Who Killed my River? by Mohammed Abdul Latif SignUp
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Theme: Environment Share This Page
Who Killed my River?
by Mohammed Abdul Latif
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The splendid Thames! I have seen it gurgling swift
and the unfolding journey of the Po and the Rhine.
Waver not my eyes to the squalid corpse of a rill,
as I ponder and muse, “Who killed the river of mine?”

Her famished soul now lives in shallow niches of rock,
glimmer through shards of glass, a thousand suns.
A warrior, her raging youth, sublime and chivalrous,
killed by avarice and not by sharp daggers and guns.

The river stands stagnated, murky and not weeping.
With death, even her tears have come to a standstill.
The mountain and the forests have all disappeared,
leaving behind the trail of a poor ‘ragamuffin’ rill.

No longer do I see her drama of meandering upheavals,
No longer do I hear her thundering gushes of speed.
The motherly bosom that helped nurture many a town,
restlessly rests beneath a graveyard of nettle and weed.

Like Socrates, the aging river too drank the poison,
and dies everyday and yet lives breathing very slow.
Her banks have fallen like the ramparts of a fortress,
the selfish men have strangulated her freedom to flow.

For fords and bridges, the river once outstretched her arms.
Of fishing, throwing pebbles, uphill swims and paper boats,
the river reminds me of my long-forgotten childhood days,
of fruit orchards, of sailing canoes and of grazing goats.

The children of today do not know of this river good,
And how beautifully she sang her song every season.
Perhaps her death is not the answer to our greed,
but perhaps a timeless question asking us to reason.

Has the mighty Yangtze already been sentenced to death?
Will Amazon fight her battle all alone one of these days?
Upon dead banks, will our tall sky-scrapers stand taller,
To the land of drought, are we building our roadways?

Do the perpetrators of the murder live amongst us?
Or do we live amongst them, oblivious and unaware?
As humans, we have tainted the air and the waters,
And soon we shall fulfil the meaning of being rare!    

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February 20, 2011
More By: Mohammed Abdul Latif
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