Poets of the World, Muhammad Shanazar, Pakistan

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Muhammad Shanazar was born into a poverty stricken family in a village of Sub Division Gujarkhan District, Rawalpindi, Pakistan on 25th November, 1960. As a child he collected fodder and fire wood, grazed cattle and ploughed the farms. He lived in a house made of stones and mud. His father served in the Pakistani Army; he was recruited by the colonial rulers when he was only 10 years old.

Muhammad Shanazar got his early education from the local school and graduated in English Literature from University of the Punjab. After serving three years as a constable in the Police Department, he came upon an opportunity to join the Department of Education (Technical Wing) as a lecturer in English Language and Literature. After seventeen years, he was promoted to Assistant Professor, and at present he is Deputy Director (Commerce) at the Directorate of Education (Colleges), Murree Road, Rawalpindi.

He started seriously writing poetry with specific purpose behind it in 1998. He chose English to express the voice of his conscience. His prime objective is to make humanity aware of the sanctity of human life: «A single drop of human blood possesses more worth than all treasures that the Earth contains». He has written more than 400 poems and is the author of three books Gems, The Cold Stars and The Dance of Darkness. His poetry revolves around issues including war, peace, and universal disarmament.

Voices Network of North Carolina (U.S.A) placed him among prominent contemporary poets by awarding him the International Special Distinction “Poet in Residence” in 2004. Since then he is one of the Poetry Judges of online international poetry contests hosted by Voices Network. He also served as International Poetry Ambassador in Pakistan for Voices Network, and held several poetry reading sessions to promote peace through poetry. Poemhunter of France and Bollywood of India named him one of the “Top 500 Poets in the World”; the World Society of Poets honoured him by placing him among the prominent contemporary poets of the world. The Pakistani Ministry of Education gave him the award of “Promotion in Children’s Literature”.

In July 2011, the 22nd World Congress of Poets included him in the list of United Poets Laureate International. In December 2012, the International Poetry Translation and Research Centre of China awarded him The International Best Translator Prize 2012, for his translations of work by several contemporary poets. World Poetry Movement declared him one of the Best Poets of 2012. He served as President of the jury for the Frang Bardhi Albanian Literary Prize in 2013. He is a member of the International Writers and Artists Association (U.S.A.). His work appears in several world anthologies.

(edited by Leslie McBride Wile)

Title The Dance of Darkness
The Real Victory

Victory and defeat in war,
Are the childish justifications.
Colour not your hands,
With the precious substance of Man.
Whether you nourish your mind,
With the elating thought of victory,
Or loathe with a despising thought of defeat,
You kill fathers, brothers and sons,
You kill mothers, sisters and daughters,
Even the infants sleeping in cradles,
You kill them with their innocent dreams,
They hardly know the self-made conflicts,
Flourishing, booming in the world.
Discard devices that you carry in hands,
And think awhile
Whether you kill or you are killed,
You fight against humanity,
You fight against the divine laws,
You fight against the Kingdom of God.

Apply your strength if indispensable,
Lance eyes of the Shark of Ignorance,
Stifle; choke the Demons of Illness,
Wrench neck of the Ghost of Hunger,
Break teeth of the Vampire of Poverty,
By connecting the hearts of humanity,
With the bonds of trust, faith and love.
For the sake of oil and reserves,
Make not the world a mess.
If you intend to defeat the rivals,
Defeat them in the race of good deeds,
Yes, defeat them in the race of good deeds,
You know not the real victory you may get,
But without bloodshed and without making,
The world a storehouse of weapons.

***

The Hazy Corneas

O! God, what will become of the world,
Its each nook and corner smokes,
With the stench of burnt blood,
And reek of the decomposing flesh.
The blue sky is blue no more,
And the stars don’t show themselves
In the costume of original radiance.

Minds of the leading heads of humanity
Are confounded, confused and befuddled,
They work with the muffled hearts,
Subdued by selfishness.
Fogs of pride, jealousy and bigotry
Have spread in front of them in layers
And blur the spectacles of the whole world;
They move on with the eyes
With the hazy corneas, perplexing the visions.

***

An Engrossed Mother

Pitch dark is the spectacle of night,
In the lawn, at the door,
And on the boundary wall
Tyranny is a sentinel.
When the winds blow swishingly,
Worn out windows
Begin to weep and wail and at moment
When a tiny glow-worm begins to glow,
Since years door-clung sighing mother,
Recalls the memories of her son,
Years ago went on to combat for the king
In search of ephemeral victory,
Whose taste vanishes before it is cherished.
Her rosy-red perturbed eyes,
Incarnate the scattered agony,
She mutters,
Ambiguous words with the withering lips;
The story of defeat and exodus is inscribed
On the lines of her cold-stunned hands,
She looks engrossed into the vacancy
And becomes attentive
On each rustle of the wind.

***

I Won’t Dissuade

O! The wise heads of humanity,
Though I know you won’t obey,
For resolute you are in your pursuits,
And you will turn deaf ear to my cries,
Yet I shall perform the assigned task,
Like a shepherd standing on the rock,
Does shout to aware the heedless flock,
Of the encroaching dangers, hidden perils,
And calls at the top of the voice to attract,
The heed that erratic are the heading steps,
They might take, lead to the brim vertical,
Of dungeon dark, the point of no return.

O! The wise heads of humanity,
Though you obey or not, yet I shall utter
The notes, give forth the voice of conscience,
I won’t dissuade you, do whatever you wish,
But blood, honour and life on the paths,
You trample, torment my mind, my soul,
And I like a helpless shepherd stand aside,
Whose flock is taken by the fierce wolves.