A Poem. A Manifesto.

My mother was preoccupation itself. Much like a dervish entertaining a divine ideal of work (like her father, for whom work was worship), she was always in a whirl of constructive activity. She would come back home from office and almost immediately begin setting about the house.

Thanks to this ceaseless pattern of action and planning the next action, it was easy to forget that she was a person who had truly inherited her father’s creativity and taste for the literary, albeit with a different lingual focus.

Here is a poem she wrote, apparently on 12th June, 1975. It is titled ‘Nile’, and is so true to what her life would be like four years, one month and a week from that date that I found it chilling. It seems more like a veiled manifesto than an idle scribble by a seventeen-year old.

(From some of the markings in the diary that I found this in, it would seem that I would scribble in it when very young – perhaps in some odd, childish desire to match my mother’s creativity. That would explain why I had seen it so little while growing up –  she must have stowed it away so there can be something to pore over and discuss with her son during the years of rest that she never got.)



The river flows on

But it will dry up

The well will be empty

The people will starve

And life will end

But what stops this well of life

From just dying [?]

It is the water within

The power and energy within

All make up for the power lost

From the world above.

How long it will last, who can tell?

How long it can last, we must tell.

So plough the field and reap the harvest

Until it is time for us to be earnest

And so pass away!

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