Blood Grass

the grass turned rust
with congealed blood
nothing could grow in it
nothing could die
dead blood
is a lie
a little
must have seeped into the soil
where millions toil
for harvest
for freedom
unseen chains
on ankles and wrists
destiny's tryst
was this

Hey Ram

body slumped on the ground
people were roused
from wakefulness
to slumber
sell lint, not cloth
sell ideas from the morgue
it's a marketplace
buyers wait
in long lines
unseen chains
on anklets and wrists
bonded by faith
in stasis

Hey Ram

if they could
they would
bid for that grass
with fossil blood
as they buy
old thoughts
harvested in barren soil
nothing grows in it
nothing dies


This poem is a response to an auction in London where a small patch of blood-stained grass purportedly from the site of Mahatma Gandhi's assassination in 1948 was sold for 10,000 pounds.

The Indian moral brigade, these days also the hip electronic Gandhians, is making noises when it is the first to sell him. With the pedestal.

(C) Farzana Versey

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