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April 08, 2024

Lesson Not Learnt

By Saheli Mitra

Only my view obscured your cruel tongues of fire
that leapt to burn those Palmyra tombs,
Clutter of your mechanised demons
razing down ages of civilised dust.
My collective memory rode your macabre shovels
busy suppressing pages of history.
Yet my lesson was not learnt.

Only my sight held the hands that crushed
The heads of my beloved,
Evenings of lessons he gave on approaching caravans
Viewing the glinting tombs of the Temple of Bel
across the golden sands of the sleeping deserts.
His skull kissed those sands today.
Yet my lesson was not learnt.

Only my lost sigh rang through the Grand Amphitheatre
as you looted history in a gruesome massacre,
pulling me into the abyss of slavery,
passed from one land to another.
Silencing my screams with your machine guns.
Yet my lesson was not learnt.

Only my heart withstood your impetuous plundering,
My blood swept away the confusion of your destruction,
A flicker of hope
In my lessons not learnt.
The more you tried to erase
my priceless soul in the casket of burial,
my lessons of pride, love and defiance
out-shone the dying sun across the silent deserts.

SAHELI MITRA is a journalist, author and poet based in India. Her debut romantic novel Lost Words was internationally launched last year by Penguin Partridge USA. Her verses frequently find place in international magazines like Tuck, Yellow Chair Review, Du-Kool, Taj Mahal Review etc. For her poetry is a form of expression against violence, abuse and atrocities. She also runs her blog Allabouteve, highlighting women's rights.

Article © Saheli Mitra. All rights reserved.
Published on 2016-01-04
Image(s) are public domain.
2 Reader Comments
shuvra dey
02:43:02 PM
Saheli is an angel with two invisible wings and whenever she is hurt and pained by worldly sorrows she takes on her wings. Her flight of fancy takes her to distant shores and she gleans words and expressions and then she expresses her pain, despair at the state of affairs beautifully. The best part of her writing is her indefatigable spirit that refuses to bow down and accept defeat. She is an out and out optimist, a romantic to the core who will fight till her last breath to safeguard the faith and belief she has inherited.We really don't need to say much about her creations. They are self-explanatory and are strong enough to stand erect and get noticed. her works celebrate life in its myriad colours. The theme and content are very contemporary and yet there's an epic-like depth that transcends the barriers of time. A sensitive author and a warm,positive and great human being, Saheli (meaning a friend) is definitely a precious treasure one would not want to give up once he/she gets to know her
10:40:02 PM
Thank you for sharing such an amazing piece.
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