Poets from the Third World


And that’s how the poets from the third world, harbingers of a just world

Rebuilt the globe burnt by bombs, wars, exile and oppression

Civil war, strife and tyranny.

They uplifted it not with worn out clichés nor with empty rhetoric

Not with false promises and shallow talk.

They breathed life into the world that was almost dead

As one sprinkles water over a person collapsed suddenly in the street.


They took care of  their nations, their brethren,

As one nurse their kin that has fallen sick.

They brought fruit and flowers, green from the gardens,

Filled the glass with fresh juice,

Greeted them on every day-break for a happy morning

And wished a good night with a gentle kiss on their drooping eyelids for pleasant dreams.


Then they waited  on them, patiently, dozing in a reclining chair or on an iron cot

Amidst the smell of Dettol or the sick odour of pills and potion. Waking up all of a

Sudden in between, checking the time and the thermometer, they were

Looking through the hospital rooms that remind jails.  They somehow spent the thick

Nights with a feeble hope of ensuing dawn, with an unquivering faith like

the prophets of the Old Testament,  a Daniel, a Jerimiah, a Joshua and a Job.


I  can’t call the process a sacrifice, for sacrifice is a small word.

They lived their life to the brim. 

Their presence was a constant communication like a prayer that was regular and punctual.

They shouldered the burden of a fallen world with the wings of a  butterfly

And took to quenching the hunger for a better life with

Five loaves of bread and two fish.


And once the sun rises and when the morning sunshine spreads around

They unwind the curtains, open the windows and tell their people

With a relieving  smile

‘ Look, didn’t we tell you that everything will be alright?’


From, Punaryanam, 2004


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