I had a sister in the Amazon,
a solitary Onça-pintada,
this is the tale of how humans violated
her habitat, killing her in the end!
They chopped and burned down the trees to construct
a mighty wonder of human progress
amid the grandest one of Nature’s own
and still my darling Nature sustains them!
She had battled on for many centuries,
while the Dodo and the giant Mammoth failed
but she could only fight so many wars
before yielding to human avarice!
Earlier she had been jailed too, so I heard
for protesting against humankind’s poisoned darts!
But then we need eagle eyes and mammoth hearts
to discover beauty in this carnage
by supposedly peaceful religions
and benign governments, their counterparts!
Or be like the Angel in Vatican
on her holy throne, the humblest among
all the men of powers in today’s world
and sing of love, unrequited nonetheless!
Thus I wreathed and pined with my quill at hand
drought parched, waiting for the words to unfurl
while dozens of my alter egos died
in bloodstained Lahore and Brussels this year
and Paris in the last, the rest already dead
in old Nineveh, Palmyra and Palestine,
until the queen of Mount Helicon rose and sang
her Aeolian song that sprinkled me with the wine of Hippocrene
and lo, how a fiery phoenix from the ashes is born
to sing of eternal peace and love on his unfurled wings!