OLD FORMS WILL NOT BE ENTERTAINED
(a sign at the India Consulate, New York)
For David Barsamian
Old chants to the Ganges shall not be entertained
Dead cows float in holy water unrestrained
Family roots shall be ascertained
Nationality of mother should reign
Old friends shall not be entertained
I pledge allegiance to the newly-famed
Object of Journey shall be explained
To find out etymology of Kashmir-curfewed
Old profession shall not be entertained
Shall I reincarnate as Poet-un-Chained?
An old form (in triplicate) shall be obtained
First copy drained, second birdbrained, third scatterbrained
Enemy passports will be stamped Foreordained
Will heart-rending appeals ever be sustained?
Alternative gods shall be deported
Against the ruins of a world what is regained?
By Rafiq Kathwari, whose first book of poems is forthcoming in September 2015 from
Doire Press, Ireland. More work here.