In the deserted city of Syracuse
East coast of ancient Greece,
The guerrilla truce, the Jews lose
The monarch fell, the rules cease.
A vision of desolation, a deflating population, none remained but young Artemis.
After her song, she trudged along
Between the woods, beneath the trees.
Artemis; mother to four- Lily,
Jose, Poppy and Theodore
After the guillotine attack, nearly died of young Jack.
Homeward, she comes only to stand before the helpless sight;
Of little Theo rummage for his sisters’ lives
In the carnage, where the weak
Were slain with the guilty man’s knives.
(of the bright sunshine; that was once their smiles)
Mid-slumber, her mind seized with thoughts..
(‘we are dead; we were alive; months ago; years back; we lived and laughed; we dined, we pined; we saw the pink and violet sky; tramp and trudge; then vision smudged; solitary we walk; but oh life; this life; this moment of June; this very minute; sleep; seize; how do they sleep; I sob, I sob.’)
..what wild potion puts men to rest, even at the doom of their greatest unrest;
Then gently and silently, Theo caressed.
An echo of better days, when Artemis welcomed an unexpected guest,
The Grecian king stood before the charming miss,
Infrequent sighs; time invites her to shred her worth in front of his eyes
But now, Artemis gives out a loud and galled cry
“you see the fire under my rugged camisole, but not my people burning? Speak. For you never speak. Horsemen; pass by. Oil and tar; southwest wind; what do you think? Of war, this strife. Inexplicable splendour of the wind, speak? Of the wires they send? Nowhere a soul to call one’s friend. Perhaps you never think- of me, the people, ruins, Theo, rugs, bread, dying, dead. I shall walk out as I am, hair awry; undraped and walk the street to go cry with the gulls.”
Colossus crumbling behind her; she sat upon the shore smiling “my people humble, my people who expect nothing”
Shanti. Shanti. Shanti.
(Picture credits: Pexels)
Read more such poems here.