War and Poetry

K Radhakumar
When I was a child
I heard a peal of bell
Of the temple of Shri Govindaji
Ringing out in the distance.
It was early in the morning
And my whole body echoed.

It does not ring out now.
Long use has damaged it
And it has not been repaired
Or replaced by a new one.

My grandfather was a believer
And if he were alive today,
Perhaps I would see him
With folded hands and eyes shut
And lips moving in prayer
For the immediate restoration of the bell.

My generation has a view different
From my father’s and my grandfather’s
And I call myself an iconoclast.
Despite my boasts, I seem to live in two worlds:
One dead
And the other, to be born.
I enjoy Voltaire’s
‘If God did not exist,
It would be necessary to invent him’
Like I enjoy a fine line from a great poem.
But I am beginning to feel my age
And can see
The arrival of the younger generation with a bang.
They arrive in a world long after
God is dead.
They arrive in this place
Where there is no religious spirit.
Why talk about moral bankruptcy?
U235, WMD, chemical warfare,
Global warming, drug addiction,
A strip of WY tablets, nuclear winter,
No winged words…
I say the world must be destroyed.
Give me one good reason
Why it must be destroyed.
Why do you want to know?
No reason.
Not everything has a reason.
There is no,
I repeat no, reason why
The world must be destroyed.

N.B. Action, no poetry please.

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