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I Wonder //

// i wonder if you, too, look in the mirror and wish for kind eyes to greet you. i wonder if you, too, look at your half-bitten nails and hope for somebody’s equally misshapen nails to hold them. i wonder if you, too, sometimes flinch at your own touch, surprised by the strange tenderness of your fingers. i wonder if you, too, tremble thinking about all the love you long for. i wonder if you, too, try to calm your heart’s yearning for an all-consuming love. //

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The Unnoticed //

// even though no songs will be sung in our honour,
no eyes will stop at our sight,
no hands will applaud our achievements;
even though we will be forced to trade in our swords for sticks,
we will toil to wield the sword
with our unskilled arms and tired eyes;
even though our deaths be unlamented
and our fight futile,
our unruly arms will not accept defeat. //

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War

Leaders declare war,
Leaving children to fright.
They try to see some hope,
During sleepless hours of night.
Hate burns their dreams down,
Spoils them with nightmare.
Murders them inside,
With nothing to spare.

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Freedom?

I've been told:
"It will be okay,
If you keep writing
Within the lines.
You can fly high
But don’t cross the sky."
Someone will always
Be better than you.
There will be days
When crying’ll be all
You’d wanna do.
"You won’t have to suffer
If you stay in your limits."
It’s a tough choice
We all know:
Happiness or safety
The decision will show.
None of this makes sense
Never it will:
Because you don’t get it
The way I do.
For you are not me
And I’ve never been you.
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Urge,

this writing spree has got me so messed up
i mean, i feel this urge to turn everything i do, see, and feel, into poetry


this urge, it doesn’t let me feel
i’m crying, and in my head, i’m weaving a string of words with every drop of tear that falls down my cheeks

this urge, it’s making me numb
i’m dancing, and in my head, i’m imagining my pen waltzing on my notebook

this urge, it isn’t letting me live
i’m breathing, and in my head, i’m inhaling thunderstorms and exhaling sunshine

this urge, it’s changing my perspectives
i’m looking in the mirror, and i’m seeing the universe, love and stardust instead of my reflection

i’m trying to pen down everything into words too much i guess
from music to painting
more than feeling the emotions
my insides force me to translate everything into words
and say it out loud
in words.
words.

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It’s Not Us, It’s Them…..

We don’t cause rape. Rapists do.
It’s not the short skirt, the alcohol, or flirty behaviour.
It’s not going alone to the loo.
It’s not the red lipstick,
We just didn’t ask for it.

All this is just nonsense.
An obscene pretense.
What will you use next?
‘She was breathing, so we raped her!’
As if that’s a justification.
Oh, but you don’t need one,
Being a girl, that alone is a provocation.

Oh no, it’s not a one in a million case.
It is every girl, even a baby in diapers and lace.
She had just opened her eyes, and taken a look at our world,
She didn’t know about those dangers that she lured.
Her eyes, ever so trusting, not even afraid.
Her lips,they couldn’t carry the lipstick.
She couldn’t have flirted, when she couldn’t even speak.
Is it the innocence, in every excited shriek?

Not saying no, isn’t saying yes.
Our consent doesn’t stem from the way we dress.
‘She is a slut’, is not an answer.
It does not give you the right to destroy her.

Even marital rape is not ‘fine’.
Nothing can be used as an excuse,
Not even that marriage certificate with her sign.
You don’t own her body.
That is the bottom line.

Lastly, it is not normal.
She shouldn’t be ‘prepared’ for this,
It is not some kind of a routine ritual.
Anything other than consensual, it is rape.
It is not frustration looking for an escape.
It is a crime.
It doesn’t matter if it is the first, or the fiftieth time.

Don’t let anyone tell you,
‘It happens. He was angry.’,
‘Enjoy, it’s a party.’
And never that,
‘Get used to it. You are a lady.’

Your screams were silenced, but you haven’t lost your voice,
Your hands were tied, but your wings are still there,
Your spirit, it belongs to you,
They can’t subdue you, unless you let them.
You will always have a choice.

So brave girl, always remember,
You are a fighter.
Anyone who tells you otherwise, is a liar.

This fight is not over until you surrender.
Don’t let them tame your fire,
Don’t let them snuff out that flame,
You can be, whatever your heart desires.
Never let anyone tell you that you are damaged,
You are the one who survived the carnage.

-Anika Johri.

















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Lily’s Eyes //

// lily had brown eyes. eyes that were ready to jilt everything for a gilded tomb. eyes so clad with avarice that everything else was a mere epiphenomenon of life. eyes burdened with a jeremiad against society for keeping the gold out of its reach. eyes lost on the apocryphal maxim that accumulating enough substance would eventually fill the emptiness plaguing them. //

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BLACK.

Injustices of the past and present weigh us down,
Does it matter whether we are black, white or brown?
When in pain, we scream.
For a better world, we all dream.
We all bleed red.
Then tell me, why does a black man lie dead?

The fairest men can be demons,
Those as dark as night can be pure.
Before judging them by the shade of their skin,
Have you ever asked what lies within?

Today, a man is dead.
Cold.
His heart, stopped.
His screams, silenced.
His breath, stolen.
And his tears, still not black.

For that one man, and the countless before him,
Humanity should burn.
We should pay the price for the ones who have been spurned.

Maybe someday, all humans will be equal.
Maybe someday, compassion will be integral.
Maybe someday, being different will not be a crime.
Mankind waits for such a time.

But today, a fair murderer lives and a black man has died.
The difference is,
The colour of their hides.

-Anika Johri