Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The desire to be other in India

I grapple with myself and seem to know
so little of the right, the wrong,
the way which would bring peace
and to the world reveal a kindly me;
someone who truly dares to show her face.
This battle which has taken tortured ground
was heralded by forces full opposed
and drawn in rigid readiness to fight,
the alien hordes which mill and taunt;
deride the very rules which bring a just return.

Those rules by which I grew, and stand,
which show a certain order to my life
and clear define the values, moral laws
of Western minds - that source of christian
charity which India rejects for any cause.
My feeble banner, faint, forlorn, raised high
above the crowds and crush of minds
that makes another world, so foreign
to my own and one which dares
to question all I know.

And even in the questions comes the call
which rings around the safe house I call dear,
that place where I could seek and surely find
the structures which support my inner cause.

The roar grows ever louder as the legions
rank and fall - to line crusading questions
outside my very walls. I rise to greet
the enemy, sprawled battlements beyond
and catch a glimpse of something more,
across the milling, questing scores
that make me doubt my cause
and call me to account: the world
cannot be bound by walls......

Intention draws her shining face,
demands I bring about,
a way to work within this world
which challenges sane ground.


1: a determination to act in a certain way : resolve
2: import, significance
3a : what one intends to do or bring about
  b : the object for which a prayer, mass, or pious act is offered



  1. I love the extended metaphor of the battle through the whole piece.

  2. This is beautiful - I love the idea of bringing to the world a kindly me. Love the struggle of identity and rules and cultural norms.

    1. We are best reflected in the 'mirror' of otherness. Painful as it is.

  3. My feeble banner, faint, forlorn, raised high
    This phrase is amazing, marking the rest of the stanza so that the whole poem reads just a bit differently.

  4. they are not truly our own values & beliefs until we engage in this inner battle, are they?

    1. You are utterly and absolutely right. And that is one of the major lessons we get in cultures which are so utterly different to our own.

  5. The conflict carries nicely throughout. I love the phrase "the world cannot be bound by walls."

  6. This has conviction. I really like it! :D