The Mother Divine
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Bad asterism perhaps and cursed lunar mansion for sure
But something human set it off
My mountain cried, I cried…
It was a pain profound and pure

Where only the colours of dusk stood transiently
Continuous spectrum of red-orange glow I saw
Pretty but painful fireworks…
Someone holy weeping lambently
Someone mighty and suffering…
What happened?

Something sinister and sudden
Something perversely blue-mooned
Something really terrible it was!

Like a demon making deep incisions
With sharp talons through flesh and entrails
Like blood bursting forth and flaming
My mountain was ridged with fire trails

And bloody conflagrant lines of fire
Came down gutting trees in their wake
From the hallowed spire

The small fires looked like incandescent crimson flowers
As they menacingly cannibalised the mountains
Growing in size, breathing terrors

Trees combusted
And mighty conflagration of sparks
Ignited new fires wherever they landed.
Blazing streams came up and down my Mountain
Where once only cold waterfalls carried
Fistfuls of icy waters to alleviate pilgrim’s pain

A holy immensity was set on fire
My mountain cried, I cried
Where glacier-cold water coursed down
There countless flames rose

I prayed for rain
But only my eyes yielded
Tear alone for six days and no rain
No rain!

The fire roared like a wild beast
Devoured the lush green trees
Overnight into black stumps
Earth burnt, forest burnt…
Hectares and hectares singed with raging infernos…

Not a wildfire…
This was no Greek fire difficult to extinguish
Here was something more ominous
Breathing out foul acrid smoke like a dragon

My Mountain which I beheld with awe
Pointing at it to a child in arms or to a grown man
Now seemed like an Ancient, ailing
The pain did not seem young
What smouldered was centuries of indisposition

Hands which I raised in salutation to my Mountain
I held up now to a higher Person
Rain, O Lord! Rain, I said
For the Man was unavailing
But not a drop…
We’re so unworthy!

Devastation continued
The night glowed eerily with the oozing rivers of red
Night after night my heart- flushed, fevered and febrile
Beheld the burning sanctuary

Tongues of fire engulfed large stretches
And the ever-friendly winds that often played in the midst of the pines
Turned the worst enemy
High speed winds fanned out
Tossed around the rapid fire
Twirling its dangerous contents with sheer arrogance

There was more…

Embers and smoke on my Mountain
Gave bad news to mankind
It’s not about a forest incinerated
Or a mountain hurt
It’s about man, his heart curt

It’s not about a nature’s disaster
Or a forest burnt
It’s about my bleeding friend and a Master

Raj Supe (Kinkar Vishwashreyananda)
Editor, The Mother