Madathil Rajendran Nair

Gold Star - 26,892 Points (3rd December 1946 / Bombay, India)

Ode To Tsunami - Poem by Madathil Rajendran Nair

You came uncalled
To sweep us in your folds
And drag us to depths unknown
You came uncalled
To crush our dreams
And snatch treasures
From our helpless hold

Tsunami! We had heard of you
In our school days
As one striking far off lands
And seen you in movies
That our wizards make
To fill their coffers full
As a speeding wall
That makes humans flee
To the safety of mountain heights

But never even in the worst
Of our nightmares
Did we ever suspect
You would give us a breakfast call
To smash our little tea-cups
Filled with care and mirth
And topple sunshades of comfort
Along havens we frequent
To watch delightful sunsets

Never did we suspect
You are ruthless and careless
To wipe off the ones
Who look at the sun
And plead every morn
For nothing but light alone

Tsunami, why were you
So unkind and cruel
Even to babes
Hugging their moms
In blissful slumber
In forlorn huts
Along our golden coasts?

You are madness unleashed
To upend our dreams
Upturned on a brittle world
Where no more are granted
Method, trust and certitude

For we now suspect the breeze
For the storm, the murmur of the sea
For dangers unknown
Whose bosom with carefree ease
Our folks used to fathom
For pearls and wisdom
From days unknown.

The sea was our mother
And now she has frowned
The wrinkles on her face
Make us shudder and flee
Like ants before the storm
On to safer yet uncertain planes

A delight on our TV screens,
Tsunami, overnight
You have become a mortal fright
We dare no more entertain
Faith on this lonely oasis
Of the cosmos, where till you came
Certainty was our walking stick

Roofless in these wintry nights
While we shiver on shaky heights
Of temporary comfort
Away from the seas
A tsunami surges in our hearts
To sing and roar an ancient song

A song of wisdom we forgot
In our haste for false comforts
Rampage for wealth and might
Powered by false sense of right
Blood for blood we paid
Head for head we reaped
And shamed the beasts we caged

For we were cocksure
All morns are full of sunshine
Just made for our comfort
For we took it granted
Paradise was our right
Till you came, Tsunami
With your teaching stick

We call you an act of God
And yet pursue our erstwhile wont
As though it is all that He wants
We count the pennies lost
As we rummage our flattened coasts
And rebuild the resorts lost
Shedding tears for have-nots
Lo, bereft our inside lies
Lost of the Light that shines
Tsunamis and the like
Alike like sunshine and delight

Teach us, tsunami, again
Waving your powerful whip
That shine and cloud are alike
So are feared death and birth
In the bosom of the Lord
Where breeze and hurricane originate

Sing your song again and again
To our mortal deafness
So we hearken
To the Godness we are
So we don't shiver
And mourn when again
Our morns fail to shine

Make us sing this song
Again and again
So we shall face
With a tight upper-lip
The destiny of the dinosaurs
If He so wills
For, we then no more fear
Extinction on this oasis
As we sure will survive
As the spark that shines
The world and the tsunami you

Topic(s) of this poem: catastrophe

Form: Prose Poem


Poet's Notes about The Poem

Written immediately after the devastating tsunami of December 2004

Comments about Ode To Tsunami by Madathil Rajendran Nair

  • (4/29/2015 8:57:00 AM)


    Sing your song again and again
    To our mortal deafness
    So we hearken
    Liked Sir
    (Report) Reply

    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • (3/21/2015 10:12:00 AM)


    few days back again I visited coastal areas of velakanni, where i found a memorial pillar of burial - more than 5000 pilgrims

    when, in front of Matha...... I want to take a Photograph.....one sister allowed me.......

    tsunami, again
    Waving your powerful whip
    That shine and cloud are alike
    So are feared death and birth
    In the bosom of the Lord



    This poet really made me to feel....
    (Report) Reply

  • Valsa George (3/12/2015 11:44:00 PM)


    Am at a loss to decide which part of this poem appealed to me more! Each phase of the killer waves you have vividly drawn is so graphic and as a reader I feel the magnitude of tsunami and the horror it wreaks! Also how it shuffles and topples our lives and dreams, 'toppling sunshades of comfort'! It is indeed' madness unleashed'! 10++++++ (Report) Reply

  • Rajnish Manga (3/12/2015 1:53:00 PM)


    The Ode unfolds the mindless savagery and havoc caused by Tsunami which has a beautiful name but a dreadful face. The entire scene of devastation comes before our eyes. That was really a spine-chilling experience. Thanks for sharing this great piece of poetry. I quote a few lines: Tsunami, why were you / So unkind and cruel / Even to babes. (Report) Reply

  • Elena Sandu (3/12/2015 9:00:00 AM)


    Great pen thank you for sharing. Timeless pain, tears for all the victims. Yesterday were four years from March 11 tsunami of Japan. (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Thursday, March 12, 2015



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