Poems by Linda B. Scanlan

Poems by Linda B. Scanlan

 

Letters From the Battlefield 
In Jammu Kashmir

My friend –

Your favorite ice cream is almond
Its texture creamy
soothing on the tongue
Its sweetness reminds one
Of better days to come ……

Your favorite season spring time
Oh who could blame you
The valley rife with fragrance
A riot of wildflowers blooming madly
As far as the eye can see
a sea of color bright and bold
How resilient they are
Determined to thrive
The secret of wildflowers
Is they grow contrary
to the belief they won’t
Despite inhospitable conditions
They find a way to survive
Say nay to the naysayers ….

Your favorite movie is – unsurpringly
Lion of the Desert –
Anthony Quinn a serious Hollywood actor – whose character is sent to fight in Libya
to vanquish the country for Italy surprised
by the ferocity of the greeting soldiers
an army of grit and determination
With a willingness to die for their land
makes one courageous
Doesn’t it……..

I will watch this movie
it speaks volumes about you
the type of man you are destined to be
young yet
not an adult
here it is 21…..

You are an ancient soul
Who wonders hither and yon
Through galaxies
where stars perennially shine
And moons are always in their fullness…..

You see with a mariner’s eye
A keen vision of the territory
You know the signs that portend
Rough seas ahead
Adept at how to navigate turbulent terrain…..

You understand beyond your age
But you are young –
haven’t even begun to live…..

And that is for what we pray……

That you are like a wildflower
Growing and flourishing
Despite inhospitable conditions

And we pray
Your generation takes the higher road
Puts out fires
with peace pipes shared around roaring camp fires
Singing songs of mutuality
Sharing meals and camaraderie…..

Take that road
Where men can be men
And women women
And we see exactly who we really are
With no differences at all
At least below the surface ….

The unique features that eyes see
are differences nonessentially
Accidents of birth – conditional
genetics
It’s for interest
The multiplicity of the universe embodied in all of us
Every example
Of everything
there is
…….God is infinite
as is God’s creation…….

How boring it would be
if we
Were all alike
in every way
Duplication to the point of suffocation
Why do that
When you can do this
It’s so much more fun…..

This is a test
To see how we all get along
And our creator who created us is getting worried …..

We are failing to live our highest heights
But can start something new
At any moment
With you and your people in Kashmir….

Let the sand drift
Let the paradigm shift
Make way
For a new way
To do human………

They can call a cease fire
Order them to put down their guns
Stop what they are doing
And think for once ……..

What an example Kashmir could be
Then others would follow
Conflict resolution
Palestinians and Israelis perhaps
Wouldn’t that be nice
Finally……

Your generation can pick up the mantle
Reverentially place it on the altar of good fellowship
Begin from a place of humility and gratitude
Serve lots of tea and cookies at the long table of diplomacy…….

You dear friend deserve to aspire
to the highest version destiny allows
It’s my pleasure
My good fortune
to have made your acquaintance
in this here and now….

You’ve taught me so much
about life and optimism
in the face of grave danger
Shown me how infectious smiles
are the antidote
for any ill that ails one….

You are the light of the world
Show them the way
And let there be peace in the vale of Kashmir someday…….

Linda B. Scanlan, 2019©

 

Letters From The Battlefield 
In Jammu Kashmir

Dear Linn –

I’ve been thinking
there is not a bullet manufactured
able to shatter an ideal…..

Not a missile shot into the atmosphere capable of exploding
a righeous cause into smithereens……

Not a jail cell with steel bars strong enough
to contain the fighting spirit……

Even death cannot destroy the dream
only delay it
see these are the dreams of the brave ones
valiantly fighting
bullets felling those hailed as martyrs
murdered while defending
the God given right to self determination….

They can try to subdue us
Oh, their stubborn intransigence
How sunk in they are
Awaken brutes to the sacred dictum
All people are born to be free…..

We will fight for our land till the end
We will never give up
On our right to autonomy
Free agency is a powerful destiny……

Kashmir – my homeland
a battlefield for generations
we fight for your freedom
freely denied
never given
where is liberty found
amid the blood lust of war…….

Are combatants ever free?

May I live to write another day….

I remain your friend –

Abdul

Linda B. Scanlan, 2019©

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