Dirge Sung by a Hindu
To what curséd exodus
Do you send us next?
The Dark months of monsoon eat away
At the weary memories of my predecessors;
And the ravaged hopes of my progeny sink
Deeper in the muds of confusion –
A little deeper with each passing day.
In the chambers of our homes,
Which we decorated with leaves
Of shining green and riotous petals,
Was a scent of the looming threat.
But all that had been shoved
Down the lying pages of our dampened stories,
Had to leak in and flood the floor, someday.
My courtyard is a quagmire,
My backyard is a swamp.
In all likelihood, they’ll be filled
With two giant, immovable stones.
That is, if you have not willed otherwise –
If you have not been taking your time
Till we throw up our bungling hands in utter despair.
I wouldn’t mind the prolonged wait,
I wouldn’t grieve the hopeless fate.
I will gather my wits and buckle my belt
And sail into the gyre with your name on my lips.
Perchance I will die, perchance I will lose
The things that made me laugh and weep
But I will rise, as I have in my pasts many a times rose.
With my bungling hands and stammering tongue
I will keep singing this mournful strain.
If it strikes too odd a note,
If it be too harrowing for unripe ears,
If it plays not to the tunes of the age –
I will then sing it to the tenfold directions,
And mellow the air for the Songs of the Sage.
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