Dr. Tulsi Hanumanthu
Vanquished - Poem by Dr. Tulsi Hanumanthu
An uproar in my neighbour’s yard I heard,
Which brought me scurrying out into my own.
A sad, unsightly sight it was that stirred
Before my eyes – in all its crudeness shown!
I soon descried, amidst the pandemonium,
A gallant horse with head lifted high,
Incommoded by a bunch of hoodlums
Who tried, with whips, his pride to mortify.
Revolted he and kicked with violent wrath;
Ululantly loud was heard his neighbouring:
And from his mouth, exuded foaming froth,
With ‘hey! s and ho! s’ while beastly men were braying.
Mobbing him, all round, like bustling bees,
With bridles, bits and reins in their possession,
Trainers tried a sneaky chance to seize
To harness him, amidst a flogging session!
Sanguineous streams soon started flowing
While scourges lashed the horse relentlessly!
I saw, aghast, that bits of skin were blowing
Off, while humans sought ascendancy!
No more could I withstand this grizzly scene
(Where man looked the beast and beast the man) :
So back I went into my room to screen
My eyes against this horse-mastering clan.
But lingered, still, a morbid, mental picture
And thoughts that I would rather have forsaken:
My restless mind started to conjecture
What turn the show, next, door, would have taken.
My neighbour’s new equine acquisition
Had looked to me Pegasus come alive -
For artists all a paying proposition,
Their theme and inspiration to derive!
This captive horse must have left behind
Hoof-prints of his boundless liberty -
Setting sail, in poets’ streaming minds,
Ship-loads of prancing poetry!
With flowing mane and trail’s flying tresses,
Like wind he must have raced – fast and free!
Now, here he is, entrapped in human meshes
For coaching in the art of slavery!
Soon his broken will will be bridled;
His freedom, soon, will find itself in chains;
His princely pride, with cunning will be stifled;
Unvanquished, not for long, he’ll remain.
Lost in gloomy thoughts and reflections,
Lost was I to how much time I spent.
Now, apprehensively, for reinspection
Of my hooved hero, out I went.
The ungulate no more was ‘flying horse’:
That all his pride lay in disarray
His lowered head and eyes did endorse:
I saw him being meekly led away.
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