Nothing to Lose But Chains (Gandhian Philosophy)

Julie Miles
Looking into the eyes of a nation
filled with my brothers and sisters
with different religions, hair textures
and a myriad of complexions, how
can I not see myself?
If there is a chain around the neck of
my brother, how can I claim personal
victory of any sort?
I feel his pain and his agony is suffocating
even if he does not value me.
As I plunged into a marathon of documentaries
about the great Bapu and the satyagraha,
tears streamed down my eyes.
Rustling through pages in the local library,
I stopped and cried.
The gentle and strong giant with a thin frame
who lead his people and gave hope to
the suffering, remains as tall in death as he
was in life.
Oh Bapu! How many hours I've spent staring
at the place you were born and feeling
a divinity that must be felt rather than seen.
Had you any idea of the strings in my heart
that you may someday pull?
Oh Bapu of India, do tell me how a man could
walk the ground and make it holy?
Share with me the secrets of your endurance
in such tumultuous times when your
people were in peril.
Your slender frame was light yet mighty and
it housed a fort in your heart for those whom
you sheltered with your greatness.
You broke chains with the sheer brilliance stored
in your small body that screamed whispers of
injustice.
There is no force strong enough to house what
has come from the inner fibers of the soul.
Mankind has listened as his feet followed you to
the finish line of liberty and respect for all.
I have listened to tales, both tall and minute in
my quest for the truth.
After a moral self inventory, it better allowed me
to understand who you were and who you remain,
even though you have returned to God.
Stories of colorism are far too dull to entertain,
Dear Bapu! 
You were a man who will stand as tall as the sky
for as long as India breathes and blossoms
with hope and a people who say no to the ugly
face of discrimination and abuse of her flowers.
The freedom that you sought while holding a notepad
and pen is the one I care about.
You were a man before the rise to fame
and your blood ran through the veins of India
like a stream on thirsty soil seeking it's heartbeat.
The hunger in your ribs is the food which fed the
masses who craved justice and fair treatment.
Oh Great Bapu, the chains that held you captive
in the physical state, could not contain your heart
nor soul. They have disintegrated to dust and
fertilized the political arena with victory influenced
by your actions.
The critics will raise their heads in every
naysayer's tale, but your campaign helped
shape not only India, but the entire world.
From the ashram to the salt found in my favorite dishes,
I remember and celebrate you!
The sea chants your name and the violence of poverty
will never forget the indignities you suffered.
The chains are gone, Bapu, but you forever
Remain.


Bio: Julie Miles is a multifaceted creative luminary, whose artistic talents are deeply rooted in the heart of the United States. With a profound admiration for the poetic traditions of East Asia and the timeless verses of India's literary greats, her work exemplifies a remarkable fusion of cultures. Her artistry is a masterclass in elegant simplicity, drawing inspiration from the canvas of her own life experiences.  Her devotion extends beyond her role as a caregiver, she has served as a home-school teacher for numerous years. Furthermore, her benevolent spirit shines through as she volunteers with special needs students, leaving an indelible mark on the lives she touches.
 

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