Wednesday, 25 November 2015

POETS UNITED - SURVIVAL

“The ultimate value of life depends upon awareness and the power of contemplation rather than upon mere survival.” - Aristotle

This week, Poets United has as its theme “Survival”. Violence is all around us and it seems that the world is embarking on a renewed cycle of warfare fuelled by extremist, fanatical views that place little value on life, civilisation and peaceful pursuits. Even in the home, violence rears its ugly head and abuse against those who are weakest causes much misery or even deaths.

Are we humans by our nature basically evil or are we fundamentally good? This question has been around for centuries and many a fine philosophical mind has tried to answer it. I would like to believe that humans are basically good and it takes effort to make humans evil. That is the optimist in me raising his voice. The following poem is my contribution to the PU Midweek Motif:

Survival

The arid sands of the desert hide a secret,
Ensconced deep in their dry, lifeless depths:
A seed enclosed securely in a tough carapace.

The sun glares and broils the hellish plains,
The wind howls and lifts up clouds of dust:
The seed awaits, for life knows of patience.

And years may pass, for deserts are timeless,
And nights may grow icy cold and freeze the earth:
A seed can bide its time too, its life suspended, frozen.

Our world has grown harsh, just like a desert,
Arid, merciless, sharp, cruel and hostile:
A human soul that is in goodness steeped, survives.

Around us evil thrives, and what has stood for centuries,
Is easily within a day destroyed by wanton fanatics:
The human intellect and its creative fire cannot be quashed.

Our fellow human beings have turned to wild beasts,
Grown hungry for the flesh and blood of others of their own kind:
A human heart that loves and hopes cannot be thus infected.

As seed awaits the desert rain to sprout and bloom,
All that is good in our humanity will rise and overcome malice.
As flower in the desert sets a hundred seeds to disperse them,
Our better nature and our innate goodness will prevail.
For it is the seed’s nature to germinate and flower,
And it is a human’s nature to overcome adversity,
To survive, to create, to nurture, and to flourish.

10 comments:

  1. "As seed awaits the desert rain to sprout and bloom,
    All that is good in our humanity will rise and overcome malice."

    Your appeal to the best in our nature is moving, moving.

    ReplyDelete
  2. This is wonderful, and I so agree. The haters cannot win. Love and goodness - humanity - will overcome. At the very least, it will withstand, as we have seen even in the extreme conditions of the concentration camps, and, now, as people flee terror and try to help each other. May light and love shine so brightly, the wicked are overcome, and can do no more harm. We live in hope.

    ReplyDelete
  3. So true. Totally agree with you.
    The concluding lines were exceptionally beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Life is indeed more than pure survival...although that is always the starting block I suppose - an insightful and thoughtful poem...

    ReplyDelete
  5. Arid, merciless, sharp, cruel and hostile:
    A human soul that is in goodness steeped, survives.

    Such truth and wisdom in these lines :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. Love will triumph. Your poem is an inspiration!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Optimism gives us impetus to keep on keeping on - which is essential.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Yes, so sad when one sees what has stood for centuries destroyed by these evil, evil people. Wanton fanatics indeed. I do hope that we humans will overcome this adversity, Nick. I like to be optimistic, but it becomes harder and harder to believe that the 'good' will continue to flourish. A powerful poem this week.

    ReplyDelete
  9. The destruction of Palmyra was outrageous. You are right they are barbaric beasts. Goodness has always triumphed over evil....why should it stop now?

    ReplyDelete