Is This Even Poetry

Inspired by Rumi

Is This Even Poetry?

No longer does rhyme leave your tongue so easily
No longer are meaningful verses sung so easily
You worry forever that your poetry is not enough
You worry that your poetry’s not o’ that timeless stuff
That the beat of your music contains no flare
That letters are ink, that voices are air
Does your writing inspire either hate or love?
Does it contain any inspiration from above?
Is there any beauty left in the stuff you say?
Is there any light left for you in the sun’s rays?
Are these even lines, is this even poetry?
Are these even rhymes, is this even poetry?

Why not?

Your meter’s broken, your rhythm’s dead
Your music brings neither joy nor sorrow
Your metaphors, spoken, your verses, said
Your words bring no better tomorrow
Your tone lacks both heart and skill
Your symbols fly all over the page
Your lyrics unable to cure souls’ ills
Your stories die in their old age
Your meaning, unclear, your purpose, unknown
Your message won’t go beyond rhyme
Your motives, insincere, your analogies, unsown
Your voice won’t echo till the edge of time
Is this stanza enough for a sonnet to be formed?
Is a broken sonnet enough for poetry to be born?

Then what is?

When pieces of your shattered soul become one with mine
Then broken meter with crushed hearts and souls does align
When your ink is the blood from your heart that’s burst
Then tears will be shed again from your lifeless verse
Pages are ripped like your soul was from your body torn
After hundreds of years, voices begin to rise and mourn

When your metaphors are with true feeling replaced
Then tomorrow arises with your colours’ interlaced
Give freely from red blood, blue tears, & green life
So hearts are still stirred from tales of pain and strife
This unskilled rhyme is all I have to give, so take it then
After thousands of years, red & blue become fire & water again

When you give your lyrics honesty’s potency
When you create hope, however hopelessly
Maybe then you will have given birth to poetry
O Iqbal, can’t your strength reach us sooner?
O Rumi, won’t you lend some light to Umer?
What was writ before won’t be the stuff of archives
After millions of years, tomorrow finally arrives

After Winter’s end, you brought light back to the sun,
After Spring’s end, fire and water again became one,
After Summer and Fall, when Endless Winter returned,
After the Fifth Season, when you had your soul burned,
Even after billions of years, when your words never abound,
And even after the end of years, voices from above sound,
Once again, echoes reaching the edge of time are found:
“Strike the beat harder when the taste for music is lacking
Sing the song louder when the weight becomes overwhelming”*

*Translated and reworded the ending lines from Iqbal’s poem “Urfi”, which are themselves quoting Urfi

In Glass and Ice

Inspired by the beginning of the Wheel of Time

In Glass and Ice

As the raging battles did become fierce
As the stars’ light dimmed and flickered
The Warrior, once proud, armor pierced
Now wishing Death would come quicker
Lay down his arms and lost his will
Yet, at time’s end, Light returned still

“Remove thy armour and sheath thy sword”
Said Light with a voice opening hope’s door
“Your closest voices have gone ignored
Listen, so the sun may rise once more
Remember what it is that you fight for
Is it love and peace, or hatred and gore?”

At once, the blade bathing in Light spoke:
“You used me to destroy all in your way
To break all you loved, when you were broke
Shattering yourself at the end of the day”
“And so,” the ruined armour chimed in
“You wore me to hide your bleeding skin”

So the Warrior went on without his tools
He came across the mouth of a stream:
“That Light makes you into its fool
Your demonic heat turns me to steam
You dirty my water with the dirt of your soul
In my world, but for villain, you have no role”

The Light reassured him, despite his sins:
“Return to your people, they will exonerate
For at the end of time, forgiveness begins”
But his city, abandoned, in a hapless state
In the ruins, a glass shard had a voice too:
“Now, there is nobody left to return to”

Winter, the prolonged night had brought
The sun’s warmth had long been depleted
“Why do you force me to live and rot?
Please let me die, let me be defeated”
Tears frozen on his face began to say:
“No grief remains in even us today”

“In steel and water, in glass and ice
Just a shred of hatred did not suffice
Nothing spoke but your reflection
Endless was your self-aggression
But… ‘Twas justified,” the Light smirked
Revealing itself to be a darkness berserk

Where Light once was now stood Death:
“I made you beg for the end of your breath
As the stars above gave out their final spark
You were so easily consumed by the dark
Because of the truth in what you despise
There never was Light, only your Demise”
There never was hope, never another sunrise

Is there peace in a broken spirit’s end?
Are the flames soothed when you ascend?
Is there any other way to mend broken hearts?
Are Spring flowers born when a demon departs?
The Warrior deserved to die, so Death did swiftly nix
Is there even a bit of beauty left in pi squared over six?
After forever, time ended and began again, now fixed
After eternity, starlight shone again with hope in betwixt

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