The real poets

As the lovers walk past the river,
A poet beckons, a deal is made.
As the tide ebbs away,
The poet includes the word they said.
She asks the poet to read for them,
His voice makes magic come alive.
For the poet, the scribe is dinner —
This is how, many poets survive.

As the armies gather across the border,
Regiments are called to attention.
Bullets fly, young souls die,
But a soldier writes when he rests his gun.
Breads are few, they are hard to chew,
The bed is hard, he is sleep-deprived.
But a dream to see those faces back home
Made him write, till he survived.
And as he arrives in a flag-wrapped box,
His mother cries, the neighbours sigh,
For an would-be wife, the world goes black.
She starts to write as days go by.

As tear-shells are fired on a peaceful march,
The crowd is dispersed, justice isn’t done.
Then amongst the angry masses,
One picks up a pen, a poet is born.
In the days to come, slogans emerge,
The voice of the crowd echoes his rhymes.
As authorities hunt this anonymous soul,
He writes in hope of better times.

As the wailing baby finally sleeps,
Her mother wakes, puts on her specs,
As the hour whispers by,
Pages are filled with wilderness.
The unlived dreams are lived in words,
The faces of all the people she knows
Portrayed in her magical phrases,
Her memories, her sadness, her afterglows.

As all is calm in the boundless sea,
A fisherman rows, and hums along.
Seagulls gather around his boat,
The silence is broken by his song.
But as he returns to his clan,
And sorts the catches from the day,
He forgets the words that he had sung,
Another poet is lost this way.

Note: The first stanza is inspired by a scene from the 1995 film Before Sunrise, the first of a trilogy.

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