IPEN - Poems by M Jajo and Labiba Alam

There she is!
Clothed in naked simplicity
Lovely isn’t she, in her smile?
A spirited girl they say
Born of the mystic mountain
Pure with kindly thoughts
Full of life
she would sing and dance to the lusty green fields
like the skylark
Heaven and earth be intertwined
she would freely roam.
Rumours were heard a wicked war is waged
on these colourful people.
Soon followed dark browns in olive green
Marched into her land.
To steal the peace
that nature has bestowed.
                   -In that terrified silence
She was robbed and shame
Her dignity taken,
Was left with this lonely will to die
And in that solitary hour
She snapped off her life,
And in silence she’d traced back into the deep.
-Yonder over there lies her grave
with an epitaph “here lies a story writ in tears”
‘Tis all that I know of her.
                 -But why is this salty dew in my eyes at this hour??

*Luingamla is one of the many Naga girls who was molested and raped by the Indian army unable to cope with the trauma she committed suicide. To know more about human rights violation in the Naga Hills you may read "Nagaland file” by Nandita Haksar and Luingam luithui.

--M Jajo , Ukhrul, Manipur

Dance of an Insomniac
I danced like a dream
In your utter silence.
Then came forth your words, like the summer rains
And drenched my soul.          
           I am speaking of those nights when,
           I turned an insomniac;
           Slumber suffocated
           In the dream- dewed eyes.

My nights burned like incense,
Fragrant and tantalising:
In a trance, your words kept pouring
And filled my mind to the rim.

         Winter it was, and foggy was my mindscape;
        You came with a dream, my eyes once knitted.
        I’ve stolen some moments from those nights-
        They lay in a corner
        Smelling of incense ashes.

--Labiba Alam, Guwahati, Assam


  1. A very gud beginning for a gr8 poetess 2 b!@labiba alam

  2. Both of the poems are powerful and poignat with the lush green charm and freshness of the north-east.

    Bipin Patsani