Wednesday, October 2, 2013

A Poet Cries For Mahatma Gandhi On His Birthday


The blaze

it's not easy to talk
to the prisoners
of the past
they never joke
while talking revenge

flames race through
trains
lanes
homes
leave behind
smoldering shingles

blackened bones
stick out of charred flesh
hot streets are colored
with scorched blood

triumphant flags flutter
on a poet’s tomb
no one follows me
down the street
the silence is not a delusion

and the bad news is
vultures shriek in the distance
for their turn

clouds shaped like caskets drift by
while naked cadavers
wait for shrouds

party flags sponsored labels
of pain and suffering
enact farce of protests

you can’t rely on the savants
to tell the truth

the mahatma stands forlorn
on a cracked pedestal
back bent
the loin cloth sullied
a broken walking stick
dangling from his fractured hands
layers of bird-shit on his spectacles
nobody loves the dreamer of lost causes

 

When we failed the angel


roses in sunset die
atop griped grasshoppers
we invent our memories
cause thunderstorms
darken our vision
as hot breeze sweeps
rooftops in the dusk
above the ruins
a bespectacled angel
appears in the sky
seems strangely near
watches dogs
chewing roasted limbs
in blazing streets
waves his bamboo-wand
nothing happens
warped reflections
just keep getting uglier
fading light flares
the forgotten tombs
begins to die
sizzling droplets
fall off skies
into dark streams
roses continue to die
atop grasshoppers
writhing on black grass
shadows whisper
the guardian angel’s
forgotten wisdom

The riots

in this land of Krishna
Draupadi gets disrobed
regularly on the streets
by those who swear
to protect her
a mere swab on canvas
is enough for the hands
folded in obeisance
to turn into lustful claws
to get her
trusting Abhimanyus
are roasted alive
on the spits of spite
while Dronas look away
vultures in piety’s garb
feast on the fruits
of macabre frenzy in full sway


Excerpted from Randeep Wadehra's "Singing Through The Nightmare"
           




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