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|From our bombs
I taste creek water and hear the waves
murmur of beings in the distance.
They huddle in sleepless vessels,
trace bangles and foot-rings of another century
and make new charts
carving a space deeply rooted
the way lines map my palm.
I watch them wading through sea logs,
arriving knee-deep, unleashing dreams
holding promises of more
than a bundle of silver jewellery.
A deep voice wrestles achingly:
Suniyo, saavan aayo*
leave the moonsoon,
poverty and shame.
Come here for betterment -
No more caste or outcaste in my face.
Even in his calm spirit of renewal
I see eyes in abandon,
the darkness of rain
and loneliness redden
the heat of untended wounds,
in the wreckage that ships cover.
Night marks the din and tumult
of the lower deck.
Now I see his face at the checkpoint,
Why this current in the waves
just to move, only to move elsewhere?
Away from knot-filled famine,
from a strangely deserted village,
my eyes meet his gaze at the Depot
and I run towards the gateway, eagerly.
Ponderous now. Will someone tell me
where the voyage ends? How will I know?
This new appendage begins
like weeds on the seashore.
We know the hardening would come
in the lurking storm ready
to withstand strikes in the fields.
Creek water drives home
the rock like a compass.
I see the old cutlass firmly planted
in this land, its sharpened edge
ready for new marks.
I join you now oh baabula hamaar**
revered, visible along creek water,
to march in the heat of our own ship,
to chart our own course
in this bloody sea of revolution.
SOURCE: Rainwater, Janet Alamelu Naidu, Greenheart Publishers,
* Listen, the rain has come.
** Oh my respected father.
JANET NAIDU, born in
Guyana and living in
Canada since 1975, is
a poet, writer, and
She has a BA in
Political Science and
from the University of
Toronto and an LL.B
from the University of
London (UK). A
and life-skills coach,
she started her own
Her interest in writing
started in the early
1970s in Guyana
under the influence of
Rajkumari Singh, a
social activist, and
promoter of Indian
Naidu is president of the
and Artists Association, which
she founded in 2005.
Her poetry collections
include the following:
Winged Heart (1999);
and Sacred Silence