Precepts

A roundabout of lies lies not far
From the blackened Muslim shop;
Mettha, Karuna, Muditha, Upeksha
And I have come to hate those words.
For when Aluthgama burned; Mettha.
It was love that stole their breath
When the hot mob’s iron teeth
From whose revolver I know not
Found their hearts and brains and bones
And sent them all to sleep-like death.
Karuna; when absurd rhetoric like a wall
Separated predator and victim
As cages keep lions away from men.
But compassion for whom I wonder?
Was it the cult whose temples burned asunder?
Muditha; happy in being drunk on melancholic draughts
That lie fermented in the hot earth;
Foaming at the mouth for twenty five years.
What brave baboons are these who
Having no fears of last night’s nuptial hour
With that striped beast
Once more binge at that bloody feast?
For my bruised kin who reacted not in the like;
Upeksha
Who having no homes of their own reacted in the least.
Shall I the true robed monks call
And from their meditations wake them?
What would they say of proclaimed manes
and a race above the race of men?
Rude I need not be.
The answer I fear I hear.
A roundabout of lies lies not far.
At 58′ to 83′
Are they not cars that pass
Of every man made chassis and class?
Mettha ,Karuna ,Muditha ,Upeksha.
Four new lives to reach that bloody brim.
There is more of the predator in the victim.

The poem, I must stress is not targeted towards a single race or religion as a whole, but extremism and ultranationalism. The poem was written following the Aluthgama incident and anti Muslim violence in Sri Lanka.

Blessings- S.B.

“God bless you.” The Muslim lady said.
And I boiled no intense ire
For God sees naught, but rushing red
And not my father’s fire.
The Buddhist spoke. “ Peace my friend.”
And like brothers we did speak
And that wall we did not mend
But let it grow full weak.
At every altar for God I asked
But found each still and bare
But when I stood there with my kin
I found God standing there.

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I have made reference to Robert Frost’s Mending Wall.