Saturday, May 21, 2011

Here Was My Village

Here Was My Village
There is the tree, by the side of the pond,
Where the elders would gather. The children were fond
Of climbing its branches and hearing them speak.
And there was the dance, at the end of the week,
There, where the grasses are growing so green,
And all is now quiet and peaceful, serene.
Once there was singing and dancing and more,
The laughter resounding that now is no more,
The coming and going of women and men,
The play of the little ones, plentiful then,
Whose faces I see and whose names I recall,
There, where the grasses are growing so tall.
Here was a village, where now there is none,
For a nation has lost and another has won,
And all that is left, of the people that were,
Are the remnants of things, from which they infer --
The ones who now study the shards that they find --
That here was a village, that's still in my mind.
Here there was slaughter and here there was death,
Here, the pursuers the pursued had met.
They finished the task they'd been set and returned,
While ashes still smoldered and grasses still burned...
And I had escaped and another small child,
Who once had been gentle but then had grown wild.
There, where a sapling has grown to a tree,
Was where I was born, where a hut used to be.
There lived my father, my mother and three,
My brother, my sister and then-little me.
Where are they now, I wonder and turn
Away from the faces I once had seen burn.
Babui / Arjun
2011 May 21st, Sat.