Slow snail and tardy tortoise,
met one evening by the river.
They had taken long to get there,
after the hare had lost to the latter,
in a race between unequals,
between raw speed and dogged persistence,
where the hare had underestimated the tortoise,
and paid the price for its over-confidence.
‘Congrats to you,’ said the smiling snail,
you have made us all so very proud,
given us hope and a place under the Sun,
and a chance to stand apart from the crowd.
‘Well, well,’ said the winner, ‘this may not happen always,
but what we teach the world is this,
keeping on keeping on when encumbered,
leads one eventually to the best-deserved bliss.
1.Sage of the desert
People waste food they have,
crib and complain about the taste.
Blame the bus, if it is late,
and seek comfort on a plate.
Silver spoon or not, many end here,
protected, pampered, pandered to.
Oh, the heart aches no end
to think what the world is coming to.
Can we learn from the ship of the desert?
She walks and works for days on end.
Food or comfort is never on her mind,
this pack animal, man’s good friend.
Scorching sands, desolate lands,
she looks into the distance ahead.
Meditating, walking and working on,
hooves on the ground, God overhead.
2.They call me stupid
They call me stupid,
some of God’s sons and daughters.
Yet, I nourish them,
with beef on their platters.
Stupid yes, and thereby easy meat,
you can finish your meal and say that to my daughter.
No qualms at all, for I am born to serve,
and I obey the will of my heavenly Father.
With milk and butter and beef and hides,
urine and dung and curds and ghee.
With my sons pulling your ploughs and carts,
…verily, it is every part of me.
Many of God’s children serve like I do,
enduring, sacrificing silently.
‘Stupid’ is what the beneficiaries come up with,
so, Lord God, I pray earnestly to Thee,
to support and protect Your benign flock,
for if they lose faith in Your care, and on Your door, cease to knock,
these ‘stupid’ people will go away,
Your world will be rent asunder one day.
3.We came before you
The more I see and hear, the less I speak.
And it was perhaps some old Greek,
Who said that that made me a wise old owl,
incapable of ever crying foul.
I wish fondly that I spoke,
from atop this age-old oak.
Then, say a lot of things, I could.
Prolonged silence has never been so good.
I want to say, ‘We came before you,
and kindly let you be our tenants.
You have taken over what has always been ours,
and you have never ever paid the rents’.
4.Is upside down the right way?
When I rest, I see things upside down,
I see them correct-side-up while in flight.
What is right and what is wrong,
I ponder, as a mammal with wings, all through the night.
Just when I am close to the answer,
what was visible is now out of sight.
Perhaps things need to be upside down,
for them to be righter and brighter?
The way they actually are,
is not maybe all that proper?
If there was a Bat-God, I would have asked Him,
but would He have told me the answer?