Poem| Love You Still, My Country

Creative Corner

Poet: Muhammad Nasrullah Khan

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India & PakistanMajid Khan (with Permission)

O, Pakistan, where should I begin?
A British stronghold, a century of colonial rule,
that relegated us to clowns.
Now we’re neither British nor Asian.
Ridiculous, a half-way between nowhere.
Our mother tongue called to us, her words broken.
This voice that once withstood the oppression of daggers.
Our culture, self-depreciated.
We became illusions behind allusions.
a nation-state born of crises
Independence serendipitous—
a designed divorce from our neighbor.
Our shouted victories and cries of defeat,
comprehended by neither side.
Bullets drew forth blood, but never achieved a win.
Rhetoric textbooks make-up we're compelled to wear
Our history was written in blood.
Our poor parallel structure line to line.
We bought weapons with gold we did not have.
And poverty rules our streets.
Famine dances, her nakedness mocks us.
We go to mosques but seek salvation from financiers
As if the IMF could quell fear.
We are forced to elect a better beggar,
which perpetuates suffering to spread for our umpteenth generation.

O, Pakistan how do I convey?
I hate the patriotism
invented to hide dirt,
and expose others spoilage.
Through excruciating lessons, you taught me about failure.
Now when someone asks about you,
I tell them about mangoes and oranges.
But not the rapes of peasant girls,
behind the delicious fruit trees.

O, Pakistan, I survive in silence.
Justice imprisoned in the court buildings and barracks.
By whom shall it be unchained?
A myriad of policies govern our lives,
while silver tongues line gunmen's pockets.
I've heard enough of being a corrupt state,
—a third world democracy.
We love military parades but hate cultural activities,
reduced to a nation of sterile, unthinking people,
who live the mistruths spouted by the academics.

O, Pakistan, how should I forget Gawadar Bay Sands?
Where over the abyss our wealth spills.
But in return you tell the stories of the missing youth.
The subtle, insidious ways to jail and exile activists, and
grandmothers who wash dead bodies of their grandchildren.

O, Pakistan, how do I speak of thee?
Your liberal media broadcasts don’t care about food,
bleeding stories, and colloquial ways.
The tenacity of our ancestors fleeing wounded countries,
or the stubborn fighting spirit that never bows,
bustling crowds at the Sunday Bazar.
I grew up in your sun-struck land,
every vein, wrinkle, blood vessel
harshly branded into my heart.
You were a beautiful beloved
who flirted with a means to an end.
Your memory is like the stories of Manto,
and poems of Charles Bukowski.
Despite your aging spirit reeking of greed, vitriol and oppression,
I love you.

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Muhammad Nasrullah Khan is the publisher of Creative Corner. His short stories and poems are well-recognized internationally for his unique style. His creative work has appeared in Adbusters, Evergreen review, Indiana Voice Journal, Newtopia Magazine, Gowanus Books,Offcourse literary Journal University at Albany, The Raven Chronicles, and many others. His book is available on Amazon at: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08D7WZXVL

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