Poems by Aswini Mishra

Death of a soldier

a poem by Aswini Mishra

Face down in the mud,
I taste the bitterness of my blood.
My joints are aching,
Feels like my bone’s breaking.

I feel a little less than alive,
At the point where all you want to do is survive.
Nothing else matters, it’s all irrelevant,
My view’s distorted and my soul forever bent.

So I hold my breath and lay still,
My mortal enemy tries to test my will.
Kicks my ribs, crushes my hand with his rifle butt,
I want to scream out but i stay shut.

I should have fought for all I was worth,
But I just lay there and swallowed dirt.
My battalion was dead, over and done with,
My only concern was how many intact bones I could run with.

They walked around, poking the corpses,
Measuring their gains against our losses.
Probably seeing if we had lost as many as they had,
I remember killing one of them, a young lad.

One in his arm, two in his sockets,
He was reloading, pulling ammo out his pockets,
He was crying tears of blood before he fell,
I know I’m a soldier but I think I’ll go to hell.

No time now for pity or contemplation,
My sole focus was self-preservation,
So I waited till they went out of sight,
Ran like hell, knees shaking with fright.

Teeth chattering though it was middle of June,
But I made one mistake, I assumed,
I played a game of chance that they wouldn’t double check,
And I paid the price with the gunfire that I met.

Death of a soldier, not of a coward,
So I turned around to face the bullets they showered,
Screamed like a mad man, fired till I dropped,
First shot in my gut, but I was not stopped.

Bang Bang Bang! Another in my chest,
Two in my skull as I drop to eternal rest,
Gone to a place where guns don’t exist,
As my body decays and my name goes on the martyr’s list.

Now I’m a martyr, just another scratch on the wall,
They’ll give my family a flag, hold a function in town hall,
And then others will die and then some more,
I’m just glad it’s over, I’ve reached my shore.

This is the big barracks in the sky.
Where all real soldiers go when they die.


a poem by Aswini Mishra

Guns and bombs make a day out of night
It’s an amazing sight
Of course that’s before you see the bodies and blood
Not red, but a brown mixture with blood

The deafening sounds of shells
Act as a soundtrack to screams and yells
Raw pain and death, there’s no glory here
Only desperation and fear

There’s a man dead but he’s still getting shot
He’s in the line of fire, no one moves him from the spot
So every now and then he twitches
With the impact of bullets hitting him like switches

It’s almost like a rhythmic motion
But he ain’t noticed in the commotion
Nothing sadder than the fall of humanity
How our profanity can defy gravity

Nationalism is legal terrorism
You can try and wrap it in worldly wisdom
But I don’t see why a man should kill another man
Just ‘coz statesmen couldn’t agree on a plan

WW2 was the worst but it made sense
Like men, all nations have the right to self defense
But now we go to war over politics
Demonstrations in schools and colleges

That leads to more politics being played
But the guns have been shot, bodies been laid
This ain’t a political statement I’m making
This is real, this ain’t faking

Tears of blood glistening like red pearls
I just hope we can leave a better world
For the next generation of boys and girls
I just hope we can leave a better world


a poem by Aswini Mishra

Pen and pad lying here next to me
I take one purple pill of ecstacy
I see visions that I have been blessed to see
This has gotta be the best of me
My rhymes just ascended to the next level
My reward for selling my soul to the devil
Forget rushdie, these are what I call satanic verses
It’s amazing how people will pay you to hear curses
Now I’m hallucinating, seeing pretty nurses
I wait till they turn and snatch their purses
Go to the club and buy more E
Pop some and fly free
I’d sell both my kidneys just to get high
Don’t think I didn’t try
But they busted the doctor and his whole racket
Now I like to say I ain’t no addict
I just got a bad habit
No one gets hooked if they take it in fair doses
Tell that to the people who stuff sugar up their noses
‘Coz they in rehab but they want it so bad
Looking at it can make you so sad
But listening to this makes me so mad
Come on I ain’t no junkie
Look at me I ain’t no flunkie
And before you know it the man you knew yesterday as a poet
Screams “You got some cash, give it to me
Pulls a gun on you, takes your money and squeals in victory
The next week you find him face down in the drain
You hear him crying out in pain
I need some, give me some
You let go of me in fear and run
Disgusted and revolted
I chased you for a while and then I halted
My nervous system was just assaulted
With a series of spasms and jerks
All I could think was “Shit this hurts!”
I need some stimulation
I tried rehabilitation
But that only added to my frustration
But it’s not like you can just make it ok
No amount of orientation can make this go away
Don’t believe what your peers say
Once you are hooked this hollowness is here to stay
It’s like your soul’s dissolving in acid
And your resolve to live goes flaccid
It’s worse than being a spastic
This ain’t close to drastic
You lose your human touch
All that matters is that rush
And your brain gets lost in the flush
Of desperation and thirst
It’s like pain only worse
So what happened after that?
Pretty soon I ran out of cash
But I needed some and needed it fast
The thing about drugs that hits with you with a blast
Is how without them you cannot last
But where would I get the money from?
I already robbed my mom
She threw me out, I’m living in the YMCA dorm
So I took to robbing people in the John
So while they’d be taking a piss
I’d pick their pockets and even if they did miss
I’d be gone by the time they were zipped
But this one time I tripped
And had to go in for 6 months ‘coz I slipped
Now this song ain’t about sexual abuse
Otherwise there’s a lot of material I could use
So what happened after that?
Well, ok here’s the facts
I escaped therapy, tried to rob a cop
Ofcourse I got shot and that’s where I must stop
But my ghost came back to write this
Hope you try and fight this


a poem by Aswini Mishra

Welcome to the world’s largest anarchy,
I’m sorry, I meant democracy.
But they are the same thing, aren’t they?
The politicians mean the opposite of what they say.
And when the police and administration aren’t asking you for a bribe,
They’re too busy toeing the government line.

And if it’s not bad enough already,
We have to deal with these morons from the BJP.
Hindu pride? Who gives a rat’s ass?
Togadia looks like he’s been smoking too much grass.

He spews hate and expects us to admire that!
He expects us to relate to him and his pack.
And don’t get me started on those Jehadi jerks,
That Laden freak and his kind drive me berserk.

Brainwashing children, making terrorists out of kids,
Man that must make you feel really big.
You say the government screwed you?
Well they screwed me too.

Hell, they screwed the whole country,
That’s why we have surplus grain and still millions go hungry.
So if you really have to blow up someone,
Why don’t you take parliament hostage? That should be fun.

You can demand whatever you want from us,
But all we’ll say is “Keep them ******!”
Eventually you’ll beg us to take them back,
You’ll do anything to get the parasites off your hands.

‘Coz they are maggots, the lowest kind of animals,
I’d rather give my vote to a bunch of cannibals.
Now I’m an Indian and I’m proud of that,
But I just had to state the facts.


a poem by Aswini Mishra

Words have more power than you would believe,
They can bring joy, they can bring grief.
The things you say can’t be taken back,
Like the bullet from a gun or shell from a tank.

So you better watch what you say,
Or the consequences may be grave.
My talent with words is not just a skill,
It’s my power, my power to kill.

I can always use these words to curse,
But that’s not the purpose of my verse.
I’m here not to destroy but to create,
I’m here to talk of love, not of hate.

Ever since I was a little kid,
I had to put up with a lot of shit.
People told me I had an attitude,
My publisher told me I was too crude.

God knows how many times I cried,
Because somebody said something to hurt my pride.
I had nobody to turn to,
And if you can relate, this rhyme’s for you.

The words that hit me pierced my chest,
I had to go through hell everytime I gave a test.
But now I’m using these words to speak,
And I’ll continue as long as I breathe.


a poem by Aswini Mishra

I’m standing on the edge of this train,
Staring out onto the barren plain.
Trying to figure the lines to my next song,
But there’s no rhythm and the lines are too long.

But I have this lyrical skill,
My words don’t just touch,they kill.
Everytime I write my brain jumps out of my skull,
I’m trying to kill myself but this blade’s too dull.

You can’t come close to knowing my pain,
You never had to taste the bitter acid rain.
You didn’t have to deal with the shit I had to,
So shut your mouth when I talk to you.

Why am I so damn upset?
It ain’t like my ass is drowned in debt.
And my childhood wasn’t that bad,
But I don’t even need an excuse to be sad.

I’m on the fine line between sane and crazy,
There’s no medicine or therapy that can change me.
There’s no scientific explanation for why I’m this way,
God took my sanity and gave me the skill to rhyme in exchange.

Touched by an angel

a poem by Aswini Mishra

I was touched by an angel today,
I don’t care if you don’t believe what I say.
But I had a divine experience,
Something that has lit up my existence.
I feel so free, I feel so light,
It’s like the fresh dawn after the cold scary night.
She was an elderly lady, with a beautiful smile,
So beautiful, I kept staring at it for a while.
I asked her for directions, she gave me peace,
I was in a hurry but she put me at ease.
She offered me some cookies from her bag,
We talked, she said I reminded her of her lad.
It felt nice to talk to this perfect stranger,
She may not have had wings or a halo but I know she’s an angel.
She touched me in a way I can’t possibly explain,
All I can say is she eased a lot of my pain.
I never saw her after that day,
I guess her work was over here, she had other souls to save.
Well, I’ll never forget her and her smile,
So beautiful, that I just smiled at it for a while.

So near and yet so far

a poem by Aswini Mishra

I was so close to my goal,
But I faltered, and the pain is ripping apart my soul.
The cup of nectar has been snatched from my lips,
All I see around is darkness, like a solar eclipse.
I was so close to the victory line,
But now someone else has the victory that was to be mine!
And I lay grovelling on the ground,
Hearing the world’s jeers and humiliating sounds.
And now I have to answer the world’s questions,
They want results, my hard work and pain they don’t want me to mention.
Sweet success, shall I ever taste thee?
Or is failure my ultimate destiny?
Oh, to be so near and yet so far!
Now all I can do is sob and get drunk at a local bar.
It’s easy for you to sit and say encouraging things,
But I am the eagle who has lost his wings.


a poem by Aswini Mishra

You think being a star is all fun and games,
You think it’s a bed of roses with all the riches and fame?
Well let me tell you, it’s not that easy,
The things celebrities have to put up with, it would make you queasy.
Ever moment, they are under scrutiny, be it night or day,
And all the time in vain, a prayer for privacy they pray.
But it’s of no use, the public have bought the copyright to their life,
They must always have a perfect smile, even if they are in pain or strife.
They can’t experiment, they can’t indulge in self-discovery,
They must always be subtle and discrete, otherwise they end up starting a controversy.
No, they can’t have an opinion, they have to be politically correct,
They have to be an ideal role model, they have to be just perfect!
But aren’t they human beings too?
If only we accept them for what hey are, to themselves they can be true.
They deserve privacy, they deserve to have a life of their own,
They work hard to achieve success, so about unfairness we should not moan.
So why don’t you get a life and give them a break,
They have feelings and emotions too, for God’s sake!
And if they ended a fling or started a new affair,
It’s none of your business so stay out of their hair!

The Archaelogist’s Dream

a poem by Aswini Mishra

I’m walking all alone in this dusty silent ghost town,
The silence is more unsettling than any barbarian war cry.
The town looks old, even the streets and buildings look worn down,
This town must have been alive once, but it shrivelled up and died.
The stories that must be hidden in these homes,
If only these battered walls could talk.
The secrets that we could have known,
I try to forget it but these thoughts,
they just keep coming back, they never stop!
I can’t sleep, I can’t eat, all I can do is think,
Of the ghost town and it’s inhabitants.
I’m being driven to insanity’s brink,
I have to try and unearth the mystery or else, I’ll look back and repent.
It may take my whole life and I still might not get the truth,
But at least I won’t ask myself “What if?”, at least I will have tried.
I’ll have to oppose the world, I’ll have to sacrifice my youth,
But when my time comes, a happy man I’ll die.
Because I’ll know I had a dream and I followed it,
I clung to my hope and fought on, obstacles notwithstanding.
And that’s the secret of happiness, the basic fabric of the human spirit,
To fight for a cause greater than yourself an give it your all and everything.


a poem by Aswini Mishra

They say music is the food of love,
Well, I just can’t get enough!
Good music makes me feel bliss in my soul,
When I’m down, I listen to music and once again I’m whole!
And I’m sure there are no exceptions,
Music appeals to everyone, from all of society’s sections.
Music is harmony, music is beauty,
Oh, to hear all the sounds together in perfect synchrony!
Each note in itself is of no consequence,
But when played together, it makes for a great listening experience.
Music is a form of art,
One that helps enliven a heavy heart.
To be able to play it is more than a skill or talent,
It is an expression of the human soul, something that can’t be borrowed or lent!
And if you look deep into your soul,
You’ll find your music, the music that can make you whole.
I believe all of us have this music in our heart,
Beautiful melodious music, you can hear it if you are sincere and smart.

The old man down the street

a poem by Aswini Mishra

Have you heard of the old man down the street?
He was a sight, his frail thin body and worn out feet.
The children stayed away from him,
In his house he wouldn’t let anyone in.
Loneliness made him bitter and nobody for him was welcome,
He was called all sorts of nicknames just for fun.
Nobody wanted to know about his personal history,
Everyone knew he had neither friends nor family.
Nobody really cared about him,
His feeble voice was lost out in all the din.
The reason for all this was that the neighbours knew his dark secret,
And the horror of it no one was prepared to forget.
Though he had paid his debt to society,
He was treated as an outcast and had to live in anonymity.
His sobs could be heard till late every night,
But there was no one to comfort him in his sad plight.
He tried to make peace with his tattered and torn soul,
But society’s rebukes would never allow him to be again whole.
His desire to live died and one day from the world he took his leave,
No one knew whether he killed himself or died of grief.
And today if you listen, you can hear the lanes whisper
Of the old man down the street,
Who suffered an eternity of pain for his one deed.


a poem by Aswini Mishra

What do you see when you look in the mirror,
Is it you or is it a stranger?
Why is your understanding of yourself so bare,
To truly know your self do you dare?
Are you scared of what you’ll see,
Is that why you’re living your life as someone else, foolishly?
Well don’t be, discover your true self and be it,
Don’t live in someone else’s shadow.
Or one day by the sad fact you’ll be hit,
That who you are is something you don’t know.
Style isn’t about copying another entity,
But about expressing your own identity.
So why be someone else,
When it’s so much better to be yourself!
Be your own role model,
Be proud of your personality.
And if someone puts you down let them go to hell!
But always hold on to their individuality.
For there are a lot of things you can take on loan,
But when it comes to a life,you gotta make your own.


a poem by Aswini Mishra

I just love the Indian monsoon,
I love the moist smell, the breezy afternoons.
Oh, to feel the cold water splash on my face!
Sure it’s a bit sticky and muddy but I’d prefer no other place.
To make little paper boats and splash in the puddles of water,
To be a little boy again, carefree, exploding with mirth and laughter.
I don’t care if they make fun of me, call me a child,
I just keep on dancing, even throw them a little smile.
The rain for me is a metaphor for a sort of renaissance,
The washing away of the dirt gives us hope for a new chance.
It quenches our thirst and relieves us from the sun’s relentless heat,
And it just feels so great to walk in the rain with bare feet.
You can’t help but love the fragrance of the moist soil,
Relief beams on the farmer’s face who the whole year has toled,
And thanks to the rain, his efforts will now bear fruit,
And he sings songs of joy and love, why don’t you follow suit?
My heart dances when I see the opening skies,
The cool breeze tickling my face, making my spirits soar high.
The bliss that the monsoon gives me I can’t teach, I can’t explain,
But it just feels so very good to dance in the rain!