Friday, June 18, 2010

Kafka revisited

They came for me in broad daylight,
I remember the day well enough,
It was exactly a month since you had gone with them,
They shot open the door and stormed in,
Like honeybees swarming in a beehive.
I was gagged and handcuffed,
A blindfold wound tightly around my eyes,
I was dragged across the marketplace,
The day stood deathly still, not even the shadows breathed,
And only my screams rang stifled within my throat.

I was dumped into a dark and damp cell,
Two inches of sky visible through a hole in the roof,
A solitary sun ray struggled its way in,
Darkening even more the shadows in the room.
I was stripped naked, two men went to work on me,
Till my whole body was a mesh of sweltering welts,
Drifting between consciousness and blessed oblivion,
I struggled to maintain my hold on sanity,
While my bones were broken, my teeth pulled out,
The nails skinned off my flesh,
Red chilli poured down the holes in my body.
Time lost meaning, there was no night or day,
Pain the only reality, just enough
To keep me alive from one beating to the next.

I was told there was no bigger criminal alive,
Or a bigger threat to the nation than me,
That I had got drunk with the moonbeams,
Had inhaled the fragrance of the morning bloom,
Breathed in the free air of the hills,
Dared to call a small piece of land my own,
Laughed in the warm company of friends,
Looked deep in your eyes in the glow of the fire,
And the most unpardonable act of all,
That I had written a book of verse.

They promised to set me free if I confessed,
To escape the pain I would gladly have,
If only I knew how to tell,
Of the content I felt in my patch of earth,
Like a boat safely anchored after a voyage long,
Of the unrestraint that I felt in birds chirping wild,
As they returned at dusk to the warmth of their nest,
Also of the slightly salty taste of your skin,
The taste of free skies and the unbound earth.
How could I commit I won't write anymore,
When poetry had always risen in my voice unbidden.

The unrepentent criminal that I was,
I was convicted and sentenced to hang by the neck,
My body displayed on the tower in the heart of the city,
Till the vultures would ensure no trace was left of me.
The day for my release drew around,
I was marched to meet my mortal fate,
Finally, I looked in the eyes of my executioner,
And found they were the same deep blue as yours.

It was then,
And only then,
That I screamed,
And screamed,
And screamed,
Till the scream crashed into the walls of the gallows,
And its echoes drowned me in the soundproofed cell.

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