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globe logo     Caravan: Newsletter of the Alliance for a Responsible, Plural and United World
Number 8 June 2001

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drawing of man sitting on earth reading scroll

Poetry for a Responsible, Plural and United World

Street people

In the beginning were a few street children.
Now it's gangs and families of street people.
Scavenging in waste bins, begging and stealing
With one and all ignoring the cause.
Religions aside, conscience has died.
Only a pharaoh's heart devoid of feelings.

A minister says they are no security risk.
Yet a hungry man is an angry man.
With glue for breakfast, lunch and supper,
Rotten fruits and crabs of stinking bread,
Drugged to insanity and frustrated to death,
Only an idiot can see them harmless.

Living a life unfit for humans,
Sleeping on pavement and eating in the gutter.
Deprived of education and all human comforts.
The story is sad but has to be told.
Who will break the poverty cycle?
And save the society from a disaster.

A monster of our own making,
A product of poor planning and bad governance.


They say the people get the leaders they deserve.
Who deserves such incompetent rulers?
Visionless, merciless and greedy.
The people should say enough is enough.

Justice and fairness is thrown to the dogs.
The country of plenty moans with scarcity.
While death from hunger is the order of the day,
As rations of necessities is a daily routine.
The preachers of faith blame the devil
When their followers in numbers burn on Earth.

Citizens of my country come together and reason.
The rich and poor, we will all taste from the cup.
Of insecurity and uncertainty for all of us.
The truth is there for all to see.
The mob, the muggers and the killers at large.
Let us rebuild our nation with justice divine.

King Dodge (Kenya)

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Sermon in stones

(About the destruction of the tallest statues of the world, those of the Buddha, sculptured 1500 years ago in Afghanistan in Bamiyan.)

O' ye mortal men
who pride yourselves,
on power,
briefly begotten,
with the weapons
of war.

When you have stopped shouting;
in the silence of the night,
listen to the whispers
of the breeze; passing through us,
and you might hear
the tales of yore.

Of the deeds
of mightier men,
who had given us form,
more beautiful than yours,
with a smile
that'd taunted you?

A millennium ago,
your ancestors had used spears
to cut off a finger here,
or a nose tip there,
and half a millennium back
they'd used cannon balls.

Now, you used shells and dynamite;
that made greater noise and raised more dust.
But the breeze, our friend had brushed these off!
A head might go, and limbs might fall
but, O! fools,
our spirit lives on in the hearts of men!


You were all afraid,
that seeing a smile so sublime,
your people might ask,
"But what did he say?"
Yes, that is what you were afraid of.
But O! fools, know ye not:
that this will raise more questions?

Yes, that is what you were afraid of;
and will still fear,
the questions!
They will come,
yes, more will come;
even from your own kith and kin.

And then you will be more afraid;
of those of your own kin,
armed by you,
but unhappy with your answers;
and seeing your fear,
who might turn their guns on you!

Then the breeze will laugh with us,
for we'll go on for a hundred centuries
at Bamiyan,
whence even your graves,
would've been wiped off
the surface of this Earth.

Sureshwar D. Sinha (India)

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