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Saturday, May 17, 2014


by Gil Hoy

The world’s biggest democracy and second-biggest country has a new leader, and he’s a controversial one: Narendra Modi, the head of the Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, and the longtime chief minister of Gujarat, a state in the northwest of India . . . who will forever be associated with the 2002 riots in Gujarat that left more than a thousand people dead, most of them Muslims . . .
--John Cassidy, The New Yorker, May 16, 2014

As Gandhi awaited
Yama’s final curtain call                                                                                                                                                                                      
In a makeshift camp
atop a rocky cliff,
a city ablaze below,
also dying--halved,
Mangala ruling
club carryin’ zealots,
red bloody meat,
brick throwing
heathens, the rabid
wolf everywhere

With wasting body,
his wrinkled bald
head propped up
by a pillow on a
thatched basket
bed, only a loincloth
for modesty,

encircled by his
family of white-robed
turban priests,
true believers every
one of them.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        
No solid food for
days, now weeks
grueling times for
the ephemeral flesh              
                                                                                                                                                                    A mortal, dirt-of-the-
earth skin shell wastes
and withers away then
when punished so,
but the eternal spirit
mind--just the opposite--
may tap into that
wellspring of God’s
Biblical enoblement

A fiercely burning
kind wisdom found
by Gandhi in his pain
nearing death, both
rational and spiritual,
with unyielding
definiteness of purpose

a spark becomes a
flame, then a focused
laser inferno, an
awakening worth
paining for--

But no mere mortal
anyway could have
stopped Gandhi by
then from completing
his snowball-rolling-
spirit journey.                                                                                                                                                                                
A wild-eyed shirtless lost
Hindu advanced upon the
camp, mumbling
frightened the turbaned
priests, his face-dripping
with sweat,  a hateful
sour heart in his hairy
chest, but raised bread
in his soiled hands:

“Eat this, my body
I will not let you die   
my soul already wine,
soaked by the spilled
blood  from the
fresh brains of a
young Muslim girl,

no more than a loaf of
bread long, her skull
bashed in against
a red brick city wall

For I saw the Muslims
murder my family,
my wife and only
one angel child              

I was filled with so much
burning hatred then
and smoldering now

What can I do Siddhartha
to be saved?”
Gandhi, shaky from
the fast and his journey,
soft-spoken, but
Buddhist marine firm:
“Why did you do that
my son?

I know your path
to salvation, it
can be done,

look hard within
our sick broken city,
find a homeless
innocent baby girl,

no more than
a loaf of bread
long, whose parents
have been murdered,
their brains bashed
in against the city’s
blood-stained walls

take the child in
to your home and
nurture her, make
the growing child
strong, with love
in her heart,

go now—for you must
faithfully raise her
as your only child.”
The Hindu had listened
very carefully, he knew
just what to do

as he was preparing
to leave, just one more
lightening bolt instruction:                                                                                                                                                                   
“But most important
of all, your only daughter
Must be a Muslim, and
you must Raise Her as One.”                                                                                                                                                                                             
For an eternity moment,
the Hindu man’s

racing eyes
were set to
explode, jagged red
lightening against
white sky, his heart
pounded and his
body trembled

But then something
strange, curious
and magical:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
an aware heap
of knowing spirit
collapsed on
mortal knees,
waterfall tears.

“Thank you, my
wise forgiving God,”
came from the core

of a saved soul that had been
cleansed by pain
of the pettiness
on this earth, its
madness assuaged
by eternal spirit
and divine reason.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

Gil Hoy received a B.A in Philosophy from Boston University, an M.A. in Government from Georgetown University, and a law degree from the University of Virginia. Gil also is an elected member of the Brookline, MA Democratic Town Committee, and served as a Brookline, MA Selectman for 12 years. Gil studied poetry at Boston University, and started writing his own poetry in February of this year. His first poem “When Doctor Death Calls” was published in Volume #47 of Soul Fountain, and “An Unjust Law” was  published in April in The New Verse News.  “Ode to Sisyphus” was just selected for the April/May/June 2014 edition of The Story Teller Magazine. Gil is married, with three children, and lives in Brookline, MA.