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Mainstream, VOL 62 No 3 January 20, 2024

A Prayer for the World | Sagari Chhabra

Friday 19 January 2024, by Sagari Chhabra

How much blood
does a corpse bleed;
what is the sound
of a lamb that bleats
as it jumps
over a precipice,
when shepherds turn amiss?
O Lord, this year
give me a balm
to apply on sores,
for too many
have been crucified
at the altar of greed and war.
O Lord, grant my cupped hands
clean water for the thirsty,
for too many have been driven
from their lands,
by the river towards the salty sea,
that has turned red
with shame on
what it has had to witness.
O Lord, gently kiss
the waves,
turn them blue;
teach humanity to love
each other and you.
O Lord, give me some tea,
not soaked in pesticidal genocide,
but simple tea with bread,
stoked with humility and cultural pride,
for all the people on this earth,
that has soaked
the blood, bones and skeletal mess
of the innocent and powerless.
O Lord, may this year
the seeds of ahimsa sprout;
may children be raised,
not with devout
but the simple generosity
and compassion
of being human.
For this heaven on earth
may my people search,
to awaken.

— Sagari Chhabra
7 January 2024
New Delhi

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