A poem by Nematullah Ahangosh

Skinny like me
he walked like Bob Marley
right up to me –
his tuneful accent of India
mine of Afghanistan –
to say my wallet was hanging from my back pocket

I was agitated
He reminded me of someone — who?
with his worn jeans and T-shirt
short hair
and tattoo of an electrocardiogram on his neck

Thanks I said
Introductions exchanged as
our friendship began
Conversations around campus
how like-minded we were

He was gifted at description
Sound waves flowing from his mouth
while he talked

From the Himalayas to the Amazon rainforest
Davis connected saints and shamans
I linked Balkh to Tabriz
the dervishes with disciples

Sometimes psychedelic music freed our minds
Bob Marley singing in the background
“Have no fear for atomic energy,
Cause none of them can stop the time…”

These wordless talks hiding in the smokes we shared
Our psychedelic trips bringing light from former generation’s spirits
In hallucination, figures of our ancestors appeared
grateful for our friendship

We who appreciated our existence
Our indigo auras coupling us with the old souls
Meditate, be high or sober
Our visions and spirits enjoyed
telepathic encounters of cathartic experience
We let go of the rest
No scar or trauma left

About the Author: Nematullah Ahangosh was born in Ghazni and attended school in Kabul. He has worked as a teacher in an Internally Displaced Peoples (IDP) camp in Kabul through Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) for two years. He has been an active member of Afghan Peace Volunteers since 2014. In January of 2018 he established a library, the Dupree Library in honor of Nancy Hatch Dupree, which is still being run by volunteers. In 2018, JRS awarded Nemat a full scholarship to complete his undergraduate studies in India. He is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s of Social Work (BSW) at Madras School of Social Work. Over the years he has tried to give back to the community as a peace and education activist and hopes to be an activist for nonviolence in the future. He is very fond of writing and reading poetry.