Thus spoke a Ghost of a 'prey'at the Easter Sunday blast

a poem by Senevibandara Athaudha, Sri Lanka


Thus spoke, a Ghost of a “prey” at the Easter Sunday blast
It was a nuclear second
That flashed me, reeling out
to the bottom step,
of a never ending flight of steps
that soared higher, and still higher
into a shrouded “black hole”

I had no place there.
There were thronging Ghosts of men and women
who were pilloried to elements, racked, burnt at stake, and tortured to death
and thrown to carrion- crows and vultures
for they had defied the tyrannies of dogmas.
And there were,
yawning Ghosts of drained, cadaverous children;
merely because they were theirs.

I read the chronicles
written with golden nibs
dipped in human blood;
for, animal blood is reserved for banquets and ritual celebrations.

How could a blasphemous uprooted mendicant
from the ‘subaltern class’
who snailed to church
to reflect on mothers
who bore excruciating crosses on their heads
to identify the redeemer,
and pray for the souls of tormentors, exploiters and preachers of virtue
have a place to kiss the dust at the foot of the altar?
* * * *
Behold! I see a cinematic montage
of the spectres of the “spirited” citizens of Hiroshima and Nagasaki;
the ghoulish figures of Austerlitz, Sabrina and Herzegovina, Croatia and Rwanda
the bizarre bodies with cadaverous faces
of the accursed victims of plague and pestilence.

They are still wailing
They are shouldering against each other to creep in
through the slit door, locked and nailed to the frame
of a flourishing kingdom of spirits.

I had no place,
no place, no place.

But the “worthy” had offered a coffin,
‘the colonial ritual for the dead’
to “place” my smithereens
And a ‘Thanks- giving service’, and Bacchus
at dusk in attendance
for which I was saving,
coin by coin in the sinister autumn of my life.
For it is:
another cross for “Others”

And I plead, plead, plead
Let the ‘worthy’
terminate their ‘service’ for the plebeian
and, ‘Rest in peace’
leaving the hoarded pelf and lucre
for their progeny
because they are depriving our identity of “the other”

And, You…… fiend!
I see your accomplice sinking in the river Acheron
with his gory fingers forking up to heaven.

Why did you snuff out
the lives of many
who have congregated with hopes
for spiritual succour ?

Didn’t your hawk eyes
meet the drooping eyes of agony
that trickled the tears of compassion on the cross.
Tears that have milked the hearts of humans for ages.

There are countless numbers
in our blessed island,
who are being beaten and squeezed like sugar-cane;
who are plagued with penury,
who yearn for instant death
sans perennial suffering.

You need not beg them to line.
They will do it themselves for you.
for their killers are veiled and treacherous.

But, there is a question.
They bear no ethnicity, religion or creed
for you to improvise and orchestrate a scheme
to relieve them from their wretched misery
for they are dying every second.

And you. Ravish!
For numerically the number will be very high.
and the chances will be high.

You can ‘pay the debt of gratitude’
as was etched by the chronicler Albert Aquensis
and you will rocket to target a cozy place
in the Hallowed Hall of the god of your choice.
* * * * * * * *
I hear no human voices
I see a line of dumb ants trailing into a burrow.
I see a host of termites eating out the scriptures
I hear the mourning melody of a darkling thrush.

Quintus Senevibandara Athaudha –( Sri Lanka)

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