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Mahatma Gandhi  
Young visitors in a gallery,
Stood before a portrait of Gandhiji,
Charmed by his toothless smile,
Eyes sparkling through glasses round
And an old watch dangling from his waist,
With his chest bare and a **** cloth
Covering his lean , frail frame.
While they wondered how the good old man
Could shake the mighty British empire
And fight without weapons of destruction,
They were thrilled to behold a vision rare -
The smiling  Gandhi emerged from the frame,
Saying that his weapons were invisible,
Yet, they could vanquish the most powerful
Without hatred and shedding no blood!
His loving voice and childlike smile
Combined with an unbending will,
Wielding the power of truth and nonviolence
Could conquer his mighty ruthless foes
And turn them into everloving friends!.
Feeling amazed, the visitors stared
At the Mahatma moving back into the frame;
Begged him to remain and lead them again.
"My countrymen," he said "seem to have forgotten,
" The bloodshed and horror of partition.
"Terrorists and fanatics **** and burn
" And innocent victims feel miserable and forlorn.
"Twice a year, on my 'samaadhi', flowers are strewn,
" While helpless millions struggle and groan.
"In these days of endless greed and senseless crime, "
"Guided missiles and misguided men,
" My words seem to have no relevance,
"Yet, if they listen to their own conscience,
" Give up greed and serve with compassion,
"The India of my dreams will arrive soon."
Sad and surprised, the visitors stared:
Though the figure vanished, his words inspired
And they resolved to follow his noble ways
And strive for the welfare of all mankind.
                  ***  M.G.Narasimha Murthy
Hyderabad, India.        [email protected]
Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated on 30 Jan 1948. A memorable tribute came from Albert Einstein: "Generations to come will scarce believe that such a man as this ever in flesh and blood  walked upon this earth."
CK Baker Feb 2017
There’s an assembly in the making
and the suits are all shuffling in for the big event
making their way to the front row seats
****** in nose  
hanky in hand  
and all colorfully draped  
in those cuffed pin stripes
and Jerry Garcia ties

now what would the Grateful Dead
or any of their fine entourage
have to say about this foul routine?

Apropos of that
they’re talking in the 3rd person
with tight syllables
and wavy hands
and all taking a run
at the state of the union
there’s Valentino
and Freddie
and good old Sal
"look....their fiddling with their nuts!"
cries a layman from the balcony seats
the Yin and the Yang
have got even the most liberal minded
scratching their heads
as questions fly in from the field:

don’t you know the way it used to be?
have you no morals?
which way to the exit!?

These front row fanatics
have surely been scrimmaging
in the corn fields
all down in that classic 3 point
watching their weight
with sample selections from the
Spicy House and Yaas Bazaar
members of the congregation look on with (concerned) envy

pass the aperitif...the big ***** lady is on deck!

Union heads are running rogue
loading up on grievances
and lines
passing files at a make shift pew
jumping the bunkers
and stepping on clams
while the orderlies move in  
for governance

It’s a bewildered state  
and only for the mind of the rigorous
Jimmy D would say:
“it’s nothing you ***** the victor goes the spoils!
everyone has a bit of good you know...
you just have to find it!"

Unrest is growing in the ranks
and the masses are unstable
Time to hammer down
with a formidable brace
and two tick play
Terry O'Leary Sep 2015
Though still within our infancy,
we strive to thrive, but woefully
we flash and flaunt our 'primacy',
display our trophies pridefully.

Our terra firma ecstasy
destroys survival's harmony,
lays waste to life on land and sea.
Mankind, thy name is vanity!

By doubting Nature's regnancy,
defying laws with levity,
we strain our spheroid's symmetry
(perhaps a fatal fallacy?)

for, swallowed in the 'world of we',
we feed on vain insanity
with thoughts beyond eternity -
so strange when looked at mortally.

No use to seek a remedy
ensconced in ancient prophecy
for if not handled skillfully,
as clay we'll pay the penalty.

The Moguls rule with cruel decree,
control the crowds like puppetry,
pursuing greed addictively
with no accountability.

The wind, it reeks of Royalty
(awash in waves of perfidy)
while blowing ’cross the peasantry
(eclipsed in clouds of treachery).

The Queen, well steeped in snobbery,
sits, preening proud Her pedigree,
on throne of sculpted ebony
while sipping Sect immodestly;

to sate Her Regal Majesty,
a caviar clad canapé
is served with golden cutlery
by maidens bent submissively.

The King is bailed from bankruptcy
by Knaves who hoodwink artfully
the down-and-outer evictee
who wallows in their lenity.

Forsooth, the Money Monarchy
exalts the dollar dynasty
engaged in highway robbery
by Peacocks plumed in finery.

Yes, Jesters and the Fools agree
to truckle to duplicity
and laugh about it witlessly.
Long live the peon's penury!

To champion an oddity
(like two times twelve is fifty three)  
one reaches to theology
through paths of circularity.

In bygone trials of travesty
the doubters, draped in blasphemy,
endured the pain and agony
inflicted by the papacy.

Inspired by the Trinity
fanatics bent cosmology
in geocentric fantasy
while Bruno burned for heresy;

and aged women, randomly
accused of wicked witchery
by justice framed in infamy,
were racked and shown no clemency

That epoch of credulity
(when savants fostered sorcery
and practiced ancient alchemy)
arose in dark age quackery

as clerics dripping piety
(while raging, raving rabidly)
pervaded thralled society
with callous inhumanity;

'repent', they bellowed, 'verily,
forsake the world's iniquity,
live lives of want and chastity,
and give your gelt to God through me'.

The Masters make a mockery
of freedom and democracy
by holding down the uppity,
released from shackled slavery,

now fettered in a factory
else strewn across the Bowery,
still chained in bonds of bigotry,
immersed in seas of poverty.

And colliers, tapping balefully
in sunken-mine solemnity,
yet thrum a mournful monody
some call the digger's elegy.

To children, pale and raggedy
(behind a day of drudgery),
the boss man, oh so gallantly,
bestows a penny, niggardly;

though some are fed (belatedly),
their eyes recede in apathy
while bellies bulge, inflatedly,
with mothers watching, wretchedly.

When met with health adversity
or broken bone infirmity,
the pauper dangles helplessly
with no insurance policy;

and those engulfed in lunacy
are ailing blobs left floating free
in ******-dream obscurity -
a mired madhouse odyssey.

Ignoring mankind's unity,
the rich and poor dichotomy
breeds dismal doomed finality,
eventual nihility.

Renewing days of chivalry,
wild warriors fighting valiantly
bring freedom neath the gallows tree
while blending blood and burgundy

to toast the slaughtered enemy,
and so convince the colony
to cede with smile on bended knee
and yield her diamonds, silk and tea.

At first they call the cavalry
and then again the infantry,
so proudly primped in panoply,
with arms from finest armory

(embraced in hands so tenderly
bestow benign atrocity) -
and soon atomic weaponry
will extirpate posterity.

Misusing high technology
(to feed the face of gluttony)
depletes our Rock of energy,
now slowly dying thermally.

Our gadgets breathing CFC
fuel ozone holes' immensity
while cloud bursts, raining acidly,
wilt woods in their entirety,

and rivers, tainted chemically,
polluted biologically,
refill our cups methodically
and drown our souls organically.

Adjusting genes mechanically
may well blot out the bumble bee
annulling fruits' fecundity,
but brings big bucks reliably.

We wager perpetuity
to revel momentarily
in shadow-like obscurity
ignoring the futility,

but if we bet unknowingly
on fickle fate's contingency
and thereby act haphazardly
we're doomed to lose the lottery.

The modern day bureaucracy
abuses trust egregiously ,
embeds itself in obloquy
and offers no apology.

It paints the past in reverie
to camouflage the tendency
to strip away our privacy
which paves the path to tyranny.

With earlobes lurking furtively
that listen surreptitiously,
and eyeballs peering piercingly
we've lost cerebral sovereignty,

and those who dare to disagree
must hide away in secrecy
else crowd a black facility
(with water board anxiety).

Yes, sans responsibility,
our marble in this galaxy
will crumble in catastrophe
ere ever reaching puberty…
Deborah Downes Sep 2016
Black and White
Right and Wrong
War and Peace
lies the
Gray zone the
Blurred line
Middle ground

No boundaries between
Good and Evil
Moral and Amoral
Thin ice and
Solid ground

No safety net to prevent slipping into extremes
No caution signs or flashing lights to guide our steps

We live and die in a
Fairy tale with alternate endings penned by
Media moguls and
Religious fanatics who
Convince us to
Choose from a stacked deck to
Win a fixed game
Compliment us on our finery
tho we are threadbare or naked

We live in the land of the free where the
Rule of law applies only to commoners
Opportunity comes with a price few can afford  and
Everyone has the
Right to work and the
Right to be exploited

You might be dwelling in the kingdom of surreality if….

Conflicting images are presented as harmonious
Opposites are blended to form bland
Ugliness is sugar-coated and swallowed whole
Love and passion interfere with success.
Is God to interpret,
  and religion the why

Is forever too heavy
  to pledge bye and bye

Does the Devil provide balance
  to a concept in stone

Is he laughing inside us,
  mocking all that we know

Is the Lord left to children
   and those purest of heart

Is all truth chained to symbols,
  has its lock come apart

Are the years there to change us,
  is each day meant to count

Are the scriptures worth hearing,
  if belief has to shout

To those fanatics among us,
   yes, you know who you are

A power looms distant,
  beyond testament’s scar

Its claim staked by no one,
  its icon’s unseen

And its reckoning comes
  —when you wake from this dream

(Villanova Pennsylvania: June, 2016)
annh Jan 10
I’m wearing your old jacket. Remember? The one you used to fish in. The one with the tear in the silk of the right-hand pocket. You used to tease me. You used to say that this jacket kept your loose change safe from my chocolate addiction. You being left-handed; me being right.

I bury my face in the nap of the moleskin collar. My nostrils fill with your scent - stale cologne, a hint of woodsmoke, More disconcerting than unpleasant, it’s all I can do not to choke on my memories of you. Of me and you. Together.

'Tell me, how can I be, now that you alone are gone and I am left behind?'

I feel like I’ve been abandoned in a foreign capital with nothing more than the clothes I stand up in and a wallet full of the wrong kind of currency. The day is drawing to a close. My luggage has disappeared with the exhaust from the bus which took off before I could catch my breath and explain my dilemma - that I’m not sure where I’m going or even where I’ve been. Lately.

Maybe a kindness will point me in the right direction. An open-all-hours diner on an inner-city corner, snuggled in between the high-rise office blocks. Maybe I’ll have enough cash for a meal and a trail of hot, sweet tea to lead me into tomorrow. Maybe I’ll close my eyes and remember where I’m supposed to be and what I should be doing.

And just maybe, as the rhythm of the traffic slows and the night progresses, I’ll find some peace in the ever-changing cityscape. A time-lapse production of late revellers, harried shift workers, the dispossessed and restless; until finally the earliest commuters and exercise fanatics emerge from the riverside neighbourhoods to face the new dawn.

‘Hey, lady.’ A disgruntled voice shatters my reverie. 'I ain’t got all day, y’know.' Scrambling for cash, I reach deep into your left-hand pocket and find...***...a limp fifty-dollar bill...and a battered envelope. There’s a note scrawled on the outside in your familiar hand:

'How can you be, now that I alone have gone and you are left behind? The short answer is: you will be. For you are as singular and complete today as you were before 'mine' became 'yours' and 'I' became 'we'. My darling, I’m no tourist. You know how impatient I can get - always taking the most direct route. I’m just out of sight around the next corner. You take your time and meet me when you’re ready. Sometime...later. Whenever. I’ll be waiting.'

Stunned, I mutter an apology to the waitress and step out from the warm fug of the café into a bright, fresh New York morning. The doorbell tings shut behind me and I realise with new-found clarity that I know exactly where I am. I’m home. It’s not going to be a great day but it’ll be a better one, which is a start. Besides I have things to do - chocolate to buy, a jacket to launder, and a needle to thread.
This started out as a haiku...and turned into 500 words of I’m not sure what. Probably not poetry. I’ve seen a smattering of very long pieces on HePo - about this length - and thought I’d post it anyway. Otherwise it will just gather dust. :)

— The End —