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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: India (02/12/09)

TITLE: Musings and yearnings of a Chandala
By Josiah Kane
02/18/09


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Iím but one in a land of a billon,
Iím a thorn in my familyís side.
While they anxiously till for a harvest
I canít even sell my own hide.

Each morning my brother comes to me
A few grains of rice in his hand.
Which he leaves in the small bowl beside me
A few inches away in the sand.

To cover my welts and my boils
I forge scabs from the urine-drenched dust.
Sweat soaks my back in the searing midday
Before sating parched earthís only lust.

I lie in the dirt on the outskirts
Of the slums with the crippled and sick
When I tire of the world trotting by me
I sleep with my head on a brick.

I gaze upon venerable Brahmin.
Then cringe lest they step on my head.
To the holiest men in the nation
Iím unworthy of mouldy old bread.

As I glare at the cars of the merchants.
I wonder at riches unearned.
They carry away all these treasures,
But leave their poor countrymen spurned

I have heard only rumours of rulers.
Faint whispers of Rajas who reign
Since those at the top simply donít care.
For us plebeians writhing in pain.

So I, an untouchable maggot,
Am sending the planet this cry.
Is there anyone there who can heal us
Lest all who are like me should die.

Though among a billion bustling bodies
I yearn in my heart for a friend.
Just one man I can trust to respect me
From meeting until my lifeís end

Iíve heard of a god who loves me
And of people who actually care.
Please enter the darkness, let your light shine
Save us from this desperate despair.



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This article has been read 449 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Marlene Austin02/19/09
Good expression in this emotional piece. :)
Jan Ackerson 02/19/09
Excellent and heartbreaking poem.
Norma-Anne Hough 02/20/09
Very moving piece of poetry.
Blessings,
Norms
Seema Bagai 02/20/09
This poem contains vivid, powerful images.

If I may clear up a misconception from the first stanza. You wrote, "Iím a thorn in my familyís side.
While they anxiously till for a harvest I canít even sell my own hide." If the narrator of the poem is part of the Untouchable caste, as your title suggests, then the person's family would be in the same caste and also face the same issues. They would not be farmers or have a different social status.

Other than that, this is a well-written poem.
Clyde Blakely 02/26/09
Congratulations, Josiah, well written and well earned rating. Welcome to Advanced (already!).

God bless richly.