The Assassination of Indira Gandhi

Original Text: 
Lush Dreams, Blue Exile: Fugitive Poems: 1978-1993 (Lawrencetown Beach, NS: Pottersfield Press, 1994): 32.
2The spruce gangrene, and haystacks flame in fields
3Where Mennonites preach black, scorched-earth gospels.
4Children, invented for death, slouch to school.
5Mourning editors inter last night's remains:
6"Paying the fine of worldly existence,
8I dream only the brown mother dropping
9Among roses, azaleas, bullet casings,
11The Golden Temple crimsoned by her troops.
12        Now, the pitched heavens smell of orange blossoms,
13Petrol, for her body fuses flowers
15Buddha, Allah, all the incensed gods,
16And New Delhi burns with skin of savaged Sikhs
17And bone-white stars flung across tar-pit skies.
18Gandhi's been mangled by History's claws;
19But now, being scent, she's freed by wind
20And waves to waft far from this wet, red world
21Where many weep and gnash their teeth and smash
22Their neighbours' brains with rocks or clubs.


1] Kitchener, Ontario, a small city west of Toronto and centre of Mennonite culture for two centuries. Back to Line
7] Mrs. Gandhi: Prime Minister, India (1966-77, 1980-84), born 1917, assassinated in 1984 by her Sikh bodyguards. Back to Line
10] Amritsar: Gandhi ordered an attack on the holy Sikh shrine in Amritsar in 1984. Back to Line
14] Shiva: Hindu god of destruction. Back to Line
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
Special Copyright: 

<b>This poem cannot be published anywhere without the written consent of George Elliott Clarke or the Pottersfield Press permissions department.</b>