O for Gandhi (Gandhian Philosophy)

Seema Jain
In the midst of swishing missiles, hooting sirens, dropping of bombs, 
In the midst of screaming humans and bleeding humanity
In the war-ravaged, corpses-strewn sites of Ukraine, Gaza, Israel

The very streets once abuzz with giggles, music and cheer
Now reduced to rubble, mutilated legs peeking here, half-buried torsos there
The hospitals overflowing with dead bodies, unable to cope
Buildings razed to the ground, with heaps of ruin everywhere. 

O Gandhi! How desperately the world needs many more like you 
Your creed of non-violence surely the way to lead humankind  
Out of a quagmire of hate and venom, bullets and bombs

Echoes from the past and present unleash gory tales of violence 
Of fierce battles and acquisitive greed, of bloodshed, massacres and deaths
Where ‘an eye for an eye’ threatens to make the whole world blind

In thousands of years, humans have learnt no lessons
From their past follies and wanton acts of mass destruction

History sings paeans to the so-called "brave" warriors and fighters
Who killed and conquered, or were killed and ‘martyred.’

Why don't we celebrate our icons of peace and love?
Men like Gandhi can surely make the world a better place. 

Bio: Seema Jain is a bilingual poet, translator and editor. Ex-HoD English at KMV Jalandhar, she has authored, edited and translated fourteen books, contributed to about 100 anthologies, as also to the Stanford University Archives on Life in Quarantine, besides working on some projects and having published two books with the Sahitya Akademi. Her poems are widely published, translated, anthologized and recited. She is the recipient of many awards.

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