War a hearts ravage-6

English Translation: P. Jayalakshmi & Bhargavi Rao

Telugu Original : “Yuddham oka Gunde Kotha” by Seela Subhadra Devi


world’s war theatre

has shifted to living rooms.

When canon balls burst on city outskirts,

flying-fleeing hawk claws

snatch a dreaming babe’s life

smiling in swaddling clothes.


not knowing for whom to shed tears—

for battle-felled son’s life, or

for guiltless-harmless babe no more,

heroic mother’s tears clouding

rain over razed-to-ground nations.

Has to look for food

to feed children, helpless battle survivors.            

As feed packets drop as thunderbolts—

Here they are!                                              

Shall feed right away!

Do not weep… don’t!


What is this?

Who do I feed this blood-dabbled food?

War unfolded its eyes

amidst mountain ranges.

Missile seeds sprout smoke trees.

Religion’s putrefied odor

from carious corpses pollutes air,

air wafting frenzy

helmeted and shielded

is all set to conquer the world.

A marble-playing babe

begins to load his gun with cartridges.

A girl child not yet learnt to recognize

a letter’s outline, twisting shy

runs inside a ‘janana’

hiding fingers in heart.

Morality seeking meanings

culls paged treatises.

Differences line-drawn

draw people in differing directions.

Limits lengthening, each in its orbit

lengthen out in rage.                                           

Conclaves control lives

as reaction to counteraction.

Religious texts and religious tenets

meant for reading alone.

Meaningless they are in practice.                         

Do not love thy neighbors–

doubt them.

Loves only religion, dies for it,

chants heaven’s door to open

ignorant of its existence.          

Now all gods, to gather souls

have to come visiting earth

blow among ash mounds

to know who sacrificed for whom.

She lays five elements                         

to bring child to birth.

Though out of teens

looks upon him as apple of her eye,

lives for blood bound than for self.

When her heart’s humanity is recognized,

that day would see divinity in humanity.

If heart’s chambers were to be sensitized  

Mandirs and Masjids wouldn’t crash to earth, or

idols of Messenger of peace

wouldn’t have been punctured.

Hunted and haunted unknown

in confused attacks

nipped are innocents in bud,

ignorant of justice and injustice,

virtue and vice.

Who is the slain?

Who the slayer? Obscure.

Democle’s sword hangs on

murderous play carries on

as humanity’s neck takes on.

In world market,

cheapest is human life.

Humanity is not to be had

if want to buy even for healing.

Apart from spoon feeding 

teach diapered infants gunplay beside.   

Do not need charming little playthings nor

twinkle-twinkle little star(s)”.

Blasting, bombarding guns are all.

Wanted are vulgar monster masks

unasked are tales of noble heroes of yore.

Demanded are the hair-raised-on-end

Peril-causing, eye-popping,

confounding tales of 

underground gangsters, unscrupulous.

Dream not inventive imaginings,

bombarding strategies banal, are all!

Are we seed scattering

ruinous thoughts in the raw?

Pushing them into wide polluted world, are we? 

Age, before moonshine is delighted in

murmured with flowers

bodies butterfly colors smeared–

rainbow-braced love tunes sung,

pervaded the body,

push them into swirling pool of promiscuity,

teach them Valentine days!

Helpless, watch pub’s

ghastly spirits and witches dressed

drunken-swaying midnight parties.


see them jaundiced,

faces terror-fraught

committing horrific deeds with ease

declaring jehads on peace loving lives.

If hearts surge in a swirling swell wave,

what right do we, now, to wail

for crucifying their future,

what else is left but dip heads

in shame ostrich-like in sand?

Taught them these, haven’t we?

When did sulphur-seething conflicts

scorching civilizations 

as cinder-cone, flow through valleys,

reaching among nations

solidify into stone wall?

When did culture singeing spark

turn, simmering oven of nations?

When did it change to swordful-barricade,  

dig into peoples hearts, cleaving thought?

Pirouetting at a spot top-like,

caste and class wars, within self,

increasing ever so much

crossing frontiers, societal and national,

when did it rest its third foot on globe?


(To be continued-)

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