Wake Up

A lump of flesh, as big as hill
That is what he was
Warrior prince but deep asleep
Snoring all along

Months of fate, love and hate
All aware but him
Peril came at him is home and
he was still asleep

Duty called, half awake, he
went to battle field
A legend died, on that day when
they saw the last of him


Then years passed
He became a myth
The new nation
Took after him

Little history
Did they read,
Snoring along
Deep asleep-

The sages’ souls
Left to burn,
Kept the door
Wide ajar-

Women hurt,
Children squealed;
A new peril
Was calling in

“Wake up, wake up”
Echoed around
The warrior prince
Smiled down.

This is a late entry to Tony’s MTB prompt on nonsense and narrative poetry.What greatly motivated me were the few lines that he said in his prompt.

The 17th century in Britain was a time of great political and religious tension. The century began with the death of England’s Queen Elizabeth in 1603. She left no direct heir and so James VI of Scotland inherited the throne, becoming James I of the newly united kingdoms of Scotland and England. He was succeeded in turn by his son Charles I. Tensions between the Crown and Parliament erupted during his reign, leading to the Civil War and ultimately to the execution of the King and the installation of Oliver Cromwell as Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland.

Against such a turbulent and violent background simply saying the wrong thing to the wrong person could result in imprisonment or worse, and publishing your views was a very risky business indeed. Step forward nonsense as a form of political writing in which you could say whatever you wanted while being able to claim that any meanings other people might choose to read into your words were not necessarily what you intended. Nonsense writing was a way to make a stand for what you believed in and against those whose political and religious views (and actions) you opposed.

I took longer to write as I had a difficult time constructing the piece. It is based on a Hindu mythological reference – Kumbhakarna, who used to sleep 6 months to wake one day. Once, in the middle of his sleep he was awaken to fight a battle for his brother, Ravana, in which he was defeated and killed. I put a metaphor to present day situation, when the nations sinks into a state of oblivion and ignorance, allowing bad things to happen to its own people – the peril is not far away. This is actually based on a recent incident in my city where college students were beaten by cops and goons at the dark of the night. I feel that a nation who allows women to be beaten – the peril is not far. Through this poem I voice my protest. This is a high time to wake up.

Long leave revolution.



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