful remembrance,
Of rape and massacres,
Of mass graves and torture,
Of the tears cried by Parveena Ahangar,
As she searches for the strength to continue,
Now how do I write this to you?
I have been meaning to say,
That here, half way across the Earth,
I still utter your name with such pride,
And exotic images run through minds,
Searching for something they can relate to.
How do we overcome Led Zeppelin and Cashmere shawls?
Would they still relate,
If I told them about Sameer Ahmed Rah?
Or is that child just simply,
Because patience is beginning to escape me.
I have been meaning to send you hope,
And raise my fists in rebellion against,
The occupation of our magnificent valleys,
I’ve been learning to shout,
To cry about the shades of crimson,
Still splattered across your skies,
So that the taste of maroon will not leave minds,
The way it has not left mine.
But all I know how to do – is write.
And these words just keep falling short,
They tumble down into your valleys,
Where I hope they will take root,
Because mouj, ammi,
These 66 years have raised your children,
Turning generation after generation into warriors,
So now bowing our heads in respect,
We salute your strength,
And we vow to fight,
Always by your side.
We will write you again.