“Do not name the martyrs” & other poems

4 #poems by Rohith

Do not name the martyrs

“I fear that we will forget him in the throng of names”

– Mohmoud Darwish

Do not name the martyrs,
The history is so full of names
an extra name is but a hollow sound
that is devoid of tissue and blood.
Let them, forever, be fresh wounds
bright as reddening mornings.

Do not name the martyrs,
and turn them into mere signs
or a fistful of ashes that
scatter when a cold wind blows.
Let them be an untimely rain in summer
that reduces the world into an ecstasy.

Do not name the martyrs,
and hurl them into jungles of details.
Unearth their names from
grounds of past and memories.
Let them be streets without names
in those future cities after revolution.

(for 24 Maoists killed in the encounter at Odisha-Andhra border on October 24th,2016)


After Death

Who he is becomes who he was,
His name turns into theory,
a memory. The colour of air.
His photographs in family albums
become metaphors of an era
receded into ocean of time.
Everything about his life
is clearly certain;
Those inexplicable moments
start secreting a language.
His dispersed self
is intact, like a scrupulously
crafted character in an epic.
His multiple life
reduced into a linear story
of dates, places, names.
They bury him in red soil,
or burn him in sandalwood.

An image with its own blood
and skeleton, skin and flesh
replaces his memory —
travels backwards in time.

(for a dear friend)

Mayakovsky’s Pistol

“For twelve years Mayakovsky the man was destroying Mayakovsky the poet. On the thirteenth year the Poet rose up and killed the man… His suicide lasted twelve years, not for a moment he pulled the trigger.” – Marina Tsvetaeva

Mayakovsky finished writing his last poem,
he wrote “the incident dissolved/
the love boat crashed up/ on the dreary routine”
He saw the pistol on the upholstered table
lying like a phantasmagoric omen.

He thought he should telegram a comrade
but then, he thought otherwise;
It was snowing outside his room,
the night’s sky was like a letter so frequently read
that it turned into an empty paper.

Mayakovsky saw his reflection in mirror,
his existence felt infinitesimal.
His body, the reservoir of pain for all his life,
is flaking off like the stonewall of an old prison.
The moon is like an ulcer on dark flesh.

The world outside the window was fading away
like landscape seen from a speeding train.
The streets were vanishing, theatres and
sanatoriums were becoming non-existent,
taverns once filled with movement became empty.

His departure was not excessive,
it’s as minimal as a full stop at the end of a sentence,
like a customary clank of two wineglasses,
like pebble thrown into a placid lake, like a farewell kiss,
like a piece of ice melting on a tongue.

Love Poem

we will die in the end-
me, in a catastrophe
you, on a winter,
in a hospital ward.

you, like a cigarette
and I, like a broken
alcohol bottle.

they will bury my body
burn yours

years later-
a firefly born in your ashes
suckle the nectar
from the flower of a plant
emerged from soil
where my body was buried.


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Rohith Written by:

Rohith is a medico from Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh. His poetry has been published in various magazines like The Sunflower Collective, Cafe Dissensus, Kritya, The Brown Critique, etc.

One Comment

  1. Prof P C Narasimha Reddy PhD
    February 19, 2017

    Poems with ease !

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