Engraving of a Bison on Stone

We present this work in honor of Gandhi Jayanti.

Arvind Krishna Mehrotra
b. 1947


The land resists
Because it cannot be
Tempted, or broken
In a chamber. It records,
By carefully shuffling the leaves,
The passage of each storm, rain
And drought. The land yields
In places, deliberately,
Having learnt warfare from the armies
It fed. The land is of one
Piece and hasn’t forgotten
Old miracles: the engraving of a bison
On stone, for instance. The land
Turns up like an unexpected
Visitor and gives refuge, it cannot be
Locked, or put away. The land
Cannot sign its name
It cannot die
Because it cannot be buried
It understands the language
It speaks in dialect.

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