By S. Bharrat
I dreamt that the day of revolution would come;
that thousands would storm the city streets
screaming for justice. – Mahadai Dass
The day for revolution has come and gone
and I hear your cry echo the wind
that carries nothing but my brother’s silence:
mouth sealed shut by his own mud and water.
One counterfeit general – his wings beating strong;
his brooches of vanity shining
in God’s eye still – is replaced by a puppet
whose strings are imagined
to save us from our worst fear.
And it is the stringless puppet
who holds back the climbing sun in the sky;
who cements our lips with river mud,
lovingly applying the paste with his rakshas self.
His muddy hand touches our eyes; our hearts, our souls
so that he can be savior; the sacrificial lamb
avoiding an atmosphere of confrontation.
It has been twelve days since he saved us
And only another pen’s ink on the
tenth day softened the mud on my lips.
But our words bring no irrevocable flood.
Instead, waters storm the city streets
raising dirt and filth and waste
that will be shoved down our throats;
drowning a lonely call for justice.
And in all of this, I think of you
and your dead dream and I wonder
if maybe, I swallowed some of the river mud
covering my heart and hardening it.
Or is it that his hand reached into my chest
grabbing it, choking it, smearing it with mud
so that god’s eye would linger on it – drying the water from it
like the puppet sucks the life from them – until it is a rock in my chest?
Until it pulls heavily on the rotten yarn of my life?
Until, like your dream, I am dead?
(November 22, 2014)