Ode to life

My love,
life of my life,
these days I think of death,
I mean about life.

John Donne the English poet
comes to my mind again and again.
He called death a great leveller.

But death,
my love,
I find it poor or rich,
disgraceful or with dignity
it all depends on who one is in life.

But each creature on the earth
refuses to die, no matter
however insignificant its existence
is considered to be by anyone.
Each living thing wages
a grand resistance against death.

Even stars die,
say the cosmologists,
after shining for millions of years
and galaxies collapse
spreading over billions of years.
But then remember
my love,
new stars take birth
and baby galaxies sprout.

My love,
life of my life,
these days I think of death,
I mean about life.

I still feel
I am a young student
of a learning campus
after turning fifty
and growing grey
behind the bars.

Nations fear of aging
in the name of dwindling
number of hands to work
for their deathly glory.
The Janus faced nations
desire the death killing
more people than nature can nurture.
Nations imprison life
in their deadly hubris.

Death sentence is easier
than living life a prisoner.
In our beautiful land
eking out a living
has become more difficult
than desiring death.

Nations are prisonhouses
encompassing death’s desire.
Life is made more difficult
than ease of doing business.
Business has come to be death;
nations are nothing
but businesses in death.

Even the earth dies
one day along with its burning star
the sun.
But there must be
many many earths
with beautiful creatures like us
floating in the infinite space.
We don’t know them as yet.

The world, my love,
goes on oblivious of death
as if it doesn’t exist.

The Universe is humanised
for to be history is to be human.
Time is human; and
to be human is to be life.

My love,
life of my life,
these days I think of death,
I mean about life
because
“I have a pact of love with beauty.
I have a pact of blood with my people”.

G.N. Saibaba
25th July 2018

(The last two lines are from Pablo Neruda in
“Do not ask me” from his Songs of Protest)

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