a poem by Vinod Pallikandi

A beautiful name, but what a ruthless killer
A harmless word but such a beastly feller

Once only a handful met office men knew your name
Today, as heaven and earth dread, you shot into fame

That fateful Sunday, you woke us up with frightening cries
Moments after you wiped out scores and scores of precious lives

With one sweeping stroke, crossing a million miles in a hurry
Hungrily consuming coastal villages to quench your insatiable fury

We used to immerse ashes of our kin in the sea, from days of yore
We are now counting bodies of our brethren you dumped ashore

Women, some pregnant and old men who need care
Even sleeping children and newborn, did you spare

Fishermen who’ve weathered many a storm, so brave
You turned them corpses, heaped in a watery grave

Gone are the gallant folk who lived by the sea
You ravaged homes and swallowed even kids on the beach, with glee

Tsunami, tell us, what sin did they all commit
For you to kill them all in less than a minute

Pitted against your furious, frightful might
Defenseless and dead without a fight

What remains of their withered family, homeless and scattered
Writhing in the loss of loved ones and mentally shattered

In our land of values, even criminals who kill or steal
Get a proper hearing before being punished, a fair deal

In your violent barbaric court, there are no laws, no judges
Only vicious intent, the dance of death and dark smudges

Wrecking havoc, you were having fun
Are you Mother Nature’s condemned son

Lastly, just a fervent prayer in vain
Tsunami, don’t come again, please don’t you come again.