Broken Island

a poem by Suresh Menon

Born in an island, with a peaceful and serene bay,
The blue green lagoons and the shallow seas.
The fishes, crabs, corals and shells ashore,
I grew up as a lad inspired by the beautiful beach.

Tourists galore, nature’s beauty in abundance,
Everywhere love and harmony in our hamlet.
Food served with love and aroma and care,
No hatred, no envy, a feel of God’s own land.

Schooling with friends was joy and felt life to be heaven,
One day in the playground, heard a strange sound.
It was an explosive, but none thought it true,
For heaven was never expected to become a battle ground.

The island was no more the same, it turned war torn.
I could not make out, why my paradise changed to hell,
Heavy artillery and grenade bombing, war, tooth and nail,
Houses, temples and churches blasted, no homes left.

The civil war intensified, I was too young, timid to understand,
I asked my father why at all, the hatred and battle began,
He being an Army Veteran explained to me the chronicle,
“War is no solution, but truce seems unlikely.”

Fierce war took many lives, and my dad too was cruelly slayed,
My heart pounded seeing him die from bullets sprayed by a terrorist,
He fell with a thud on the ground, I hugged him and wept aloud,
I lost my dad and my home too was blown to rubble, with no mercy.

I was no longer a native, by then all my brethren were killed mercilessly,
I antogonised the atrocious civil war, I fled the island with my helpless mom.
A secret boat in the night, rowed us across the sea to the neighborhood land,
I am a refugee in an alien land, will I ever be able to return to my mother land ?

(This poem is about the reality of refugees.)