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Mainstream, VOL LIV No 44 New Delhi October 22, 2016

Song for Joan Baez

Sunday 23 October 2016, by Badri Raina

Is home lost forever, then,
Lost for evermore?
Every creek I crossed ahead
Was cooler than before.
 
The things that I set out to do
I know not what they are;
Dear people of my little town,
I’ve strayed, I’ve strayed too far.
 
At rise of dawn I see no sun,
At dusk no voice from home;
O mother, this city has
So little, so little room.
 
I think, nor care, nor feel, nor share,
I am busy all the time;
And what I do I only do
Because it brings a dime.
 
Is this the way it has to be?
Is this the way about?
This silver that has strangled us
Could we not do without?
 
Is home lost forever, then,
Lost for evermore?
Will Jesus help if all we do
Is multiply the score?

      

 Badri Raina

(published in Crescent God and Other Poems, Writers’ Workshop, Calcutta, 1982; the poem was written in 1970 in Madison, USA at a time when Joan Baez was the girl friend of Nob Dylan who has just won the Nobel Prize for Literature)