Through the Eyes of a Poet series #6
Through the Eyes of a Poet series by Christina M. Ward
Featured Poet: Mohammed Junaid Khan
Objective: To encourage people to broaden their reading interests through poetry, support the poetry community, and introduce you to poets and their personal stories.
For updates on this series: Join this Author Newsletter.
We constantly wear a mask and our poetries are the only passage through which our emotions and feelings get a way. Poetry does define us.Mohammed Junaid Khan
When I first met Mohammed Junaid Khan it was hard not to notice his infectious enthusiasm for his craft. His humility and desire to learn are evident as he asks questions, writes his heart out, and shares his work with the world through poetry.
Mohammed is a businessman from Mumbai, the financial capital of India. The culture of Mumbai greatly influences Mohammed’s work, as well as social issues, injustices or atrocities he sees occurring in the world, and a burning love for his family.
Mohammed shared with me about his culture:
My wife and son are my life. They’re the reason for which I am alive. No matter how defeated I feel in life, the moment I see them, I get motivated to fight for their better future and happiness. I come from India, a land of many religions, cultures, languages, etc with a huge population and poverty. 89% of the wealth is in the hands of only 5% of the population. So you can imagine the kind of struggle people must be doing for the remaining 11% of the wealth. It really breaks my heart to see the people of my country suffer and above that the politicians are so corrupt that they aren’t bothered about the suffering of the people. Wish something could be done for the common people of my country.Mohammed Junaid Khan
Mohammed began writing in 2003, but started writing on various websites from 2018, recently joining Medium and expanding his writing support system exponentially. He is an active member of the Poets on Medium Facebook group and writes for various sites including Story Mirror and Story Hut. Mohammed is the author of Diary of a Father.
The poetry that Mohammed writes is easily described as deeply emotional. You can feel the empathy and the outrage marry as he voices through poetry a loud call for action about various topics of injustice. Reading Mohammed’s work is thought-provoking, emotional, and at times shocking. He is a voice crying out for someone–anyone–to SEE THIS! Pay attention to this! Do something!
I think that in poetry that is a very important voice.
Sometimes the heart cries the loudest when the mind tries so hard to look away. Mohammed’s work doesn’t let us look away.Christina M Ward
Without further adieu, I present to you this brief interview with Mohammed on his poetry, his writing process, and his inspirations.
Tell me about what inspires your poetry.
Let’s take an example of farmer’s suicide in our country, India. It literally hurts me and I want to write against the people because of whom the poor farmers are taking such steps and I want people to do something for them. It’s really important that we the poets take such issues seriously as I believe literature has the power to bring about a change in the society and it has been part of numerous revolutions.
Tell me about one of your poems that is very special to you, and why.
I wrote a poem FIRE, a political satire. See, the citizens of almost all the countries want peace and development of the entire world but the leaders whom we select to rule us have manipulated things to benefit their own self. It’s inspired from the Jungle Book where the monkey King Louis asks Mowgli to teach him to make fire.
Below is the poem:
There was this land where humans and animals were living in peace,
Everything flourished, the forests, the villages and all the cities,
Only human can rule this land was not a necessity,
You can call that land, the land of actual democracy,
All the offspring of animals, including human would attend the same school,
They would be taught languages, arts and also how to use various tools,
After an election, the monkeys got the majority,
Now they were the rulers of all the forests, the villages and the major cities,
But then the biggest mistake was made,
At school they were taught how fire was made,
Actual use of fire was only understood by humans,
All other animals being scared kept their distance,
Except the monkeys who with the fire, decided to have fun,
They took the fire as a tool to play,
And they burnt down the school right away,
The humans, the other animals tried to protest,
But it was the rule of the monkeys, all their pleas and demonstrations were suppressed,
The art of making fire spread amongst the monkeys like a jungle fire,
And to play and have fun with it, was what every monkey desired,
First, the school, then the forests, villages and cities were burned down to ground,
All other species were rendered powerless and they couldn’t make a sound,
It turned into ashes, which was once a flourishing land,
They bought this destruction on themselves, as not electing the monkeys to power was in their own hands.
If you had a piece of advice for other poets, what would that be?
Write your heart out. Write something that pleases you first and then the audience. Don’t go for appreciation, not all your work will be appreciated and there is an audience for every kind of work.
One last question, do you define your poetry or does your poetry define you? Why?
I am a businessman running a plastic recycling business. When I am at my work, and people who have read my poetries see me at my factory, they can never relate the poet with the businessman. The world is a cruel place and poets are soft-hearted people. We constantly wear a mask and our poetries are the only passage through which our emotions and feelings get a way. Poetry does define us.
I am grateful for poets like Mohammed, who bravely shout their hearts to the world. Sometimes they can be an uncomfortable mirror to our cultures–but how important this work. I thank Mohammed for sharing a bit of his poetic journey with us and invite you, dear reader, to offer your readership and support to this growing poet. He has a lot to say on what is going on in this world and is an encouragement to us all to love people, have empathy, and to embrace our own humanity, honestly.
To follow Mohammed’s work you can check out the following links to his body of work:
Thank you for reading about this featured poet. I invite you to include poetry in your reading and give this genre a chance to enrich your life. I will be featuring poets on my blog (Author Website), in my newsletter (Author Newsletter), and on my Medium platform (Fiddleheads & Floss Poetry). I welcome you to read about these poets, support them, and perhaps find a poet that brings something very meaningful to your life.