The Vision of Bombay
O barren plains! O deserted land!
Gusts of wind sweep dust into your residents’ lungs.
The faded colours of the flowers reflect their illness.
The air smells of sickness and death.
The putrid lakes of water
harbour deadly disease.
Trees reflect the staleness of the ground.
The ocean rules the land and washes up grey mucous upon
while the red sun sets in full splendour.
The dogs howl in the eve.
The birds are afflicted by anger
as they struggle to eat one another.
Dead mice bear the imprints of feet that have
trampled upon them.
Cries from the people and laments from the animals are
Flies crawl across the children’s faces,
and lice crown their heads.
Crusted nasal drainage graces their lips,
and infected lesions are displayed upon their earlobes.
Babies lying face down on the diseased pavements;
children who cannot cry.
Babies hold babies without mothers near.
Naked little boys peer around ragged drapes.
Their eyes reflect the misery they behold.
Sad women and edematous-bellied babies gaze.
A helpless mother watches her baby slowly die of starvation.
He can no longer pick up the pebbles with which he
used to play.
His rags now lie lifeless on the sidewalk.
Lepers and the blind walk alone.
Despairing old men sit on the filthy streets,
their eyes mirror years of sorrow.
Heat. Sweat. Blood. Tears.
Withered faces watch without emotional response.
You smile; they stare.
The arthritic hands scrub clothes on the street;
the gnarled fingers work hard without payment.
Their chests move in and out in futile efforts to prolong
life for another day.
Chants lack the spirit of joyful song.
The silent bells of the soul ring,
summoning death to come and relieve them.
I look up to the sky to request help but to no avail;
it remains deaf and unfeeling to what it sees beneath it.
The screeching trains have a lingering echo,
leaving their victims behind within the bowels of the stations.
The rats are abundant, fattened from devouring flesh.
But then Hope beckons me to come close.
“Listen,” she says, “Look and see!
I come from the hands of the minister,
the care bestowed upon the poor by those willing to be used.
Bring the light of life into the spirits of those you serve,
and bring sparkle to the eyes of the helpless.
Pity them not, however,
for the question is better asked, What have you done?”
About the author:
Having a creative streak from an early age, Laura-Dawn first began writing poetry and recording her prophetic dreams as a young teenager. Her literary skills were honed during the time she spent acquiring her bachelor of arts degree in English literature at McGill University in Montreal. As her interest in theology grew, she went on to write exegeses of scripture while she studied for her master of arts degree in biblical studies at the University of Sheffield. Her fascination with eschatology has continued to flourish over the years and is clear in her first book, Reflections of India – The Spiritual Journey of a Beauty Queen.
Passionate to pursue the path less traveled, Laura-Dawn has since attained a master of arts degree in biblical studies from the University of Sheffield in England, and a master of science degree in nursing from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. In preparation for continuing her humanitarian work, she has also recently completed the International Interprofessional Wound Care Course through the University of Toronto. She has been working as a nurse practitioner in various health care settings over the last 21 years in both the United States and Canada, and currently works in the province of Ontario.
You may purchase her book on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Reflections-India-Spiritual-Journey-Beauty-ebook/dp/B07K39W44Q
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