Abhay K – Four Poems

Abhay K by Alina MedvedevaAbhay K. is an Indian poet-diplomat and the author of two memoirs and five collections of poems. He is also the editor of CAPITALS – an anthology of poems on 185 capital cities of the world (Bloomsbury). He received the SAARC Literary Award 2013. His poems have appeared in The Stony Thursday Book 2015, An Gael, The Long Exposure Magazine among others. His most recent collection of poems The Seduction of Delhi (Bloomsbury India) is a poetry bestseller.


Rabat sings its song
bouregreg bouregreg bouregreg

along the river bank
bouregreg bouregreg bouregreg

Moriscos drip as tears from Europe’s eyes
into the Kasbah of the Udayas

once again Barbary pirates rise
in distant coastal lands a soul cries

storks build nests over the ruins
of Phoenician, Roman sovereigns

the mating pairs clack their bills
and women feed eggs to the eels

Rabat sings its song
bouregreg bouregreg bouregreg

along the river bank
bouregreg bouregreg bouregreg.


I rest in the great heat of the desert
under the shadow of the Carthage

I hear the footsteps of the Roman soldiers
I hear the sound of destruction

as I wake up all lanes lead to ez-Zaytouna
I run through the narrow labyrinths of Medina

leaving behind the busy souqs
I rush out of the old town

to take a breath of fresh air
at the Avenue Habib Bourguiba

I see there Hannibal
sauntering at the Ville Nouvelle

I say hello, he smiles and whispers
how to cross the Alps, in my ears.


A city of great contrasts,
crammed to the hilt

full of dust,
squalor, filth

sky-rocketing prices
multitude of shacks, high rises

a heave of sigh at the Marginal
after twenty-seven years of civil war

a whitewashed Portuguese fort
perched on a hill

watches the city


Locked in the horn of Africa
the land of Issa and Afar
to ancient Egyptians– Punt
–the God’s land ruled by Pharao

I have seen the powers come and go
the time’s eternal ebb and flow
and who can say with certainty
what will happen to me tomorrow

but I have learned the sum of balance well
and keep my eyes and ears open
I know I’ll manage to survive and live
even after fate of many nations are sealed

without a blink I watch over
the world’s busiest sea lanes
jealously guarding access
to the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean.




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