Nearly seven decades ago
a cloud hung horrible
before finally distributing Hiroshima’s toxic dust,
Nagasaki’s too, between the four winds;
who dutifully dispersed it
among the planet’s oceans,
forests and deserts and cities.
Violence is not so easily eliminated,
its half-life is long;
the ghost-cloud of cruelty lingers
and expands with each season
of corruption and war.
The ghost-cloud continues its cold journey
drawing earth’s violent excesses
and storing them in cavernous shelves:
the smoke from death ovens,
the cries of the tortured,
the wails of women brutalised,
the tears of children abused,
the scandal of holy wars and crusades,
the shame of detention centres
The ghost-cloud feeds upon misery.
Gloating, it mocks good people,
and gives succour to the powers of darkness.
Only defiant prayings,
Yearnings, weepings and seekings
seem to diminish the cloud’s shadow.
These, along with occasional acts
of kindness, grace and peace, ascend
to erode the cloud at its edges,
and to bring hope.