A Frozen Night of Kashmir Winter

By Rafi Punjabi

In the frozen nights of Kashmir winter
Insects in their beds sweat with scare
Shrinking within their hollow selves
Trickling babble pull out their ears
Sounds of mighty military boots
crack through the frozen air
Mongolian hoards in dark uniforms,
with their hanging tongues and drunken steps,
approaching near a tiny hamlet
Ripping apart the chastity locks
Wolves dance on the beats
Feeble cries rise from mud houses
Behind the torn blanket of clouds
shaken moon Peeps down
Nero playing flute in burning inferno
Above the thick rising smoke
birds fly with clipped wings
Shadows running helter-skelter
hiding behind the trembling trees
Zoon, moon face of the hamlet
lying half naked in the field
Crushed under the heavy shoes
fallen pale maple leaves
fly across the field
Heads down weeping willows
amid chilling winter winds
withering away with sinking breaths
Reeling regiment of Indian forces
passing over the vanquished land
Wailing for a new morning
a frozen night of Kashmir winter
Passes over a shivering field

This poem is dedicated to the rape victims of Kunan Poshpura, Kashmir, who became victim of brutality of Indian soldiers in the current popular up rise in Indian Kashmir. On February 23, 1991 at approximately 11:00PM soldiers from the 4th Rajputana Rifles cordoned off the village of Kunan Poshpura and gang raped a large number of village women overnight till 9:00 AM the next day..
The poem was first published in family friend poems here.