That in the land of Steinbeck
A person gets maltreated is no surprise.
Sans tongue, sans shelter, sans friend
To get battered mercilessly
On a cold night, in a foreign land
Is truly a hapless, nightmarish, precipitous predicament.
Now, there are no Peoples' Poets in the world
No Pasternaks, no Hardys
No Dylan Thomases
Yet, what can a poet do?
A sheaf of poems can not buy bread, nor roof!
At most, a consolation to a withered heart, a shoulder to lean.
Who got justice in this world?
Neither Ekalavya then, nor Tesla in Menlopark
Neither the itinerant railroad laborer then,
Neither the Okie peach fruit packer then,
Nor the cauliflower picker in Salinas now.
The Gods are in triage,
Trying to save a bankrupt cotton farmer in Vidarbha,
Or, a teenage boy in District Columbia
From a simple tooth decay -
Enlarged, enraged into a fatal brain infection.
When did the world get
so crass, so cruel?
Bereft of goodness, decency, culture?
When everything is monetized, $kchang$,...
Perhaps, nothing is sacred, none valuable,
Neither a man's dignity, nor a soul's outcry.
(Upon hearing on NPR program that a lady from
Andhra Pradesh was mistreated in Virginia)