Kavitayan
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Sugathakumari


Colossus

Long ago, beyond the memory of man,
In a blind night eclipsing sun and moon,
Writhing in pain
Mother gave birth to a child.
In the dark moment
When the first brother slew the first brother
And buried him,
The child woke up and cried.

Then as murders raged
In seething darkness,
As lies surged up in triumph,
As deceits stole close
With daggers hidden behind smiles,
The child grew strong and smart.

His mother's milk not relishing,
He searched for battlefields and blood,
And laughed in glee at sight of them.

He began to run about,
He grew dark as night,
His fiery eyes grew round,
And teeth and nails grew long.
And once he saw
The agony at Calvary;
Sucking that in
Another six feet he grew
Thus as he grew
And stood a terrible figure tall and straight,
Our forefathers fed him well.

They fed him on famine,
On the tortures of war,
On the pain of the deserts
Through which came slaves
Writhing under whips,
And groaning under loads of stone.
Life crawled into night
Burdened with centuries' pain and sin.
And now the Colossal Terror's
Hunger shakes the earth.

We, yes, we too, feed him well
With piled-up suffering hill-high,
With the blood of world wars,
With the ever-burning smoky flame of Hiroshima,
With the greedy hatred of empires
Swallowing each other,
With the debris of broken ideals.

The more, the more we give,
The fiercer the monster grows,
His hunger rages;
He grows taller than the sky,
Towards us his arms come lengthening.
His mouth gapes wider;
We pour into it the tears of Dharma
And again the blood of Truth.

No, not enough !
Shaking with laughter
The monster bends down,
Takes our earth in his hands,
And stands straight and huge.
His wriggling tongue licks every corner of the earth;
He has begun munching it.

The sky fills with the poison of his breath;
My heart is faint I have only a lute
To face this giant with.
Whom do I call through my lute ?
Whom do I search for ?
I search for a mighty one,
Mighty as the Varaha
That rescued our Mother
From the depths of the sea.

Translated by Hridayakumari

 







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