Sunday, October 25, 2015


Escaping the tyranny in Syria
Inching towards lands far north of Iberia
Is a great exodus of humanity
Not seen since last century’s calamity

Mankind is capable of great love
And being a symbol of peace, like the dove
Why this change of heart?
The very fabric of life gets torn apart

Tattered clothing a refugee's sole possession
Mist from the sea, the only means to freshen
Tired are the limbs and shattered are the hopes
Peace is non existent, bound in ropes

Blind to heart wrenching scenes
The heartless continue to work like machines
Turning land that isn’t anyone’s permanent base
Into a coward’s hiding place

Who many run from many
As long as seasons are in plenty
But time always has the last word
Whether sinner or saint, the distinction is blurred

When the mind shrinks, so does life
Leading to suffering and strife
Happiness seeks to be expansive
Leaving behind borders and differences as illusive

Soaring in space
Isn’t the only way to see all as one race
Making the mind smooth and seamless
May end that cancer of meanness

We can turn our eyes, but not our backs
Our conscience will impose a heavy tax
Making it hard to sleep at night
Unless one is repentant and contrite

Only if done in a selfless tone
Without secretly expecting a heavenly home
It’s hard to walk in a refugee’s shoes
When many are barefoot with bruised toes

How many Aylan Kurdis would it take?
For dormant humanity to awake
Children are the future
Let them enjoy life to its full measure

The tongue of hate hisses
Stinging everything but riches
To what avail?
When locked up in a self made jail

The rich and the poor both need subsistence
Even as they differ in their outward existence
The body is at best a rickety dinghy
When love is free, why be stingy?

It is hard to lay new roots
For those running from vicious disputes
They long for safe bed and board
Uninterested in robbing another’s hoard

The view of life is very different
When one is packaged up as a human shipment
The only lifeline is a terrified breath
That dances ever closer to death

It is inevitable, when there’s inequality
The despondent are barricaded out by bureaucracy
The world will never be rid of refugees
Unless everyone acts as responsible trustees

Of this little patch of land
Onto which we come unplanned
The rise of the mind
Does not have to make us blind

Everyone’s so cautious
That’s indirectly being thoughtless
Shunning what’s another’s problem
While outwardly appearing solemn

Refugees need the ‘real’ us
Not what the intellect wants to discuss
They teach us a lot
About how we’re led astray by thought

It’s great to engage in charity
That is fired by piety
Even better is a wholehearted embrace
Of the entire human race

We are all refugees in equal measure
Whether lives are hard or filled with pleasure
All are at the mercy of the sun
Which does not shine only on its favorite son

It’s in the mind where the problem lies
Where thoughts are loathe to compromise
Making them more dangerous than the waters of the Aegean
Those who make it offer a heartfelt paean

We all have our own seas to cross
It takes a refugee’s fortitude to get across
But we choose to linger where it's unsafe
Separated from the real, we’re helpless as a waif

Everyone’s seeking a better life
One that is abundant and rife
But few choose to care
About another’s despair

Only when the sea of humanity is calm
Can the heavens hear our psalm
If we do our part to help the refugee’s cause
In time, tyranny will suffer a permanent pause

  • N. Seshadri