Day 6: Rising Souls

The prompt for day 6 was to “write a valediction… a poem of farewell”, that says good-bye to “anything or anyone”. There were many ways I could have gone about this, I think, but after writing a few of them out, this one stuck with me the most.

Note: As this poem might be a bit difficult to understand for some, there are somethings I should mention before hand.
1. In Hinduism, bodies are cremated after death because the belief is that soul is not damaged with death, but instead it is freed from that body to be either reborn into another of it has achieved liberation and will merge with the Supreme Soul.
2. Hindus wear white to mourn the dead.
3. There were several blasts that occurred all over India, especially in the past 10 years, injuring and killing many people.

Rising Souls

It was a sight-
the white surrounding the red-
so many tear-stained faces
mourning death in the face of a flame
so alive.
The same breeze that dared
not touch the white
danced and played with the open fire,
unashamed, unabashed.

From the cooling ashes
rose the souls of innumerable
innocents, mingling with the swirling
smoke, disappearing amongst
the stars who twinkled
down with unabated sadness.

And here on Earth
we just shook our heads
in an unnecessary display
of helplessness.
As the ashes dispersed
into the holy river,
we said our prayers,
a last goodbye,
and walked
without even
a last glance


4 thoughts on “Day 6: Rising Souls

  1. It’s hard to say that I enjoyed this because it is such a sad piece, but I did enjoy reading your work. I appreciated the background information; I would not have gotten as much out of the poem without it. Thank you for sharing!

    • Thanks! Based on the prompt I would technically have been able to write something funny too, as long as it still said goodbye, but that’s not really my style and it would have been a really bad poem 🙂 Glad the info made it easier to understand since that’s what I worried most about.

  2. Mine didn’t say goodbye, it just implied it. From yours, I get a stark edge of frustration, almost an anger at senselessness. The ritual is there, but that walk away, that turning the back on, speaks even louder. Powerful Poem.

    • Thank you! Ignorance is unfortunately something we all end up practicing, often without even realizing or wanting too. I think in cases like this, with bomb blasts, the mindset is ‘what I could possibly do?’ But just the way we treat people has so much of an effect in where they end up in life and its so easy to forget that.

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