Rule of the Sirens

for Students of JNU

like sirens
wailing through
night streets
they steal
the quiet
haven inside
your mind.
not to alert
you about the
nation lying
wounded in the
ambulance of
our youth’s
desperate protest
but to scatter
seeds of canard
so a forest fire
burns the truth
beneath the

they invade
the halls of justice
and crush
the voice of reason
but truth being
stranger than fiction,
truth will rise
like smoke
like the Phoenix
from the burning
embers of a nation
that will not
be held hostage
by a parliament
of rhetoric
and rogue politicking.
do they not know
‘it is rain that
grows flowers.
not thunder’?

it is enlightened youth who
nurture nations
not those who sunder.

It Happens

it happens again and again and again and no algorithm has taught people of this planet to learn from the hate of bigots to learn from the blood of violence to learn from the ashes of death to learn from the pages of history to learn from the wounds of humanity to learn from the tears of the dispossessed, to learn from the lucent eyes of an infant.

Is the World Forgetting Syria?

crablike they scurried
salt-edged memories
across the sand of time.

seashells remembered
each sigh of the waves
as they washed ashore
in cosmic rhyme.

they had tilled their land
they had lived in peace
children grew as olives did
what was their crime?

and the world sleeps
while the guns find wombs
and the schemers scheme
over dead men’s tombs

it’s just another war
just another sport of insatiable gain
just another dispensable
somebody’s pain.


the sea sings
the sea sways
in a languid waltz
lost in a dream
of liquid blue
cradling the sky
like it were
its child.
the sea sings
to this child
songs of love
and remembrance.
the sea sways
lost in forgetting
its own birth
its volcanic mother
its melting from
rock to ocean
from cosmic designs
that drew on
blank canvas, lines
and colours
forms and ruminations
that made the sea
a water song.

the sea forgets
to sing its water song.

It Was Then

it was then
that they blossomed
voices needing
the water
of resistance
sprang out
from the soil of silence.
it was then
that they bloomed
when the bullets
of power
bruised their
their temporal lives.
Shaheen Bagh
and Mumbai Bagh
sister fields – fertile
with bloodied wounds
nudged the voices
to rise –
to rise beyond fragility
to crush the conspiracy
of violence
to erase the walls
of draconian divides
to condemn
assumptions of impunity
to rise with the voice
of parity and peace.

it was then
that they blossomed –
when the fires of hate
had burnt them.

Bina Sarkar Ellias is a poet, and the founder, editor, designer and publisher of International Gallerie, an award-winning publication since 1997. Besides, she is a fiction writer and art curator. Her books of poems include The Room, Fuse, which has a Mandarin edition (and has been taught at the Towson University, USA), When Seeing Is Believing, Cercana Lejania / Closer Farness and Song of a Rebel.

Song of a Rebel and Other Selected Poems

Excerpted with permission from Song of a Rebel and Other Selected Poems, Bina Sarkar Ellias, Red River.