I stand on a seashore looking
erasing the glow of early dusk.
Dark droves of autumn clouds roll in to fill
the sky. Like fierce water-snakes in a rage
dirt-hued tides rush to bite the shore, and, like
venom spat out, rises white foam. As cities, lakes
and gardens fill mirages, and past lives,-
a yogic trance, as terrors emanate
from a fevered brain a startling sight is
born out of this sky and these turbulent waves.
I see the forests, the leopards
the yellow and black heads of crocodiles
that float in pools, the hippopotami
that seem like mobile rocks in their muddy
abode, the antelope with gnarled antlers,
the long-legged giraffe, the green meadows
where the Masais' cattle graze, the Masais who
pull the lion by the tail to behead
it with their swords, the seven-foot tall Thusis
javelin throw, the fierce skirmish when spears shatter
in pieces by the speed of the throw before
they meet their prey. Like the incessant thump
of a primitive drum, the ancient routine of forests
throbs still, quite unchanged.
There the earth has no boundaries, the ocean has
the gods still roam over the earth; there the time
encased in a small container and tied on the wrist.
The wave recedes.
In the rocky Sahara in dew-drenched
Ruvansori on the grassy plains
where zebras move, from Morocco to Cape
of Good Hope, in twenty million minds, like
streaks of lightning in a dark sky, a fire
smoulders. Coal, copper, iron, gold, diamond,
platinum, uranium, rice, wheat, cocoa, sisal:
what wealth does not Africa possess. Men there,
slaves, Zulus and pygmies alike; their bosses
the white ones who came from other lands, five
million of them. Yes, ignorant are the natives
victims of a tsetse slumber and of yaws
and leprosy tliat chew up their lips or
nose to rot them, poor ones who bear within
their vitals lethal worms, whom hunger has
turned so cadaverous. Men who only eat
a full meal in their dreams.
But they are awake now. Naguib's
fallen on the sandy banks of Nile, on Gold Coast
Nkrumah makes history. In Kenya
a flaming spear is shut in by prison-walls
and yet it yields its warmth to the people
all day long.
In the wake of Livingstone,
the pathfinder, the white men
brought their alphabet to preach about Christ's
mercy, but it helped these men to know about equality
and freedom; about
the wars fought to earn these and of the great
triumphs of science over unfair providence.
One fourth of a world shadowed by haughty Malan
nurtured a bitterness, yearned for vengeance.
his monumental beast, Africa, bellows,
its face. The roar echoes in Sahara,
In each hamlet each town and each sea shore.
In one of Nairobi's bars, a white guard keeps
awake, armed with a rifle while
a double-edged Simi sword, skins the dark
night outside. Another white man,
a Belgian in Congo, enters his
room and trembles in anticipation of a black foe
under his bed.
To board a bus, to join a school,
to walk along a street, to earn a wage
for work done, to build a home, to sow in fields,
to immortalize one's soul in a mate's body united
men fight on; their united strength
slowly fills the land.
To keep off the blacks,
the whites built walls around themselves
with guns and laws. What now? Those who did
imprison are in prison now, the freed
ones yell aloud in joy, their fists unclenched.
Africa, awake, mother-earth, your
children shall embrace the light, and along
the equator prosperity shall reign.
United we shall be, though different
liefs and life-style, like a song
together our effort shall make life bloom.
Where man is manacled, my arms ache. Where
there is flogging the whip falls on my back.
Where man struggles to rise, there I shall be. Africa,
you are my land, in your grief I weep.
The beach, the forest and the land
The eye can no longer see far. The tides
rise and recede but the heart is strong and
serene. When a man strives to fight injustice,
I am the unvanquished, my life becomes
meaningful, for I know that I am he.
N.V. Krishna Warrior (1916 - 1989)
After a Murder
When like one distracted
I scoured the ends of the dead city
no tell-tale blood stared me in the eye
even after such murder
only fear, doubt and misgivings
What may crop up, what wouldn't.
In the park a few corpses
of bygone days.
of the birth of civilisation,
the sky was singed
by their yellow exaltations
There was no song anywhere
no birds chirped at dawn and dusk
the vicious water had driven the people
to the tops of dykes
thinking thoughts green as trees
they talked of new homes
of another birth after birth
one by one we picked
the bits and bones of the past
the debris of dead mistakes
Some door somewhere may
may be we will find a ladder
to lead us to the source
of the stream inside
even on our impugned thoughts will sprout
new blades and saplings.
of the Mind
the atom and gained an
insight into its potential
we acknowledge and admire your
Having succeeded in harnessing
the earth's resources.
you have taken up expeditions
to explore the space.
You have transcended spatial
We bow before your amazing achievements.
You have enhanced the power
of the eyes to see
and ears to hear.
You have transformed the world
federation of countries and
a small habitat of races.
You have overcome nature's boundaries:
For us today ,mountains are
and the oceans are no blocks;
Rivers and forests are no longer
The power of knowledge is near
We have evolved and advanced
Yesterday we moved from
house to house.
Today we move from country to
the barriers of nature,
we have erected wall of our
Pettiness of mind , violence
in every land,
Undeclared wars--- a daily event;
Every habitat a den of guns
Hearts brimming with hatred
Army of refugees all over the
in search of an asylum;
The sufferings of the second
The minorities in their own
pettiness of the majority groups;
The sight of a few enjoying
unlimited facilities and pleasures
on one side and
an increasing crowd with emptiness
burning hunger within and poverty
as unfailing companion;
Life to them a great ordeal,endless
even for liquid gruel and leafed
The cruel fact of numerous countries
accepting all these as routine
These agonies grow; the sobs
of the downtrodden grow louder
of science for the advanced
a matter of entertaining fireworks
ignoring the plight of the masses
burdens of the world?
Science that was seen as a boon,
a servant to serve humanity
a powerful companion in need:
has that become a fiction and
Have we in our
progress, developed our might
ahead of the mind failing to
and believing that capacity
to do things,
in the external world is all
virtue and wealth?
Should the creator be killed,
for the tools
and by the tools he created,
flies in a swarm and birds in
Somewhere, somehow, may be a
unaware , unintended we have
made a wrong turn.
You will not cry.
country is worth living
No time convenient
should everybody be
Why shouldn't there
should there be a
limit to misfortune?
Why can't the gloom
! the desert is expanding
Genius is bogged
males are sleeping
A woman from the East
is eating her child...alive;
an eleven- year -old
The body is just a
You thought you could
Save your breath!
even Gandhi had the
And each one died
a dog's death.
blind man pushing
Millions of blind
Into a black hole----
That's what it is
And the pusher and
They were wrong.
you think you can
embrace the void
Heal the wound of
Make a mark on the
sands of time,
Repeat the legend
tragedy is rather
Plot .. surrealistically
Slush has taken over
Fever has become the
The face of night
has a celestial glow
Torture --- depersonalised.
A villain stabs the
And carries the cross,
If they need an oxygen
And why not.
After all it's a perennial
Where green is green
Till you have seen
The image of horror.
into the mirror!
A whole civilisation
screams and sobs.
Only you will not
Try and forget
are many versions
at the very
is its body
in its heart.
at the Mother's
not a toy
is a hedge
to a growing
O my people!
is in our
And be men,