I went up the twisted stairs
To reach the bright ledges of the minaret,
Looking around for miles
At recessed hills,
Green fields and bubbling rills.
Underneath the cool, marble-slabbed floors,
In hidden pools
A whole subterranean stream
Like the centuries
That have flowed by,
Echoing the quiet lament
Of the waters
When they were tinged blood red
By the massacre of helpless innocents,
Who quietly tilled the land
Oppression could not be borne,
And death seemed the only
Note: The beautiful and scenic old Ilyasi Mosque, at Nawanshehr in NWFP, Pakistan, was the location of a massacre of poor peasants in the 19th century.
About the Poet
Ayesha K Sadozai belongs to an old Afghan family settled in India and Pakistan. She was born and educated in Peshawar city and later, in the USA. She is a college teacher now and writes and publishes her poetry, which has strong historical and philosophical elements.