This is a poem about racism. It is said in mythology that a raven created the world but the world thus created by a black creature, turned against the colour black. White ruled the world till blach fought back for equality. Now Huginn (mind) and Muninn (memory), a pair of ravens fly over the world and carry news of atrocities back to Odin of Norse. They are the watchdogs of the world.
Born before man the earth was dark
And a raven flew over waters endless
Tired he flew in silent sinister darkness
Heavier now the bag hung to his neck.
A rock from inside the bag he removes
Dropped deep down into the ocean blue
Lo and behold the deep waters grew
For him to rest wings, land emerges.
Rock after rock he threw about around
Till continents grew and grew countries
Pine, teak, spruce from bag he scatters
Grasses, mango & all plants of the world
He flew again as now clears the darkness
Threw plant-animal on land and in water
Tiger, eagle, salmon, lizard, seal & deer
His heart sings in peace and happiness.
Glanced into his bag for any that remain
He saw man sitting there lost & lonesome
Set down on rock this creation awesome
On the earth to live brought by the raven.
Days go by as man grew and conquered
Black a colour as dreaded as the raven
White a colour of angels of the heaven
Man now conquered by divisive hatred
Then one day the poor raven a swan saw
Swimming in rich waters of fertile lands
Glory he sought as to the water he rushes
To wash clean black colour till he was raw.
Crushed and bruised ostracized and hated
He never gave up the fight for equality
Till he and swan lived together happily
On fertile lands that he had once created.
Asking questions of the living and the dead
Huginn and Muninn now fly the day skies
No colour treated with dislike these days
(21st July, 2006, Nellore)
© Nalini Hebbar/openmind/2009 - all rights reserved
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