Seek Not Our Land

· English Poetry, Human Resources, Reflections
Authors

Seek Not Our Land

NS Rajan

 

How can you buy or sell

The sky or warmth of the land?

Can you steal the sound of a shell?

Or plunder the sea of its sand?

 

What is free, who are we to bequeath?

Air shares spirit – supports all life

Wind that gives us our first breath

Doth also receive our last sigh.

 

Good earth for us is our mother

Perfumed flowers, our dear sisters

Eagle, horse, deer are brothers dear

Humming insects are our visitors.

 

With reverence we hold all of this wealth

Flowing rivers carry ancestors’ blood

Of red man’s memories there’s no dearth

All mankind one – united in blood. 

  

Our God is the same God – we discover;

Equal in compassion for red and white

Hope not, White Chief, to conquer and pilfer

Oh grief, why rob us of our Life ?

 

Holy land is rich with lives of our kin

Mother Earth whatever befalls it

Befalls the mindless sons too akin

Seeds are we: how can one sell it?

 

Remember our soil is too sacred

Must teach your people, your children

Clear waters and even the lake bed

Recall events, memories, true vision.

 

Earth belongs not to any man

Man belongs to this earth

Plunder it the way you can

Earneth a sure way to dusty death. 

  

Destiny a deep mystery to us

Gone are the thicket and eagle: awful toll

God brought us for a special purpose

End of living – beginning o’ survival?

 

( This poem is a humble tribute, inspired by the memory of Chief Seattle, Si’ahl,  of the Duwamish Tribe, who in 1854 was slated to have made a powerful, bitter sweet plea for respect of Native American rights and environmental values to President Franklin Pierce in response to a Government offer to purchase the remaining Salish lands, what is now contemporary Seattle. The beautiful spirit of the natives, and their deep attachment to nature is evocative of the trauma faced by them even as white settlements were fast replacing them from their beloved lands. The plea is reminiscent of the wrath and turmoil being faced by  native inhabitants in many parts of the country where modern industry wishes to expand through land acquisition)

 

(MC Escher, the renowned Dutch artist, has left an enduring body of work of mathematically inspired improbable possibilities. The photo above is a picture of his work “Three Worlds’ , done in 1955, which allegorically refers to three distinct perspectives; the world indeed looks different from where each of us sees it. )

 

4 Comments

Comments RSS
  1. Kapil Aggarwal EY

    This is just brilliant… thanks for sharing this…

  2. Kapil Aggarwal EY

    brilliant

  3. Prashant

    very good poem

  4. Deepa

    Best one so far. Simple, but beautiful 🙂

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