Poems by Mohsin Maqbool Elahi



Poems by Mohsin Maqbool Elahi



A Forest Owlet’s Lament


Why is man on and off so destructive?
Why is man callous ever so often?
Why is man always so insensitive?
How can he be so crazy, so insane?

During his childhood, he stole my grandma’s eggs.
My grandparents wept silently for days on end.
During his teens, he killed my parents with slings
For frolic while hunting birds with his bosom friend.

Now he robs my home by felling trees
And clearing marshes, putting me in pain.
He seems tone deaf to all of my pleas;
All he solely thinks about is his gain.

I can see all my sobbing neighbours:
Himalayan quails, Siberian cranes,
White-bellied herons, Jerdon’s coursers,
Red-headed vultures and Bengal floricans.

Birds are not the only ones that are weeping
While searching miles for another shelter;
I can also see other species shrieking
As they in torment run helter-skelter:

Macaques, gibbons, lorises, langurs,
Snakes, squirrels, butterflies and ants.
While Himalayan musk deer, sloth bears
And dhole will soon meet their ends.

At first trees were cut for making reams of paper
Which helped in printing books and notebooks.
Man’s love for reading tomes and papers is over;
It’s TV now which he wants to look.

Fine furniture is made from my habitat;
Man goes to sleep peacefully on his wooden bed.
With a broken feather plucked out from my breast,
I write my melancholic tale dipped in my blood.


~ Mohsin Maqbool Elahi
June 3, 2016. All rights reserved by Mohsin Maqbool Elahi.



Black out, White in


Why does the colour of skin
Matter so much to some people?
Black or white, brown or yellow,
Pink or wheat-complexioned
When our skin cuts
All that oozes out is blood
Coloured red of exactly
The same hue.
Michael Jackson crooned:
“It don’t matter if you’re black or white.”
Ironically, his words did not match actions.
He played with his body for decades,
Turning himself into a whiter shade of pale
Till he actually became a ghost at 50.

We are all structured the same
Inside, having exactly 206 bones.
Whatever the colour of our skin
We all start greying
Slowly and steadily
As soon as we pass 25.
We cross 60 and we start getting
Wrinkles below our eyes.
The fairer sex puts on “Fair & Lovely”
To become Snow White.
Using all those chemicals makes them
Look more like Macbeth’s warbling witches:
“For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.”


~ Mohsin Maqbool Elahi

All rights reserved by Mohsin Maqbool Elahi.





I, Kashmir


The Almighty endowed me with the best.
Snow-capped mountains were laid on my chest;
Verdant forests where hikers walked with zest;
Dal Lake with houseboats was tourists’ nest.

Some of the earth’s most beautiful women
And, of course, the most handsome of men.
Papier-mache industries some of them ran;
Some were involved in making pheran.

Romantic duets were shot in my flowered valleys.
How many films were made here, I kept no tallies.
Apples, saffron and walnuts grew on my bel ly.
Garden-picnics were held with tea, cakes and jelly.

One day they scarred me; then they singed me.
The next day they gang-raped me; they razed me.
Again they flamed me and they blazed me.
They terrorized me; they agonized me.

I took in all those ghastly sights;
Bravely faced all those stormy nights.
Patiently bore with eyes shut tight.
For freedom defended my right.

The Almighty, I am sure, is on my side.
Once again my rivers flow free, far and wide.
Shepherds graze their goats and lambs with all their pride.
My tulips adorn my meadows like a bride.


~ Mohsin Maqbool Elahi

All rights reserved by Mohsin Maqbool Elahi
June 1, 2016



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