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@ Through the City

Take me through the city
Of a hundred thousand stories,
By the magnificent fort,
Dimly lit, houses, hanging lanterns
The doors with iron hinges, worn woods
Touched, like holy bells, steps
To everyone their sanctuary.
I rubbed the texture of the night
Between my fingers;
I sipped, breathed, tasted and heard,
I saw, with open eyes, closed,
As the ancient airs were hitting my face.
Westward or eastward,
The city sleeps, on the planes, on the steppes,
The tired from Khyber and others preparing.
Fallen, risen and fallen again
Victorious and vanquished all alike,
Did not the hordes with their dance of blood
To the religion of the old city the pagans turned.
It will take along
Like a wrecked ship, sinking and sailing
Yet the shore is not far off, nearer than the river,
Kabul or Indus, Swat, bringing molten ice,
From Kashmir, Hindukush, from Himalyan glaciers.

Submitted: Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Edited: Wednesday, June 19, 2013


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Poet's Notes about The Poem

-On entering Peshawar in the evening of May 30,2013.

Sadiqullah Khan
Peshawar
June 2,2013.

Mushtaq Hussein nephew of Samander Khan, a Rebab-maestro, in the old city of Peshawar. In 1990, I got a Rebab made by them for myself, though I did not learn much to play it. Image @ Dawn.com

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  • Ramesh Rai (7/15/2013 4:38:00 AM)

    a magnificent write on changing value of life which is endless and never to stop.
    thnx for sharing.

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