To My Unborn Child


“Now may every living thing, young or old,

weak or strong, living near or far, known or

unknown, living or departed or yet unborn,

may every living thing be full of bliss.” 

― AnonymousThe Dhammapada


A pregnant woman with her hand over her belly and a butterfly on her hand
Photo Credit: adamjonfuller via Compfight cc

To my little boy

Yet to be born

I do not care if you get my eyes

Nose, ears, or curly hair

You have lived in me

A part of me

My son

We will forever be bound together

The only thing I wish for you

What I hope you will do

Be a better man my son

Than what the world expects you to be

It sets the bar oh so low

For a boy to become a man

As if

That’s all a man can be

But you my child

Are a butterfly in the making

Spreading your wings in the cocoon I weave

Be everything you wish to be

You my darling son

Are born to a man

Who will show you how to be patient and kind

You are born to a woman

Who will do her best to teach you

That doing right is worth doing

You might hear ridicule

That’s what the world does

To souls that do not melt into the crowd

To the lion-hearted who stand apart

I’d rather you be different my son

Than be the man the world expects you to be

Let’s Take Responsibility For That

“What we call our destiny is truly our character and that character can be altered. The knowledge that we are responsible for our actions and attitudes does not need to be discouraging, because it also means that we are free to change this destiny. One is not in bondage to the past, which has shaped our feelings, to race, inheritance, background. All this can be altered if we have the courage to examine how it formed us. We can alter the chemistry provided we have the courage to dissect the elements.” 

― Anaïs Nin

Image of a child holding a globe
Photo Credit: marcokalmann via Compfight cc

 

How did we get here

Become a society where

We know what we do is wrong

We do it anyway

We think that’s okay

As long as we don’t get caught

We complain of the watching Big Brother

Yet, we behave as if

Being watched is the only thing that

Keeps most us in check

 

Or we do the watching

Drawing some perverse pleasure in

Using others’ suffering

To feed our agenda

Make our point

Everything becomes about

“Just me and what I want to say”

Forgetting others’ troubles and pain

Trying to understand is too much effort?

 

The blame game

We’ve learnt to play so well

We shrug and claim

I didn’t do it

We point fingers at

The government

The media

Even our corner shop grocer

Everyone but ourselves

How do any of them exist

Without our support?

I’m looking at the (hu)man in the mirror, sang Michael

It’s up to us to make a change

Let’s take responsibility for that

 

We fight over

Causes misunderstood

We standby and watch

Starving children

Tiny palms scoop up diseased water

The only thing to keep them alive

Education a distant dream

Staying alive takes all their energy

When we don’t speak up

When we ignore and turn away

A conscious choice we make

To deny their fundamental right to live

With freedom, without fear

Let’s take responsibility for that

 

We hide behind glowing screens

Take false courage from being unseen

We hurl cruel words at each other

We think we don’t know them

Why care for the feelings of strangers

But not for a moment do our thoughts go

To the lives we burn

The irreparable damage we cause to bright young lives

Is consideration such a rare thing today

That we must remind ourselves

To be just a little human each day

When we post derogatory words

Threaten people for thinking different from us

A conscious choice we make

To spread prejudice

To pump more strife into our troubled world

Let’s take responsibility for that

 

A woman is abused

We hear in the news

We question her character

We judge her views

A woman is raped

We ask what she wore

Where was she when it happened

Wonder if it was her fault

We say we live in the 21st century

Yet our attitudes towards women are

Conflicted at best

Goddesses to be worshipped

Mindless virgins to be protected

Sluts to be slammed

Is any middle ground so difficult to imagine

When we get on our high horses

And victimise the victim

A conscious choice we make

To allow the aggressor

A free rein to continue his abuse

When he disrespects and objectifies women

We pat his back and say “we approve”

Let’s take responsibility for that

 

A loved one steals

A friend commits fraud

To buy a second or third house in an exotic locale

We say we aren’t committing the crime

Why not reap the benefits of someone else’s “daring deed”

We think we beat the system

We smile in smug  satisfaction

We ignore the people we harm

We deprived someone of their hard earned pension

A heart-broken father lost all his money overnight

He cannot afford to send his child to college

A single mother whose investments have disappeared

She doesn’t know how to keep a roof over her children’s heads

When we turn a blind eye

A conscious choice we make

To be as guilty and involved as the getaway car

To take from the innocent and feed the greedy rich

To let their “system”  make you the Grinch

Let’s take responsibility for that

 

The propaganda our governments feed

Killing thousands of innocent people in another country

They justify it with

We are better

We are bigger

We are threatened

And everything else under the sun

When we do not pause to think it through

Use our smart brains to know the truths

When we blindly accept what we are fed

Fill our heads with false pride and so called national interest

When we do not question their motives

Let them abuse power for their selfish dreams

A conscious choice we make

To let those power hungry people

Put human beings in a cage

Commit genocide and mass murder

And show the world a concocted image

Let’s take responsibility for that

 

When we make assumptions

We react with fear or contempt

All we see are

Gender,

Colour of skin,

Economic status, and

Faith

A conscious choice we make

To spread hate

To embrace the dark and shun the light

To not dig deeper for our true loving Self

Let’s take responsibility for that

 

When someone questions what we do

We say “They are doing it too”

Is that all it takes

To make us forget what we know to be true

Why the need to ape

Why bother about what others do and say

We cannot control how they see us

Let’s just  focus on what we do

What matters is the choices WE make

Let’s take responsibility for that.

— Srividya K

 

What do you think? Are we being responsible enough? How can we change things?  Share in the Comments.

Writing For Peace

“We hold our own,

Within fences and walls,

Their only fault,

They walk tall,

When we want them to crawl.”

 

Image of a heart-shaped balloon floating at the end of a road
Photo Credit: AlicePopkorn via Compfight cc

For the past few weeks, I’ve been surrounded by news of violence, past, present and future. The Israel – Palestine conflict in Gaza is escalating with inhuman consequences, while Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 was shot down over Ukraine last week killing all the 283 passengers on board. Two days back, on July 22, it was the third anniversary of the Breivik terror attack and mass murder here in Norway. And today, I woke up to the news of warnings that Norway might be the target of a terrorist attack in the next few days. There are times I’m not sure how to make sense of all this violence. So I’m writing for peace.

This poem is for all the people who have lost loved ones to violence, who have suffered or are suffering in violent conflicts all over the world. My heart and prayers go out to you.

 

We hide from the dark,

So we hide from the light.

If one is too deep,

The other is too bright.

The perfect world, where is it now?

Look around you,

This one we have, it still has life.

 

Arms we bear,

But what do we fight?

A thin line separates,

Justice from pride.

Right is wrong,

When innocence is lost.

Whatever the cause,

Does every life matter not?

 

Oh, the wretched irony,

Wielding violence for peace.

All that it leaves are,

Shattered lives with hopeless dreams,

Broken bonds buried in bloody memories.

 

Who is to blame,

We ask again and again,

The answer is plain,

Humans kill each other,

We just give it different names.

We hold our own,

Within fences and walls,

Their only fault,

They walk tall,

When we want them to crawl.

 

Divided we are,

By who owns what,

The land we won is already lost,

With rotten flesh and congealed blood it’s clogged.

Blinded by fear, we spew hate,

Like a forest fire burning all in its wake,

We search the skies for the unseen noose,

We shoot down wings just because it moves.

 

How do we soothe,

The hearts that cry?

How do we cope with,

The senseless death of countless lives?

It’s time we face our mistakes in the past,

Make amends for the crimes of our species.

Rip the infected skin of violence,

Cleanse our souls with lasting peace,

Kindness and love,

The balms to heal our wounds,

Perhaps the scars will remain,

But let them be,

They’ll remind us of the truth we lost,

That the weapons’ cure only spreads the disease.

© Srividya K

Million Man March Poem

Image of Maya Angelou
Photo Credit: zsrlibrary via Compfight cc

Maya Angelou, the brilliant writer, storyteller, and a phenomenal woman, passed away yesterday. With Million Man March Poem, she gives her hope and courage to all of us. May her soul rest in peace and may her words make us rise again.

 

The night has been long,
The wound has been deep,
The pit has been dark,
And the walls have been steep.

Under a dead blue sky on a distant beach,
I was dragged by my braids just beyond your reach.
Your hands were tied, your mouth was bound,
You couldn’t even call out my name.
You were helpless and so was I,
But unfortunately throughout history
You’ve worn a badge of shame.

I say, the night has been long,
The wound has been deep,
The pit has been dark
And the walls have been steep.

But today, voices of old spirit sound
Speak to us in words profound,
Across the years, across the centuries,
Across the oceans, and across the seas.
They say, draw near to one another,
Save your race.
You have been paid for in a distant place,
The old ones remind us that slavery’s chains
Have paid for our freedom again and again.

The night has been long,
The pit has been deep,
The night has been dark,
And the walls have been steep.

The hells we have lived through and live through still,
Have sharpened our senses and toughened our will.
The night has been long.
This morning I look through your anguish
Right down to your soul.
I know that with each other we can make ourselves whole.
I look through the posture and past your disguise,
And see your love for family in your big brown eyes.

I say, clap hands and let’s come together in this meeting ground,
I say, clap hands and let’s deal with each other with love,
I say, clap hands and let us get from the low road of indifference,
Clap hands, let us come together and reveal our hearts,
Let us come together and revise our spirits,
Let us come together and cleanse our souls,
Clap hands, let’s leave the preening
And stop impostering our own history.
Clap hands, call the spirits back from the ledge,
Clap hands, let us invite joy into our conversation,
Courtesy into our bedrooms,
Gentleness into our kitchen,
Care into our nursery.

The ancestors remind us, despite the history of pain
We are a going-on people who will rise again.

And still we rise.

– Maya Angelou

Vulnerable

My poem “Vulnerable” was published in Oslo Writers’ League anthology, All the Ways Home. The themes of the anthology were ‘Crossroads’ and ‘Identity’. I submitted this poem under ‘Identity’.  

All the proceeds from the sale of this book is going to Utdanningshjelpen, a charity in Norway that sponsors education for children in countries such as Kenya, Ghana, Mozambique and Ethiopia. Everyone who was involved in the making of this book, volunteered their time and talents to make it happen. If you want to read soulful and poignant stories and poems by some very talented writers, do go buy the book and support a great cause.

All the Ways Home can be bought on Amazon USAmazon UK and The Book Depository.

 

Book cover of All the Ways Home

When I was a child, I had many falls, 

Did I ever pause to say, I fell once so I will never walk? 

My skinned knees and heart never filled me with shame,

I just dusted myself and skipped about again. 

 

The tender heart does not hesitate to beat, 

For fear that it might break, 

Yet when I love and don’t know if it will last, 

I build a wall and throw it away. 

 

Whom do I fool by denying I hurt? 

Am I scared to feel at all?

I walk away from all that I cherish,

So eager to hide from who I am.

 

I lost someone I love,  

I will numb the pain with drink and food. 

The one I love might dump me soon, 

I must beat them to it too.

I fear the disappointments relationships might cause,

So I expect the worst from them all.

They rejected me at the job interview, 

I’m a failure when my dreams fall through.

I will shout at you till you see there’s only one right, 

My illusion of control makes me feel strong. 

 

If I had love, money, fame, and friends,  

Would that be enough to make me feel whole? 

When I have a dream that makes me happy,

Why do I hold back from fighting for it more?

 

So I lay bare my vulnerabilities,

I am just tired of not being me,

I let go of all that I thought I should be.

I will let you see who I really am,

I will learn to love the imperfect me,

It’s the only way I can truly be free.

 – Srividya Karthik

Still I Rise by Maya Angelou

This poem by Maya Angelou reflects the unique human ability to defeat all odds and never give up, to speak up against oppressors and rise with our dreams and hopes.

Still I Rise

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Continue reading “Still I Rise by Maya Angelou”