DAY ONE HUNDRED AND ONE – Daljit Nagra

Ghazal

is the Human Rights Act in the desert Inshallah
are Freedom of Speech and Equal Ops
curlews in the crazy desert Inshallah

repetition of treasures in the Congo
repetition of bobble heads across poppy valleys

does the Kaaba glow on the road to Raqqa Inshallah
what swollen pass must these sandals tread
for the scar of Jerusalem Inshallah

repetition of warriors on the Screen of Thrills repetition
where I’m swung in love with a gun aboard my back

who has taken my house and eats my bread Inshallah
who takes the pen from the head so its flesh
harden to a vessel of God in muezzin cry Inshallah

repetition of robots in the sky repetition of babies blown
like dolls in a market repetition of fresh torn martyrs

why are my daughters in the desert O Inshallah
for the theft of the word where one man’s Allah
is beheaded by one man’s Allah for Inshallah

 

 

Daljit Nagra comes from a Punjabi background. He was born and raised in London then Sheffield. In 2004, he won the Forward Prize for Best Individual Poem with Look We Have Coming to Dover! This was also the title of his first collection which was published by Faber & Faber in 2007. This won the South Bank Show Decibel Award, the Forward Prize for Best First Collection and was nominated for The Costa Prize, The Guardian First Book Prize, the Aldeburgh Prize and the Glen Dimplex Award. His second collection, Tippoo Sultan’s Incredible White-Man  Eating Tiger-Toy Machine!!! was shortlisted for the TS Eliot Prize. His current book, Ramayana, is shortlisted for the TS Eliot Prize. Daljit has been on the Board of the Poetry Book Society and the Poetry Archive. He is a regular contributor to BBC radio and has written articles for The Financial Times, The Guardian, The Observer, The Times of India.

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