Authors Posts by Ather Zia

Ather Zia


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Haqeeqat e Kashmir Dear comrades let us do an exercise / polish this new guise, an exercise in memory / memory will set us free Let us begin, bloodied, let us bathe in memory / it is an urgent decree – before they whitewash us like frescoes of Shalimar / bury our bones under molten tar on which they make goodwill roads / that ease the flow of gun-toting hoards who fill the Rambiarah with their lies / there water with shame forever sighs Let us bloody begin now / I will show you how – I know we are

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I think I write simply to be; as an affirmation of my witness. Period.   Ather Zia is a journalist turned anthropologist. She is currently finishing her research based on Kashmir at UC Irvine. She has published her first collection of poems, “The Frame,” and her work has appeared in Convergence Journal, Blazevox, Cerebrations, Samar and other journals. She also edits Kashmir Lit at

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By Ather Zia Our wounds are labeled forgettable, Shahid Our life before death is imperceptible, Shahid Billboards proclaim, Kashmir: A Paradise God has a reason to be chimerical, Shahid Memory threads tied to wooden roses at Khankah Even simple prayers are incomprehensible, Shahid At Naseem Bagh, your presence was ephemeral Now, your absence is a spectacle, Shahid Our laments are lost, our yearnings are empty Grief— the source of all that is poetical, Shahid. Fear has abandoned us; Hope has embraced us Yours are the best words in our arsenal, Shahid Your last illegible scrawl, an emblem of your name