Grandchildren of the Raj

We are the grandchildren of the Raj;
a grafting of two nations,
one a golden bird,
coveted by the other
to be the jewel in her crown,
an ignoble flourishing
an inglorious falling,
breathless broken branches 
sickly stumps.

From these we come;
sprouts and suckers
seeking the light.

Saplings still so tender it hurts;
we see the warped twisted roots
and rage
at the four million dead in Bengal 
the Jalianwala massacre
the cannon fodder of the world wars
the callous division of land and people
the distorted telling of history.

We see other roots too;
the feet of the golden bird,
a web of shame and glory
vedas and violence
wisdom and weakness
chivalry and misogyny.

The language of our mothers
grieves it cannot give us
all her riches. 
We hear the language of the Other,
that of Shakespeare, Keats and Shelley
make it our own
infuse with our spirit
empower with our prayers and our protests.

We take for sustenance what we will
and grow.

by Poonam Jain

Poonam Jain has always loved reading, but came late to writing. Her poems are an exploration of her own spiritual journey, as an Asian woman living in the UK, and her response to social injustice, based upon experience of social work, counselling, and of life. She performs her poems regularly, but is now seeking to have a wider audience and to build up a community to share feedback and support.Find her at