Pick a Wave

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O citizen, un-besotted by zeal,

Un-fathered by the state,

Between the heat wave

And the hate wave

Take your pick;

Torched by the two now

Smoulders the captive republic.


Neither the all-out sun nor the bellowing

Saint knows the pinch

Of price rise.

Once the Gorgon has spouted,

What son of woman

May blubber otherwise.


Have you no work, have you no food,

No plaster for the broken bone,

No cooking oil, nor firewood,

No sympathetic microphone

That may your throttled syllables

To the lord of the master race make known?


Then plunge politic into the wave

That the sun’s wrath supercedes,

Be among the master race,

The favoured among the starving weeds,

Strike a blow for national pride,

Be thou a crusader who gladly died

Not for water, bread, roof over the head,

Or justice cured of discrimination,

Or,  singing common human compassion—

Not for any such lowly, cupidinous aims,

A paltry quest that the Vishwa Guru shames–

But die smashing signs that impudent abide,

Die installing deities long denied.

Go break an “other” skull or two,

And earn the praise of you—know- who.


Only riding the wave of hate

May you find favour with a one-eyed state

And prove that hunger, disease, alienation

Are just canny slogans against the nation—

Polemics of little account when yeoman

Service waits to be done,

When an imagined glory  unknown to  man

Screams to be chased to the horizon.


Empires are not built on loaves of bread.

Empires are built on other men’s blood.

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