Sleeping Lions

This poem is very much inspired by a famous quote by the late and very influential Afghan woman, Mena Keshwar Kamal (R.I.P). The quote is as follows:

Women are like sleeping lions, that when awoken, can play a wonderful role in any social revolution


O’ flowers of Pakhtunkhwa
Let loose your silken hair
So that the sun may cast her glow
Upon your ever dancing curls
Unveil your expressive eyes
From the remnants of your blue cloth
And paint them black with kohl
Paint also your mouth, a deep, deep red
And apply blush to your agile cheeks
So that they will redden,
Like the brush of a lover’s passion
Oh! Do not shy away
For beautifying yourself is not a sin,
Nor your birth a crime
So why lock yourselves in cages of cloth?
Discard those odious blue garments
Spit on them,
And then burn them
For your womanhood will no longer be hidden
In the bounds of man-made malevolence
Let the torrential rains wash away
All these scars of yesternight
For today, you are reborn
Into the bold and graceful woman,
That you were meant to become
Unleash your censored forte
And let the venom of rebellion
Seep through every thought, every action, every word
For silence will no longer be your sanctuary
You are like a sleeping lioness
That, once awoken,
Will play a wonderful role
In every social revolution…
Roar, roar against those who try to oppress you
And let your voices be heard,
Echoing through the great mountains of Kalaam,
It shall be ingrained into the minds of those
Who scorn you!
Let it be known,
That you are a champion among champions!
A brave warrior – a woman!
Whose soulful aura,
While suppressed,
Is like a raging tempest
Waiting in the wings of tranquility,
Feed it, nurture it, and then unleash your ire
Sighs would heave, the unbidden tear would flow;
Until all the waters in Kaghan Valley are calm again
You have awoken;
Awoken from a deep and agonizing slumber at long last
– It’s time

© July 15, 2011

9 responses to “Sleeping Lions

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