Treasure Island

Ananta Madhavan


Lament of a Bureaucrat


No time for pity now.
The river is dry
Like eyes on the second day of mourning.

One stricken family
Can call up sympathy
And rationed charity.

But this, this dying people.
What can I do for them
That will not insult their option to survive
And share the world with me?

Busy hands are bent in action.
Projects of ritual relief
Preserve our sanity, not their lives,
Foreordained to absurdity.

I have no share of blame in this, have I?
Have I?


- - - -
25 December,1966

Submitted: Thursday, July 10, 2014

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Topic(s): Food

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Poet's Notes about The Poem

A drought in north India resulted in severe shortage of food, requiring urgent action to avert famine conditions.

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