• A Poet Regrets

    Keki Daruwalla

    April 16, 2018

    Words have stampeded (the children are dying)

    The herdsmen have left ( their children dying)

    You only have words  and words are no use

    Condemning the killers is it any use?

    Worse than the killers are doctrines foot loose

    That propel them and  bolster their fingers and hands

    As they go round the neck of the girl like a band.

    A girl who loved meadows,  (who wouldn’t love meadows?)

    And horses grazing on pasture and meadow

    The father with a staff like a prophet of yore

    Old Testament opens up, Moses and more

    They were all shepherds  blistered , footsore,

    Their faces as rough  as the sand that they trod

    but never confronted  this kind of gore.

     And our two ministers, they sure were not sighing

    Our two ministers  they sure were not crying,

    They never spoke up for the girl who was raped

    nor a handful of dust on the grave of the dying.


    Keki Daruwalla writes poetry and fiction. He lives in Delhi. His novel Ancestral Affairs was recently published by Harper Collins. He won the Commonwealth Poetry Award (Asia) for his poetry volume Landscapes.

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