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Write, my Son, Write

K. V. Dominic’s Write Son, Write. New Delhi: GNOSIS, 2011.
99 pp. Paperback. Rs. 125. ISBN: 978-81030-25-7.

  Write Son, Write

 K. V. Dominic

 

  

Gnosis, New Delhi 2012

 

 

Dedicated to
My Beloved Mother,
(Late) Rosamma Varghese, Kannappilly

Preface

This is my second collection of poems, an outcome of my fourteen months’ poetic voyage from September 2009 to November 2010. My first anthology, Winged Reason, was the outpouring of my five years’ itching mind. The long difference in the tenure shows that my mind has been becoming more and more unrest. Naturally, the more unjust and disquiet the world becomes, the more distressed and desperate would be the poet’s mind.

As poetry is the shortest form of literature, most captivating and didactic, I believe that in this busy, hustling world people should have a special attraction to poetry. Since reading habits of modern man diminish considerably and she/he substitutes that habit to watching TV and such visual media, I believe that it is my duty as a writer to promote poetry at any cost. I have already published four edited books consisting of innumerable critical articles on the poetry of established and emerging contemporary Indian poets in English.

People today are crazy after materialism, and divinity in them is being lost to such an extent that they give no importance to principles, values, family and social relations, cohabitance with human beings and other beings. Instead they are trying their maximum to exploit their fellow beings, other beings and the planet itself. If it goes like this, the total destruction is not far away. It is the duty of the religious leaders, political leaders and the intelligentsia to inject the lost values to the masses and thus preserve this planet and the inhabitants from the imminent devastation. Instead, majority of these leaders become mafias and inject communal and corruptive venom to the minds of the masses. Corruption has become the hallmark of these leaders and influenced by them the masses also deviate from the right track to the evil track. And who will save this society? My answer is: writers, particularly poets who are like prophets.

Though the present century, like the previous one, is that of fiction, there are innumerable great poets and great poems in English literature as well as literatures of other languages. Fiction has become an addiction to the present readers. The publishers and the award committees are responsible for this addiction. They can very well change the tastes of the readers if they will. Let me emphasise and underline once again that there have been greater poems to the great fictions which have won the awards in this decade as well as in the previous ones. Save a few established Indian poets in English, majority of the Indian poets writing in English publish their excellent anthologies spending thousands from their pockets. Journals are their only haven where they can post their individual poems just taking the subscriptions. Indian poetry in English should be promoted by the governments, both central and states, by giving awards and grants to the poets because it is the mouthpiece through which India proclaims her great values, ethos, cultures, traditions, myths, legends, landscapes, faunas, climates etc. to her own children and people abroad. Schools, colleges and universities in India should include more of this poetry in the text books.

There are thirty poems in this anthology. The opening poem “Write Son, Write” is indeed the manifesto of my views and philosophy. Divided into twenty one parts, it declares my views of God, Man and Nature. There are two poems in this book which were born out of my tears. My mother, to whom I owe all my virtues, departed me on 14th October 2010. From the deep sorrow came out the poem “An Elegy on my Ma.” This book itself is dedicated to her. A month later, my neighbour, a man of high rank in the society, poisoned to death all my four favourite cats which made our house a heaven. This massacre was as shocking as my ma’s death and it gave birth to the poem “Massacre of Cats.” Even now I am drowned to agony whenever my mind draws me to those tragedies.

Before winding up my preface let me express my deep gratitude to Mr. Sudarshan Kcherry, the publisher of Authorspress, New Delhi. He is a mentor to me in shaping my philosophy. I have put into the poems whatever philosophy I could absorb from him. I don’t believe if there is any other publisher in the world who inspires his writers to their works and publish the books never worrying about the material gain. The contribution this man does to Indian literature in English, particularly poetry, is greater than that of the greatest English writer in India. Hats off to him, and let his breed multiply!

Finally I present a bouquet of thanks to Mr. K. K. Anas, the cartoonist and illustrator of this book. He is my former student who is doing Ph.D now in France. Anas is an acclaimed cartoonist who drew illustrations for my first anthology Winged Reason also. Thanking once again everyone who inspired me and helped me in the composition of this book and wishing my readers a mental feast, I wind up.

Thodupuzha, Kerala,

December 2010.

Foreword

In Write Son, Write K. V. Dominic is truthful and gracious to artistic ingenuity like his earlier collection of poems Winged Reason. Here, the poet appears to carry forward and strengthen the argument of social reform he initiated in “Winged Reason.” This provokes man to think deep. Contemporary times are a challenge to true art and creativity. An age of crisis at multiple levels with epileptic anarchy defies definition. A simple living is gravely imperiled by impatience and frustration particularly at the grassroots-stage. If life is observed intimately, the crisis appears forbidding. Dominic’s social consciousness is his chief forte. Not for a moment, he diverts attention from the simple and innocent activities of ordinary human beings. From his lyrics originate feelings of eternal sympathy, peace and fraternal unity.

One discerns a distinct pattern in thoughts and feelings. Deep down, one finds a divine presence in each part of the body. One is stunned by an immensely touching verse, “An Elegy on my Ma.” The lyric, if at one level, speaks of an intense personal tragedy; it also generalizes a man’s attitude to relations and thus a callous truth is revealed. Its’ delicate treatment stirs sensitive hearts, and delicately but brusquely speaks for all of us. How children worship and then ignore Ma. Perhaps, in oblique words, the poet laments at the heartlessness of children. A similar fate visits a man at the fag end of life but still one rarely learns to value relations, the poet appears to say. “Write My Son, Write” is a long engaging verse that celebrates creation’s inherent blessings in living and non-living. Nature is not only a symbol of destruction but it is harmony and symphony incarnate with profusion of love. The poet wants vividly to acquaint the growing son about nature and the world of man. Nature is caring, divine and loving whereas man is violent, cruel, selfish and egoist. At another level, it is God’s divine dictates to His children on earth to work in the spirit of prayer and it will lead man to meaning and fulfilment.Man never quite easily works for peace and love. Religion and knowledge look empty. Political weapons and corporate culture humiliate creations of God and if one tries to unearth solutions with the power of intellect, an absolute hypocrisy drives man to imminent disaster, he appears to say. Rhythm in each particle, molecule and atom of this world is what, a man must understand and there exist peace, harmony and symphony of life. The poet is not irrelevant when he speaks painfully about the role of intellectuals and religious people while observing in “Write My Son, Write”:

Intellectual mafia
assumes omniscient;
exploits innocent people;
detracts them
. . . . . . . . .
imposes their
obsolete philosophies.

He is sensitive and fairly poignant while observing the miserable living conditions of man and suggests that when man refuses to fall back on dead and archaic ideas, he can certainly touch borders of benign culture and civilized living because there is hardly any difference “between religious / and intellectual mafias.” This long lyric reveals poet’s philosophy of education. Poet’s anxieties about human life and destiny are genuine when he experiences violent and inhuman, unsympathetic and callous attitude of man.

Man does not grow with puffed up ego and pride. By killing egoistic mind-set, life turns evocative. Poet’s sympathies are reserved for women. He cannot withstand any harsh treatment meted out to women irrespective of age and status. A girl glues to the book in difficult times in an effort to realize aspirations of life when even nature in the shape of a cuckoo: “prays for her perseverance. / The gentle breeze strokes her / and soothes her tense mind.” (“A Desperate Attempt”) It provokes the poet to warn man of unkindly approach to life and indirectly the poet wants man to listen to nature and learn. As a firm humanitarian, he cannot hate God’s creation and so love for the animal world is immense. He loves birds, insects and little flying objects. One gets a clear message – if man loves all, he will never hurt or impair not even beasts or snakes, for love knows no barriers.

The poet believes in the eternal principles of love, sympathy and non-violence. These are unifying forces and man lives harmoniously if he learns to love that is strengthened in the school of life. “Write my Son, Write” is one of the finest poems, for it is also a testament on life in gentle words. There is nothing intellectual or ethical or religious or political here. Man, if learns to live beyond hate and tyranny, violence and exploitation, possibly a better world would emerge. Even trivial acts or words do not escape poet’s keen eyes and he eagerly scrutinizes low and high, small and big, the poor and the rich with impartiality. Abundant miseries and sufferings, in the life of the poor disturb. That, women still live in subjugation with fears and uncertainties, create upheavals in the mind of the poet. He condemns this attitude of male-dominated society. Poverty, hunger,

corruption, sufferings, exploitation, inhuman outlook, waste of public money, subtle atrocities resorted to by the intellectual and political mafia cause agony to the poet. Uninterrupted and perpetual concerns about man’s life on earth make Dominic’s poetry unique. He is sensitive, eager and compassionate and is anguished at the all-consuming sufferings. Symbol of crow highlights venomous racial thinking proving lethal in the progress of man. Man may profess humanistic thoughts but the truth cannot be ignored that inherent battles among the white and black infect the world with hatred and violence when he says: “When will the Black and the White / dwell in the same house / … When will we behold God’s creation / with impartial eyes / and find His beauty in all forms.” (“Crow, the Black Beauty”) This sacred wish is the grace and nobility of a man with a humanitarian outlook. Poet is pained when he finds that the mother earth has been destroyed and contaminated. Nature is the worst sufferer. Man is injured within and disturbed outside. Though often reflects on fake contentment in life yet he is totally distraught and lives a mentally disjointed life. Even God feels vulnerable when the little kids pray. But nothing can be done to avert natural calamities.

The poet is obsessed with the thoughts of honesty, welfare and stately kindness. If he writes about hunger, it is a prayer to the rich. If he speaks about the sufferings of the poor, he also nurses a desire within where man should put an end to spending national wealth on items of destruction. Deeply hurt and ironical, he pleads to eliminate hunger and destitution with the weapons man creates to kill enemies. This is a mild outburst perhaps to strike an inert man. It is a call to the soul of man to awake to harsh truths, for, if sufferings visit man, none can be prosperous psychologically and materially. He is piercingly acerbic and hurts sensibilities when observes:

Isn’t poverty the greatest enemy?
Why not fight against it
and wipe out destitution,
pointing guns, rifles and missiles
at the chest of the poor?

(“Hunger’s Call”)

These emotionally disturbing fulminations are genuine when he watches apathetic people. The poet understands the pretense so even if he condemns man’s attitude in highly incisive tones, he suggests solutions to rampant poverty, hunger, greed and exploitation when he says: “God, kindle love / in the minds of all rulers. / Had they spent those billions / to feed millions’ hungry mouths, / could save several millions / dying famished year after year.” (“IAF Vayu Shakti 2010”) Very rarely, creative artists display courage in terse and strident words. Look at the following lines:

“… a horrible sight.
The dropping of each missile,
an explosion in my heart.
My mind can’t conciliate

(“IAF Vayu Shakti 2010”)

The poet’s faith in God is amazing. He finds Him in each creation and if in the little kids he observes that “the creator is manifest in their faces” he speaks for all good souls reposing faith in God -a very quizzing and quibbling idea. His poetic characters are scattered around and the poet pays tributes to great souls, ordinary men and women who mitigate sufferings of mankind. In every living being he finds the spirit of God and if progress and growth are hinted at, he dislikes machine-like precision. Here, one is reminded of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s pertinent observations: “We must not simply lose ourselves in the mechanical flow of Progress, but strive to harness it in the interests of human spirit; not to become the mere playthings of Progress, but rather to seek or expand ways of directing its might towards the perpetration of good…we have lost the harmony with which we were created, the internal harmony between our spiritual and physical being.” The poet appears to resurrect the meanings of these words.

He is profoundly influenced by Gandhi and Ruskin and believes that the true wealth of a society or nation is, man. If society works for the happiness of man, it creates real wealth. Implicitly, the poet makes it abundantly clear that sufferings born out of hunger and deprivations can be reduced if work is thought as a prayer and each one gets due shares. Like the great social scientists Gandhi and Ruskin, Dominic appears to maintain that many evils and distortions of modern civilization are contained not in the poverty and hunger but if everyone begins to take pleasure in the work and starts living life, it will make world, a better place to live. And here, he emphasizes the significance of altruistic Karma’s theory of Gita.

There are very few poets who have shown so much anxiety and anguish towards the poor and the exploited. Dominic is a poet of the masses it is evident but he is not a philosopher. He wants social status with prestige to the poor and the miserable and thus he is a poet of the downtrodden. And so, these beautiful lyrics reveal that Dominic is an artist of social panorama. He lives where the heart of man is and that is poet’s real strength.


-PCK Prem, (Retd. IAS Officer), English Poet, Critic, Fiction Writer from Himachal Pradesh, India.

Contents

1. Write My Son, Write
2. An Elegy on My Ma
3. Victory to thee, Mother India
4. Massacre of Cats
5. A Cow on the Lane
6. A Desperate Attempt
7. Attachment
8. Aung San Suu Kyi—Asia’s Lady Mandela
9. Bravo Katie Sportz
10. Coconut Palm
11. Crow, the Black Beauty
12. Flowers’ Greetings
13. For the Glory of God
14. God is Helpless
15. Hunger’s Call
16. IAF Vayu Sakti 2010
17. Musing’s from an Infant’s Face
18. Nature Weeps
19. Resolution
20. Rocketing Growth of India
21. Sister Mercy
22. Teresa’s Tears
23. To my Colleague
24. Train Blast
25. Tribute to Mohammed Rafi
26. Wagamon
27. Water, Water, Water Everywhere . . .
28. Wolfgang, the Messiah of Nature
29. Work is Worship
30. To My Deceased Cats
31. Lines Composed from Thodupuzha River’s Bridge

1. Write My Son, Write

Part One

My son,
I have a mission
in your creation,
God spoke
to my ears.
Why do you
look up?
Look at the tip
of your pen.
I am the ball
of your pen;
I am the ink
that flows
on the paper.
Write, my son,
write.
Write till
I say stop.


Part Two

Don’t you feel
the symphony
of the universe?
It grieves me that
your species seldom
senses my rhythm.
Plants and animals
dance to my number.


Part Three

There is rhythm
and harmony
in every molecule;
every atom;
every movement;
the majestic tramp
of elephants;
dart of deer;
trot of tiger;
race of rabbit;
lope of leopard;
swoop of swine;
scud of squirrel;
canter of kangaroo;
tear of bear;
gallop of horse;
bound of bull;
dash of dog;
flutter of dove;
dart of cormorant;
plunge of kingfisher;
flit of swift;
flap of crow;
swoop of kite;
plummet of eagle;
wing of mynah;
buzz of bees;
drone of mosquito;
motion of snake;
march of millipede
and centipede;
and movements of
worms and insects.
Rhythm is there
everywhere
and creates
the perpetual
harmony.


Part Four

Write, my son,
write.
How rhythmic
is your body!
Rhythm is there
in your breath;
your heartbeats;
your eyewinks;
your walk and run;
your chew
and munch;
digestion in
your stomach;
your laughter
and your cry;
the words
you speak;
and even
your flatus.
Alas, you never
feel this wonder.


Part Five

Write, my son,
write.
Birds and animals play
their assonant keys.
Man alone strikes
discordant notes.
You do hear
the music of birds;
Hoot of owls;
coo of doves;
twitter of sparrows;
cackle of chicken;
cuckoo of cuckoo;
crow of raven;
squawk of parrot;
pipe of skylark;
chatter of magpie;
gobble of turkey;
song of nightingale;
chirp of swallow;
quack of duck;
and crow of cock.
Equally assonant,
the cry of animals.
Bark of dogs;
meow of cats;
bleat of sheep;
bray of donkeys;
roar of lions;
howl of fox;
hiss of snake;
and neigh of horse.


Part Six

Write, my son,
write.
Living beings and
lifeless objects
all inter-related.
Your existence
depends on others;
all my creations,
useful and beautiful.
It’s your pettiness,
viewing things
in different ways,
thinking in opposites;
good and bad,
beautiful and ugly.
snakes, worms,
pests, mosquitoes,
ants, lice, beetles,
centipede, millipede,
cockroach, spider–
all for me, good
and beautiful;
but for you,
bad and ugly.
Your selfish mind
tries to ignore
benefits rendered
by these housemates.


Part Seven

Write, my son,
write.
Your species
can’t live alone.
Cattle, sheep,
goats, donkeys,
dogs, cats,
swine, fowl,
I created
for your company;
neither can they
exist without you.
You speak to them
in strange tongue,
and they reply
in divine speech;
unintelligible,
you scourge and
even kill them.


Part Eight

Your species
is the latest
of my creations;
evolved after
millions of years
of progressive march.
progression
or regression?
Was my plan
wise or folly?
Doesn’t it distress
and boomerang?


Part Nine

 

I risked a test
in man’s brain.
Filled some cells
with seeds
of knowledge.
Alas! Vainglorious
he thinks
the master
of all wisdom;
tries to conquer
the universe:
landed on the moon,
sent satellite
to the Mars;
he takes it
greatest feat!
The Moon and Mars
just two drops
in the ocean of
celestial objects.
Poor creature
knows not
his handicap;
limitations of
his reason.

He defies me,
assumes my position,
haughtily claims
as the noblest
of my creations!
He gives me shape,
and boasts,
embodiment of God!

I breathed in him
celestial values:
happiness, beauty,
peace, love, mercy;
but he fosters
hate and violence;
kills his kith and kin;
shows no mercy
to animals and plants.


Part Ten

Christmas is your
greatest festival;
greeting each other
peace and happiness;
blackest day for
cattle, fowl and fish;
billions butchered
for your pleasure;
you dine and dance,
sing hymns of peace!
preach gospel of love!
Your happy celebrations:
birthday, marriage,
ordination, jubilee,
feasts and festivals,
doomsday for animals.
Their cries resound
like death knell
and thus you try
dissonance at
my harmony.

Who gave you right
to kill my creations?
The way you torture
fowl and cattle,
bereft food and water,
caged and chained,
gasp in sunlight;
you cut their throat
live to their eyes.
The fish you catch
struggle for breath
and cause your glee!


Part Eleven

Why don’t you
learn from Nature?
Animals and birds
present you models.
Models of pure love,
happiness, hard work,
suffering, kindness,
patience, sharing,
fellowship, gratitude.


Part Twelve

Write, my son,
write.
Copy my symphony;
the music
of the universe.
Show your species
their deficiencies;
you can’t catch
the musical charm
of gentle breeze;
the melody
of falling leaves
and petals;
the stroking music
of mist and snow;
divine language
of the insect world;
the hugging tone
of flies on flowers;


Part Thirteen

Write, my son
write.
You can’t enjoy
the beauty
of lightning
and thunder;
your people think
thunder is my
sword of punishment.
Tell them son,
their celestial Father
never hates;
will never punish;
only showers love
and looks after
His creation.


Part Fourteen

Write, my son,
write.
I haven’t given
you reason
to learn
all my plans.
I speak to you
and other beings
in diverse tones.
None else shudder
when I speak
through thunder.
The sound of air
produced in breeze,
gale, tempest,
all my diverse notes.
The sound of water
in brooks, rivers
seas, oceans,
also my own scales.
What you hear
is little;
much more lies
beyond your ears.


Part Fifteen

Write, my son,
write.
Your species
needs humility.
You are my own dear
as mosquito is.
The snake you fear;
the pests, insects,
rodents you hate;
virus, worms
and all you dread
are no less
dear to me
than you.
I speak to you
through cuckoo;
I lull you
through owl.


Part Sixteen

Write, my son,
write.
Teach your folk
their position.
All other beings aware
of their humble position;
only your species
ignorant of his position.
religious mafia,
political mafia,
intellectual mafia,
mislead
your innocent
humble folk.


Part Seventeen

Religious mafia
created thousands of gods.
Creator, creation, creature–
simple enough
to learn the relation.
Myriads of religions,
gods, saints, prophets;
religious mafia needs
them to exploit
innocent laymen.
Heaven and hell
they created
to frighten the masses.
Where is the heaven?
Where is the hell?
They have no answer;
they attribute
to their Creator
all their qualities:
Angry God!
Punishing God!
To appease me
they loot billions
from the laity!
Build palace-like
churches, mosques, temples;
decorate my fake images
with rich ornaments
and gaudy dress;
they misguide laymen;
make them believe
I am fond of flattery;
fond of hymns;
fond of money;
fond of food;
and fond of jewelry.
They never preach
Karma is the best prayer;
work is worship;
service to the poor;
service to the needy;
service to the tortured;
service to animals
and plants and trees
are services to me.
Look at the birds;
look at animals;
look at fishes;
look at plants;
they seek their food;
strike the eternal
note of happiness
and never digress
from the symphony.
The religious mafia
makes laymen blind;
blind in their faith;
they blind their reason;
poor folk, they dance
to their perfidious tones.


Part Eighteen

Write, my son,
write.
I have created man
herbivorous,
like his ancestors,
apes and monkeys.
The religious mafia
spreads its fake ism:
other beings and plants,
all for man’s pleasures;
he is the king
of animals and plants.
The universe bears
sufficient food
for human and
non human beings.
all other beings
seek their food.
I haven’t given
man licence
to kill other beings
as carnivores do.
Being the creator
I can’t bear
the way man
rears, tortures
kills and eats
his domestic animals.


Part Nineteen

Write, my son,
write.
The political mafia
exploits masses;
dictates, strangles
and make them slaves;
imprisons, kills
those questions
their authority.
It’s really shocking
your governments
plunder your people,
fill the exchequers
with trillions
to kill your own men
beyond the borders.
Political mafia
supports corporates,
ignores common folk,
sells land and resources
to inhumane companies.


Part Twenty

Intellectual mafia
assumes omniscient;
exploits innocent people;
detracts them
from their Creator;
makes them pessimists;
imposes their
obsolete philosophies.
between religious
and intellectual mafias;
twin sides
of the same coin.


Part Twenty One

Enough, my son,
enough;
nothing more
to tell your species.
If they heed
they will be saved;
other beings
will be saved;
plants will be saved
and the universe
as such will be saved.

 13. For the Glory of God

(Based on The Malayala Manorama Sunday Supplement Report on 25th July 2010)

Chellamma Antharjanam, aged seventy five;
widow, childless, weak and homeless.
Rejected by relatives, neighbours and society,
decides to end her life on a railway track.
Counting down minutes, she timorously waits;
the alien Death will arrive in train
and take her to a happy abode.
Then Resiya Beevi, member of Panchayat,
drags her out from the claws of Death.
Risking taunts from kith and kin
takes her home to support her.
Resiya lives with her spouse and four kids.
Takes her guest as her own dead ma.
Service unto her, service to Allah.
Chellamma being a vegetarian Brahmin,
Resiya takes her to an old-age home;
bears all expense for her happy residence.
Meeting Chellamma’s wish
to live her end in her own soil,
Resiya buys a plot
and builds a small house,
awailing government’s grant.
Resiya spends for the food
which Chellamma cooks and eats.
Ten long years have passed
since heaven thus exhibits here.
An exquisite model of
communal harmony!
Resiya’s life is an ideal Muslim’s life;
all will agree that God is pleased.
Resiya’s own State witnessed another act:
religious extremists hacked off
a professor’s right palm
and cut his legs to slaughter him.*
And they did this to please their God!

* The unfortunate incident took place on 4 July 2010.?

 14. God is helpless

The congregation wailed
after their parish priest:
“God, save us
from this extreme heat;
save us from the drought;
Merciful and Almighty God,
grant us rain,
and save our land.”
Suddenly heard
a sound from above:
“I am helpless,
my beloved children.
I did supply
whatever you needed;
The same I gave
to all non-human beings;
I created the earth,
an oasis for men,
animals and plants;
unlike others,
you are selfish to the core;
despite your reason,
you are a nincompoop;
who will axe
the branch he sits?
How will you survive
without plants and trees?
You get rains
since trees are there;
where are the forests
which blocked the clouds?
The sun is the same;
its heat is the same.
Who told you to emit
toxic gas and defile
the sky, pure and clear?
Your wells are dry,
Rivers are dry;
I am not responsible.
You have dug your grave,
And what am I to do?
Petitions come to me
one after another
from plants and animals.
All complain of
your cruelty and torture:
they have no food;
they have no water;
they have no shelter;
and not even air.
They plead me
to call you back;
save their lives,
and thus save the planet.
Kindly tell me, children,
what shall I do.”

 15. Hunger’s Call

A startling news with
photos from Zimbabwe!
Carcass of a wild elephant
consumed in ninety minutes!
Not by countless vultures
but by avid, famished
men and women and children.
Even the skeleton was axed
to support sinking life with soup.
Impact of globalization,
liberalization and privatization?
Or effect of hyperinflation
and economic mismanagement?
Billions are spent
by developed nations
on arms and ammunitions.
Isn’t poverty the greatest enemy?
Why not fight against it
and wipe out destitution,
pointing guns, rifles and missiles
at the chest of the poor?

 16. IAF Vayu Shakti 2010

Indian Air Force
demonstrates Fire Power
at the desert of Pokhran:
“Vayu Shakti 2010.”
President, Defence Minister,
officers, VIPs fix
their eyes at the sky.
Proud moments for them
and for several millions
sitting before the TVs.
But for me a horrible sight.
The dropping of each missile,
an explosion in my heart.
My mind can’t conciliate
though only a parade.
These aircrafts have been built;
these missiles have been made
not for just a display.
One day or other
my sisters and brothers
in Pakistan and China
will be burnt with such missiles.
Major share of nation’s budget,
much more than spent on food,
amassing arms, ammunitions, missiles.
Billions have been spent
by my country and
my neighbouring countries
and all developed countries
to kill their fellowmen abroad:
upright men and women and children.
Who are major victims of war?
Civilians as innocent as lambs;
ignorant of the bogus rift
between border nations.
Even the warriors who die:
Die martyrs for their motherland;
have no rancour for their opponents;
they are all puppets
in the hands of vile rulers.
God, kindle love
in the minds of all rulers.
Had they spent those billions
to feed millions’ hungry mouths,
could save several millions
dying famished year after year.
Vayu Shakti: aeronautical power

 17. Musings from an Infant’s Face
(Composed on 8 March 2010—International Women’s Day)

An infant over
her mother’s shoulder
looked at me
from the front seat
of the bus I travelled.
Infants always
tempted me
like bloomed roses.
Babies—human
and non-human—
are embodiments
of grace and innocence.
The Creator is
manifest in their faces.
Blake’s poems
of Innocence
and Experience
flashed through my mind.
I tried to smile
at the infant;
she didn’t smile back.
Might be my
smile is guile and vile.
Her eyes seemed
to tell me something.
Her mother’s appearance
foretold the infant’s lot.
Born to poor parents,
how thorny would be
the path of her life!
She is yet to toddle;
I could vision
the blood oozing from
her soft feet.
Being a female,
black and dark,
poor and low caste,
discriminations,
humiliations,
abuses and tortures,
will come in battalions
to give her
Guard of Honour
and lead her along
the brambly path.
Lame and tottering
she will struggle along
till she reaches
her terminus, death.

 18. Nature Weeps

Mango leaves droop:
irrational man ill-treated
gods of summer showers
Paddy fields lament:
none to reap ripened corns
sprouted and heavier
Lilly flower looks
reddish and morose:
had a shower in acid rain
Baby’s incessant cry
makes her ma moan:
mercury reads forty two
People got out of their
houses at midnight:
electricity failed
Tigers started roaming
seeking food in villages:
people killed their preys
Crows and mynahs
stopped visiting me:
papaya trees bear no fruits
The sun is angry
and merciless to man:
man goes on felling trees
The child is reluctant
to go to school:
teacher welcomes with cane
Lotus bud weeps:
Fumed, cloudy firmament
hides the sun from kissing
Morning sun gloomy:
scattered dead bodies
killed in bomb blast
Cuckoo sings at midnight:
festival lights and fireworks
tumble cuckoo’s slumber
Roses aren’t smiling:
stinky insecticides
keeps flies from embrace
Spring’s birth very late:
winter’s blanket
turned up ice sheet
Mellow mango
clings to branch:
man will destroy its nut
Cow cries continuously
since calf doesn’t suck:
artificial cattle feed
Cuckoos sound changes:
inhaled plastic fumes
spread in the sky
Gandhi’s statue smiles:
could serve as seats for birds
longing for a birch
Cuckoos don’t wake
me up in morning:
they have no trees to sit
Rainbows appear
only on papers:
no moist in the sky
Snakes appear on
roads and lanes:
their havens are furnaces
Mice and rats multiply
and trouble human beings:
man litters food around
Mosquitoes accompany
man day and night:
man breeds them unawares
Parents are very sad,
for little daughter has period:
hormonic chicken daily food
The boy goes to school
stooped and exhausted:
ten kilo books on his back

 19. Resolution

I couldn’t believe my eyes;
neither the pedestrians gathered.
All eyes were fixed on the sky.
A woman on a tall thorny tree;
sharp spines covering
trunk, branches and twigs.
Standing on a bamboo ladder,
a score feet high,
shaming men she’s
felling thorny branches;
support trees for pepper cuttings.
When few men risk
such hazardous labour,
necessity gauded her
to fight against fate.
Bed-ridden father and mother;
husband eloped with a harlot,
leaving her three daughters,
ten and twelve and fourteen.
She can earn more money
without such risk or pain.
Dignity and self respect–
she takes as greatest wealth.
Her resolution reminds me
of Wordswroth’s Leech Gatherer
and Hemingway’s Santiago.

 20. Rocketing Growth of India!

Rocketing growth of India!
Overtaking America,
surpassing Europe,
competing with China.
The tornado of recession,
evolved in America
swept over Europe,
dashed towards Indian continent,
but drowned in the Indian Ocean.
Boasting and celebration
from government and ruling front!
Eyewashing by all media!
Statistics never fails.
First in population growth;
first in number of poor;
top in ignorance and illiteracy;
top in superstitions and fundamentalism;
very low standard of living.
Rocketing growth of the rich;
express growth of the poor;
multifold growth of their gap.
Slumdog Milllionaire is criticized:
exposed real growth of India.
Another tragic proof last day;
disproved country’s bogus growth.
Thousand swarmed at ashram;*
poverty induced them to rush there
for a free square meal and
a present worth ten rupees.
Surging crowd collapsed
entrance gate to ashram.
Sixty three women and children
died in thousands’ stampede;
many were injured and hospitalized.
Shocking news, details and photos
covered front page of newspapers.
PM announced ex gratia
of two lakhs each for the dead;
fifty thousand each for the injured.
Had the government granted
half the amount when they were alive;
had the government shown half the love
they shower to the rich,
many such tragedies be averted.
Still government and leaders
beguile innocent millions:
rocketing growth of our country,
a wonder to the whole world!

* Reference to the tragedy at Mangarh in Uttar Pradesh, India on 4 March 2010.

 21. Sister Mercy

Sister Mercy, alias Daya Bhai;
a life worth her name.
Enticed into nunnery;
God whispered to her ears:
“Daughter, service to the poor
is superior to
prayers and hymns.”
Risking rebukes and abuses
from parents, kith and kin,
quitted the four walls.
Devoted life for the tribal;
A lone-fighter for their right;
fought against slavery;
fought against girls’ trade.
Hunted by the police;
torture in barracks;
Took LLB for self pleading.
Awards and honours
embraced her.
Even in her late sixties
this brave woman from Kerala
shines like the sun;
illumines thousands in Bykal,
A village in Madhya Pradesh.
Daya Bhai shows by life
that path of Karma is
nobler than other paths;
serving God in human form
is more rewarding than
serving Him in abstract terms.

 22. Teresa’s Tears

Teresa in tears
counting
thousands of rupees.
Part-time sweeper,
sweeping class rooms,
verandahs, campus;
cleaning
dirty bathrooms,
stinky urinals.
First salary
after twelve months;
lump sum arrear
thirty thousand.
Bed-ridden husband,
paralysed by accident;
two little daughters
in primary school;
life in a rented hut;
debts to neighbours.
Delicious food,
attractive dress,
only in dreams.
Counting currency
again and again;
tears running
like a brook.
“Teresa, why crying?”
Compassionate
headmaster
enquired her.
“Oh, nothing sir,
these are the notes
my hands worked for
and longed for;
but I have to keep
my promise;
a condition laid on
by the manager;
I have to donate
one year salary.”
Government
gives the salary
but the building
not its property;
property
of the people.
Such forced donation
a canker of Kerala.


23. To My Colleague*
(Composed on 15 August 2010)

India’s sixty fourth Independence Day.
Celebrations all over the country.
Dear TJ, you are still dependent;
bed-ridden for forty three days.
Hacked-off right palm stitched to
like a dry branch budded to a live plant.
They axed your left leg from thigh to toes;
cut three fingers and bones of left palm.
Palms and foot in thick plaster.
Physical pains playing like concert;
added by arrows darted from all sides:
colleagues, university, government.
Helpless and sleepless, shedding tears often;
boldly bore pains of battalions
with convictions strong and unyielding will.
You prayed to God
to clear others’ misunderstandings;
pardoned the assailants
who knew not
for what they had done it.
God heeded to your prayers;
removed all misunderstandings
from the minds of the millions.
They started showering
petals of love, sympathy and help.
TJ, you are a scapegoat;
people take you as a martyr.
India, my independent country!
Largest democracy in the world!
Largest secular State!
Equality, fraternity, liberty.
Liberty to do anything?
Where is freedom of speech
and expression?
India, my motherland.
Land of corruption, terrorism
and religious fundamentalism.
Religious fanatics resort to violence;
kill innocent masses
to appease gods in heaven.
TJ, you have become an icon;
an icon of suffering;
an icon of courage;
an icon of convictions,
and icon of forgiveness.

* The reference is to Prof. T. J. Joseph of Newman College, Thodupuzha, Kerala, India. Religious fanatics hacked off his right palm and threw it away when he was returning home after Sunday Mass on 4 July 2010.

24. Train Blast

Train blasted;
A hundred and fifty died;
All innocents;
Set out for
nearby destinations;
Ended at
eternal terminus.
Another heinous act
of Maoists.
End justifies means;
Misquote Marx
Lenin, Mao.
Utopian ends;
Diabolic means.
Are their hearts
made of stone?
Have their tears
dried in the furnace
of spite?
Have they plugged
their ears
with their
victims bones?
Heart-rending
is the wail
of that grandma:
“Krishna,
Why did you
call back
all my children?
What have they done?
Or their wives
and their children?
Couldn’t you take
me also with them?
Krishna,
why are you
so indifferent?
Can’t you punish
these terrorists
as you punished
Asuras?
Or at least
curse them
as you cursed
Ashwatthama?
How can I ease in
sambhavami yuge yuge?”

25. Tribute of Mohammed Rafi

Mohammed Rafi flew back to heaven
thirty years back. Gandharva of music,
he was sent by God
to ease and solace burning minds.
Greatest of all Indian singers,
he was modest, dignified and humble.
Blessed by goddess Saraswathi,
he practiced hard for perfection.
When he raised his voice
to the highest octave,
to sing “O duniya ke rekhwale,”
blood oozed out of his vocal chord.
He walks with me in morning walks,
amusing me from cell phone.
His duets with Lata Mangeshkar,
his melodies that raise us to heaven,
impel me to call him:
“Immortality, thy name is Rafi.”

26. Wagamon

Wagamon,
Kerala’s beautiful bonnet;
a spectrum of
spectacular scenes
carved all around it.
Steepish street
runs like anaconda;
sky-high precipice
on the right side;
hell-down caves
on the other side.
Miles long canvas
black and high;
green patches
here and there:
God with His brush!
A series of cataracts;
thin, thick, tall, short;
some like white paint
oozed from His brush;
others like curtains
slowly falling.
Eternal curtains,
eternal falling;
reminding us
the curtain of life.
Mounds after mounds;
green spongy eggs
placed in His large tray;
dawn to dusk
kissed by the sun;
the moon and the stars
embrace at night;
descending clouds
cleanse the dirt
treaded by humans.
Lying helpless
people speak to Him;
pray to Him
to ease their minds;
none will doubt here
the therapeutic
power of Nature.
Pine valleys of Wagamon,
an exotic wild beauty.
Tall and thick pine trees
support firmament
from falling.
God has spread
a fantastic carpet
knitted by
dry pine leaves;
lying relaxed,
people draft requests,
and angles descend
through the pine trees
and take these requests
to His office.
The sun is always gentle;
always seems an evening;
nocturnal music
of crickets,
resounding hymns of angels,
and semi darkness
lift our minds
to an eternal
abode of repose.

27. Water, Water, Everywhere . . .

(Composed on 22 March 2000—World Water Day)

This day:
World Water Day;
tosses my mind
to the next century.
Water, the source of life;
Omnipresent and abundant
like its parent oxygen.
Free and ‘insignificant’
for millions;
going to be more precious
than gold and diamond.
Absence of rains and trees,
enhanced by global warming,
exterminated millions of lives.
Life span dropped to thirty five;
thirty five looked eight five.
Dehydration caused wrinkles;
smooth skin turned
sore and scaly;
lovely long haired women
appeared shaved-headed ghosts.
Desalinated water,
the elixir of life.
In place of shower,
sponging with mineral oil.
Disposable dress;
heaps of garbage everywhere.
Water rationed;
per day quota
half a glass.
Kidney failure,
major cause of mortality.
Water stolen
at gun point;
armed forces guarded
water reservoirs of nations.
Sea level rose every day;
low lands disappeared
one after another.
Enactment of
Coleridge’s lines:
“Water, water everywhere
Not a drop to drink.”

28. Wolfgang, the Messiah of Nature

Wolfgang, the messiah of Nature
heard the silent call
of plants and animals;
flew from Berlin to Kerala
at the tender age of twenty.
Long forty years
in the midst of dense forest;
forest vast as fifty five acres;
Wolfgang’s gift to man and Nature;
Swamy to the neighbouring people;
God to plants and animals.
Twenty species of snakes,
fifteen types of amphibians,
two twenty species of birds,
sixty varieties of butterflies,
two thousand kinds of plants.
He has created a heaven;
a haven for his fellow creatures.
Snakes never bite him;
play with his children.
Birds never fear him;
always feast to his eyes and ears.
Butterflies weave him dreams;
a blissful dream which
blocks others’ realities.
He has realized the truth,
the truth of eternal relations:
between God, Man and Nature.
Wolfgang is Nature’s Christ;
born to redeem Nature;
his life is a sacrifice;
atonement for human cruelty;
expiation for felling and killing

29. To My Deceased Cats

“Lo, our Rocky is struggling;
God, is he departing us?”
Pussy cat cried to her friends.
“Has cruel man poisoned him?”
Pretty raised her doubts.
“Friends, my master, Mathew
mixed toxin to my dinner
since I excreted on his front yard,”
Rocky groaned while gasping.
“What a devil!” they exclaimed.
“Friends, I deserve this death.
I was a human in my last birth,
who hated cats and dogs.
I had a neighbour,
a poet and professor
who lived with his family
and half a dozen cats.
The cats knew no boundaries
and they often defecated
on my vast compound.
One morning before going to church
arranged for them delicious breakfast:
fried fish mixed with toxin.
I felt restless at church;
Christ on the cross
murmured to my mind:
‘Is this the way
you love your neighbour?
Aren’t cats and all other beings
your own neighbours?
Aren’t animals and plants
our Father’s creations?
Haven’t they the right to survive?
Vowed to save lives
how can you destroy life?’
I tried my best to detract my mind;
turned my face from the crucifix;
calculated the profits
amassed from the rubber estates!
The Mass being over,
I returned to my house;
found my neighbour
digging graves for his pet cats.
The professor might have cursed me,
for he loved them as his children.
My happy life continued
as I was immensely rich.
Nothing happened to me,
But I couldn’t rid His punishment;
and was reborn as a cat
to be killed by my own master.”
Rocky ended with a loud wail;
his body shuddered and died.

 30. Lines Composed from Thodupuzha River’s Bridge

Looking down from your girdle bridge
my eyes and mind bathe in thy morning beauty.
Invigorating cool water gushing through your vein
overflows my mind with eternal realities.
Every second passed in our lives
is irredeemably lost forever.
Invisible Time flashes in meteoric speed;
the waters I gaze now also flow beyond my eyes.
Unlike the flash of bygone Time
it is never lost but remains immortal.
Born from the eternal Sahyas
it merges into the eternal ocean.
The Creator thus reveals To His creations
His perpetual relation and incessant love.
Rivers and oceans are embodiments of cosmic reality.

(Comments on the Cover Page) 

“K. V. Dominic is a poet of quest. He seeks God’s grace through service to humankind as he is aware of human beings themselves responsible for their plight. As he explores nature and environment, or exposes social degradation, or reflects on contemporary issues, he seems to justify the ways of God to man. He sounds critical of people who are self-centred and cause disharmony with their negative stances, be these related to scientific advancement, globalization, or pursuit of religion. With his strong personal beliefs and ideological commitment, Dominic seeks to resurrect the society, and effectively uses wit and irony. He also displays a sort of detached attachment as he reflects on war, poverty, deforestation, pollution etc, drawing on his rich regional experiences and poetic resources.”
–Prof. R. K. Singh, Poet, Professor & Head, Dept of Humanities & Social Sciences, Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad, Jharkhand, India
This is the second volume of K.V. Dominic’s poetry after Winged Reason, published in quick succession. Almost all his poems tell us that he never writes a poem to express sheer beauty, passion for possession, spiritual aspiration or aesthetic pleasure. He is a realist with deep social feelings. Human sufferings make his heart bleed, loss of freedom suffocates him. Not only human but animal sufferings too pain him. At some rare moments the nature lover in him appreciates nature’s beauty or peeps into a cuckoo’s nest. It is sad that though his imaginary creator created man ideally, he “fosters hate and violence.” The well wishing poet prays, “Let Suu Kyi fly over Myanmar / shower rays of freedom.”
–Aju Mukhopadhyay, poet, critic, short story writer, essayist from Pondicherry, India


Dr. K. V. DOMINIC (b. 1956), English poet, critic, editor and short story writer is a retired professor of the PG & Research Department of English, Newman College, Thodupuzha, Kerala, India – 685585. He was born on 13 February 1956 at Kalady, a holy place in Kerala where Adi Sankara, the philosopher who consolidated the doctrine of Advaita Vedanta was born. He has already authored and published nine books. Four other books of his are under print. Prof. Dominic has published innumerable poems, critical essays, reviews, interviews and short stories in reputed journals and books. He is the Secretary of Guild of Indian English Writers, Editors and Critics (GIEWEC), Chief Editor of the biannual, International Journal on Multicultural Literature (IJML) and editor of the Guild’s biannual journal, Writers Editors Critics (WEC). Dr. Dominic is also the editor of New Fiction Journal (NFJ), an international annual on short stories. He is the Vice Chairman of International Congress for Language, Literature & Culture (ICLLC) and Vice President of IAPEN, Begusarai, India. He is in the Advisory and Editorial Boards of several leading journals in India. He can be contacted at:

 prof.kvdominic@gmail.com


Land Phone: 04862 225758


Cell Phone: 9947949159


Web Site: www.giewec.com