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The Daily Poetry Movement

In high school an ex-cia officer came to my school. He said everything you read about world war II in your textbook is a lie. One day the truth will come out- but let me just say- America was not the great liberator. A green beret said to me, I was a journalist in the middle east. Let me just say, my pictures were confiscated. But they were twelve I said! US policy.

In those times when the camera could not freeze tyranny for ever
only until those times
should you have written
that history
which describes tyranny as valour.

Today, gazing at scenes
transferred on celluloid,
one can gauge
what the scene is like
and the sound
when trees are uprooted from the hillsides.

Whether you are happy or sad
you must breathe
Whether your eyes are open or closed
the scene, its imprint on the mind,
does not change.

The tree that stands in the river
always remains wooden
cannot become a crocodile.

For a long time now,
we have stood
on the rooftops of stories
believing this city is ours

The earth beneath the foundations has sunk
but even now we stand
on the rooftops of stories
assuming life to be
the insipid afternoon's wasted alleyways
with their shattered bricks
and gaping fissures.

Kishwar Naheed