by Dilip Mohapatra (December 2016)

I don't toe your lines any more

and you get offended

and you bind my hands and feet

lock me behind bars

drag me in public to the cross section where

crowds gather to see my limp body

lying in a heap on the altar

and as your lashes carve

their livid furrows on my cracked skin

you read out my death warrant

while accusing me of blasphemy.


In your fury you think of

putting me on the cross

spread eagled

but as you would hammer each nail

each drop of my blood

oozing out of each point of impact

would gravitate to the soil below

to germinate the seeds buried under

and millions of shoots would spring up

each with their own faith

ultimately seeking the same destination.


You may think of putting

the noose around my neck

and as the hangman would pull the lever

to remove the trapdoor beneath my feet

and my body would drop through it with a jerk

the noose tightening over my Adam's apple

my last breath will escape and mingle

with the vagrant wind

and break it into millions of shreds

each with their own faith

ultimately seeking the same destination.


You may like to roast me in an oven

or burn me in a raging fire

like you did to the witches in medieval days

and as the fire would  gnaw its way through

my flesh and bones

and turn me into cinders

I will rise again from the ashes

and leap to become a towering flame and then

break into millions of sparks

each with their own faith

ultimately seeking the same destination.


Your faith

my faith and perhaps theirs

would never converge but in their perspectives

there will always be the same vanishing point

your God

my God and perhaps theirs.




Note: a tribute to the Palestinian poet, Ashraf Fayadh on death row.


Dilip Mohapatra (b.1950), a decorated Navy Veteran started writing poems since the seventies . His poems have appeared in many literary journals of repute worldwide. Some of his poems are included in the World Poetry Yearbook, 2013 and 2014 Editions. He has four poetry collections to his credit published by Authorspress India, and one non-fiction, a book of wisdom titled Points to Ponder. He holds two masters degrees, in Physics and in Management Studies. He lives with his wife in Pune. His website may be accessed at dilipmohapatra.com.


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