Aishwarya Iyer invites you to “The Happy Poets Club”

Aishwarya Iyer is a student of literature in Bengaluru.
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Happy Poets’ Club

Where do happy poets go
in times of war?
when your first instinct
is to paint daisy fields out of barren fences
when your favourite painting is starry night
because you do believe the night is beautiful
absolutely incapable of understanding
how a man so steeped in sorrow
willed his hands to hang the night sky
onto the canvas of history
where do we go,
when we are better at stitching words into sentences
than stitching wounds into better soldiers to fight for an ideology
because in times of war,
it is the duty of a poet
to be more war doctor than wordsmith
to pick up ink and pen
if not pickaxes next to a farmer in debt
to reach the ears of the government
without stepping on the altar of government ideologies
but where do happy poets go,
in times of war
when all you can conjure from the ends of your ink pen
is a sorry patronus charm of a butterfly
when your capabilities are more fit for women at tea parties
than men drinking rum and discussing politics
what do you do, when the world demands you be broken before you reconstruct it?
because what kind of poets – are happy?

Us, happy poets,
we are reduced to failed campers
the ones who come back to the campfire with seaweed
when the rest of them have managed to pick their own branch of activism
to stick into the fire
for the rest of their lives
Us, Happy poets
we are a peculiar bunch.
Not very hard to point out in a crowd
we stand out,
a lot

We are the ones with arms raised to the sky
accustomed to praising the lord
the lover
and the wine glass
our eyes haven’t glazed over, yet,
unlike our angry counterparts
they still shine bright
like a wisp of summer in the coldest of winters
our hands are pink and raw
an empty canvas in a room full of artwork
you see, they haven’t been touched by the drawing lines of violence and abuse
domestic, or international
our feet still stand oddly apart
never been trained into cavalry position
we wear our best shoes to the party
unaware of the instinct to run
to mud and rain
that every man in war possesses.

we happy poets
are preachers of the light
but that doesn’t confine us to
the bright side of things.
We build hearths into our houses
to breed fire in our belly
a fire that brings warmth to every stranger seeking shelter.
we are court jesters making jokes on the days of drought
hoping to distract a failed monarch
and a starving public
into dissociation
we are pen fighters and sad comedians
selling paper cutouts of happiness
to anyone who’d be bought into this pretense
of sanity
we are doctors,
providing a generic balm to every sort of pain
because it is easier to worry about
what tea to provide to the unwelcome Auntie in your house
instead of questioning
the entire genocide of a race
a failed scientific invention
the array of racism, sexism, any -ism
that brings stale bread to the table of a happy civilization

Us,
happy poets
are beautiful liars
we build our words like Christmas wreaths
hanging on every door
a wholesome circle
made out of broken twigs
the sign of a wholesome life
made out of broken people
we happy poets
are the best you’ve got
in times of war
so lay down your microphones
join us
join the happy poets’ club

 

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Happy Poets’ Club‘ is an original work created and owned by Aishwarya Iyer.
Mouth of Word owns exclusive rights to distribution of the same. If you are interested in
cross-posting this poem, please contact us on mouthofword.in@gmail.com

Bangalore, MoW Event, Performance, video, war
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