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Ode To A lost Land, Lost Souls

A Poem by MICHELE GIBSON

 

 

Once, there was hope -

I heard the rumors, in them a marvelous place emerged

Lahore and Amritsar to remain as kin

The Sutlej and the Beas,

In whisperings we heard the Ravi would brother them

And hold out for the Chenab and the Jhelum  

All the blessed soil where the ancient blood lay 

Enriching our thoughts and our sustenance

The fallen and victorious, servants all, sworn to defend

Holy words, holy paths, holy prayers

For many days, there was hope

A rich valley, 

A lush mountain in Kashmir 

'Paradise on Earth' where even winter will only kiss the ground

But it was lost, the thought of it - the dream

In idle meditations and strategic propositions

And lies

Oh! sweet nation that could have been

You disappeared into the wind

Scattered recklessly about 

By the breath of prophets and politicians

Into thin air

Commitments emerged but they were gnarled by conflicted motivations

By the bargaining and hesitations

In the end they never landed anywhere

And then the trains began, the borders cinched

The streets were lined with bodies

Everywhere, 

Of any inclination, Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs

They fell together, a mass of ideals, an endless ebb and flow

All the plans and promises were mingled in the streets

Our villagers were massacred and left in crippled heaps

As a testament to words devoid of conscience. 

We are virtual

The specter of a nation

Seeds scattered on rocky soils, choking 

I grieve for you

My almost nation in my mind

Lost, in idle meditations and strategic propositions

And every now and then I catch my longing and 

I struggle, just to breath again

 

May 26, 2011

 

Conversation about this article

1: Karamvir Kaur  (Mumbai, India), May 26, 2011, 12:16 PM.

Beautifully put, but nevertheless very painful to read. However, there's always hope because chardi kala will take us through thick and thin. Thank you for re-visiting the Partition in this poignant manner.

2: I.J. Singh (New York, U.S.A.), May 26, 2011, 6:10 PM.

Welcome back, Michele. You've been missed. Thanks for another wonderful read - and moving too.

3: Veronica Sidhu (Scotch Plains, New Jersey, U.S.A.), May 28, 2011, 3:17 PM.

O brother! Where art thou? Heart wrenching; especially in light of the political milieu today. My favorite of yours to date.

4: Harinder (Jalandhar, Punjab ), June 02, 2011, 7:24 AM.

We needn't feel sad. This is happening as per the wishes of Waheguru. He wanted us all to get uprooted from our land and carry the message of our beautiful philosophy across the universe.

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