Raj Arumugam

The True Owners - Poem by Raj Arumugam

Who owns this vast surprising space?
Who is the owner of this land?
Is it me? Or is it you?
Or is it them?
Who owns this continent?
Who owns whom here
and who drives whom?
Who determined what happened before?
Who determines what happens next?
Who owns whom? Who owns what?
Who owns the Ross Sea and the Bellingshausen Sea?
and the seas and oceans between the lands and atolls?
Whose are the fishes and the air and the creatures in the
air, the oceans and on the trees and on the ground and
under the ground? Who owns the spirits of the desert
and the trees and the lakes and the mountains
and the burning bushes?
Who owns the children and the poor and the defenseless
and the workers and the helpers?
Who owns the Taj Mahal and the Buddha and Christ
and the Kaaba and the Sphinx and the island statues looking out to the sea?

Who owns decency and justice and honor?
(Who has decency and justice and honor?)
And who the works and the poems and the ideas?
Who owns this world? Who owns all this space?
Is it me? Is it you?
Or is it them?

Or are the ants or the rats
(or perhaps other yet uncategorized patient creatures)
the true owners and inheritors
and we but the False Pretenders
as Smiling Time sees us out?

(from The Migrant - notes of a newcomer (February 1997- July 1998))

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Poem Submitted: Thursday, November 6, 2008

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