Conflict · Poetry

Silent River (Or Whose Side are you On? Written November, 2016)

A mother sings a lullaby.

In the moonlight

stars sparkle

over the Jhelum.

A father walks outside

to lock the gate.

And looks across the bund

on to the silent river,

black as night.

Footsteps in the dark

Stomp, crush

Tar and leaves

Dry as paper.

Where are they headed?

He wonders

and hurries back inside.

The night becomes darker.

Even stars hide

as boots approach.

They march.

Through the town,

Boy soldiers

Toy soldiers.

Wielding guns and grenades


their swagger.

Rap. Tap. Rap. Tap

The teachers house

His father’s house

The doctor’s house

His mother’s house.

His brother’s house

A traitor’s house.

Wind carries over the dark river.

And rustles through

the still of night.

His silent scream

reaches their ears.

Whose side are you on?


The country waits.

Our leader waits.

Blood will flow

on our side and theirs.

2 thoughts on “Silent River (Or Whose Side are you On? Written November, 2016)

  1. A beautiful and moving poem!! My heart and mind are with people of Kashmir, whose right of free speech has been taken away now. … May a new hopeful day come soon for people of Kashmir when the voices of the oppressed people cannot be suppressed by anyone…


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