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That Dark Dawn

We ask for hope and strength, for remembrance and resilience, for commitments and promises to memorialize that dark dawn...


As morning opens its beak
and drinks the sunshine nectar,
crimson rays erase shadows
of last night’s darkness.
Hushed memories flutter their wings
and recall that sacrilege today.
Divine music graces, as it did then,
a sacred ambiance pours devotion
into those thirsty, faithful ears.

The hustling love, the bustling charm
effuses admiration, as devotees
enjoy the cool breeze. Washing away
doubts, multitudinous feet throng
toward that serene, sacred hub of
incredible grace. The waters shimmer,
the fish gaze. Devotees splash feet,
hands, eyes, all mesmerized by that
grand reflection. A purity sops up the
darkness within. So many feet
sipping self-surrender, so many hands
folded in humility, as they enter this haven.

Hundreds feeling blessed -- in
this gracious company of
the baptized and the seekers.
The mesmerizing charisma,
the rhapsodic aura allures,
and invites them all over.
Thousands of feet tread softly
recalling those splinters of history
those unforgotten pasts. Those
scabrous blemishes call them today
to remember those horrific wounds of
unfathomable indignity.

II

The pitter-patter of a child’s running feet
around the parkarma, echoes a rhythmic beat.
The hurried feet of his worrisome mother scramble.
She embraces him as his sun-blushed cheeks
remind her of her long-gone brother, who
died somewhere here amidst the barrage of bullets.
The slow-paced, calloused feet of an old man
remind him of those youthful days of happiness
now a mere melancholic mirage. His solitude
accentuates his memories of a young son lost
in oblivion, unknown, unlived, and branded by
unseen danger. He wonders about those
grandchildren denied to him, their chance to
walk today with him in enchanted bliss.
His tears-filled eyes still find peace, wisdom
and celestial guidance in autumnal days of his life.
The arthritic feet of an old woman supported by wheels, pace slowly. She remembers those days when she raced as a child the same parkarma
with her sisters. She remembers her childhood
before bullets pierced their convictions,
before her baby sisters drowned in that
bloodied pool. Her feet, like history, struggle a
burdened gait stooping to pick up those unseen
shards of memories.
The henna-painted feet of a shy bride in red
walk beside her handsome groom
seeking blessings with humility and faith
crossing life’s threshold of marital bliss.
She hopes new desires as her feet follow
her partner on this path of exquisite
commitment. Today, she remembers
her grandfather she never saw and imagines him
walking the parkarma before those bullets
riddled him off. Pressing her feet firmly
on the shiny granite she imagines touching
his invisible footprint somewhere on this periphery.

III

Today slumberous history awakens and roars
as our multitude of feet tread gently while
teased by cool splashes on hot marble designs.
It becks and calls for a rejuvenation,
an affirmation. Washing away doubt,
with serene purity, our water-kissed feet
stride in steadfast faith. Despite those marks
of unforgotten intrusions, despite those testimonies
of trauma, we all bow down to the supreme love,
praying with humble hands -- in ardaas,
a petition with those nimble fingers
caressing silent reminiscences
and prayers for martyrs.
We ask for hope and strength,
for remembrance and resilience,
for commitments and promises
to memorialize that dark dawn which
hatched upon those pilgrims a crimson
cacophony of military bombardments
thirty years ago.

June 4, 2014


Original source: SikhChic

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