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Mainstream, VOL LIV No 42 New Delhi October 8, 2016

Paradise Lost

Sunday 9 October 2016, by Badri Raina

Is this now a paradise lost
To an ancient contention?
A clanging of frozen wills
Where all is lost and nothing won?
Relentless crones in safe enclaves
Send nubile angels to war
Against an uncaring distant state
That seems light years a far.
Spots of blood on haunted streets
Invite the lurking vulture;
Windows barred in dread and shame
Protect a beleaguered culture.
Faces pelleted with holes
Are stoic in hopeless time;
Flesh and bone come apart
But spirits scream a defiant rhyme.
Love, trust, and covenant
Seem powerless to leap
The contest for ownership
Even if the price be fatally steep,
Lake and stream, Chinar and blossom
All sing a dirge as though
The Paradise belonged wholly now
To the elegy of the weeping willow.

Badri Raina