The Unfeeling River

Aziz Haq By Aziz Haq, 13th Apr 2012 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Poetry

This poem portrays the characteristics of a big river. It is timeless and apparently everlasting. A big river that runs hundreds of miles deeply affects the people living on its two banks. It benefits them, it harms them –all with absolute indifference and callousness.

The Unfeeling River

O mighty timeless unfeeling river,
Unmoved spectator of man’s life cycle
In the vast region that you sweep over;
As the wheel of fate runs a course fickle
Making humans either rise or fall,
Ceaselessly you run on heedless to all.

O wide Padma, O Yangtze! O Ganges!
You have watched mortals rise or topple
In nations, dynasties and their branches.
You’ve ravaged countless lives of people
Callously like the everlasting age
That swallows all in its relentless chase.

On your two banks men are born O rivers.
They awake and toil and they eat and sleep,
They succumb at last to death’s chill shivers.
Their next of kin deep in pain cry and weep,
You help men to live; you shove them to die,
All with a mind that never heaves a sigh.

You bear witness to countless episodes;
The half-mad fisherman took to fishing
By night since his small son by billows
Was tossed from his boat in water gushing
Down the wide river from reaches upstream;
The boy kept visiting him in his dream.

The young lass, O river you remember,
Went wholly crazy when her lover drowned
In a storm in midstream of the river
That sank his small dinghy far from the ground.
She came screaming to you every evening
Till she drowned herself in water eddying.

And the weird hermit, with habits bizarre,
Went down each night the bank of the Ganges
When the river town nearby was in slumber;
He went alone for his holy plunges
From his abode in the forest
Where he dwelt for worship and rest.

Now you water men’s lands for crops so green,
Now you devastate their hearths and homes,
Like a machine that has forever been
Devoid of sympathy, devoid of qualms,
Yet keen to execute its master’s job;
Nothing affects you, compassion or love.

O mighty river dashing to the bay,
You run fast in all-ignoring hurry,
Like every galloping night or each day
That never waits, never does it tarry,
But races into the fathomless womb
Of ceaseless time that has no birth or tomb.


Callousness, Everlasting, Indifference, Timelessness

Meet the author

author avatar Aziz Haq
A civil servant by profession, I endeavour to express through my writings how I view life.
Human sufferings, the transient nature of life and profound love for the world are my dominant themes.

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author avatar Peter B. Giblett
13th Apr 2012 (#)

Loved it, but have to say poems such as this are enhanced by pictures.

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author avatar Val Mills
13th Apr 2012 (#)

I'd never considered how much a river touches on so many lives before. Nice work.

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