WAR POEM by Akshaya Pawaskar

I am a war poem
written in blood that has dripped
and set in the mud,
buried like a seed never
to sprout,
feeding the trees,
blooming as flowers.
I mushroom like a bullet
I deposit on the skin like gunshot residue.
I hide in the camouflaged
I beat in the hearts of the soldiers
trying to keep the rhythm calm.
Sometimes I walk through
the battlefield,
sometimes the battlefield
walks through me.
I am the sound of cannon fire.
I am the fear, I am the longing.
I am the smell of starch
in midst of the squalor.
I wish to be not written,
to be extinct.
Yet I am that souvenir
lodged in your bone.
I wish instead to be
uttered not with remorse
not with valor
but a testament to peace,
to be sung
as a song of doves,
a poem of pacifists.

Akshaya Pawaskar is a doctor practicing in Goa, India, and poetry is her passion. Her poems have been published in Tipton Poetry Journal, Shards, The Blue Nib, North of Oxford, Indian Rumination, Rock and Sling, among many others. She won the Craven Arts Council ekphrastic poetry competition in 2020 and was placed second in The Blue Nib chapbook contest in 2018. Her first solo poetry chapbook ‘The falling in and the falling out’ was published by Alien Buddha press in January 2021.

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