The Bronze Legacy (To a Brown Boy) – Effie Lee Newsome

‘Tis a noble gift to be brown all brown Like the strongest things Up this earth, Like the mountains grave and grand, Even like the very land, Even like the trunks of trees – Even oaks, to be like these! God builds his strength in bronze. To be brown like thrush and lark! Like the subtle rain so dark! May, the king of beasts were Brown: Eagles are of the same hue. I think God then, I am brown. Brown has mighty things to do Jacob Lawrence, The Migration Series, Panel no. 11: Food had doubled in price because of … Continue reading The Bronze Legacy (To a Brown Boy) – Effie Lee Newsome

Poem: The Rosenbergs, June 1953 – W.E.B Du Bois

From floods of wrath, avenging God, Pour down the curse on us the murderers, who crucify the Jews! Hammer home the nails, thick through our skulls; Crush down the thorns; Rain red the bloody sweat, Thick and heavy, warm and wet. We are the killers, hurling mud! We the witch hunters, drinking blood! To us shrink all the lynched, the thousands mobbed, the millions dead in useless war. But this, this shameless deed we do this day, the senseless blasphemy of mother and child, Fills full the cup! Hail hell and glory to damnation! Oh bloodstained nation, Stretch out your … Continue reading Poem: The Rosenbergs, June 1953 – W.E.B Du Bois

Hymn to Kali

Mother, if our Soul is Timeless, and its glimmering knowledge of Your eternal existence is Time, then You are keeper of both Time and Timelessness, pirouetting along the outer rim of the great bowl of your starred universe—causeless yet causing and primal yet final. The eternal vibration of your dancing feet pattering reach this little world and beats against my eardrums, as a drummer’s fingers strike a mrindagam, yet it is beyond sound as it is beyond thought, even as the pulsating luminescence of your ever-presence and the long night of your ever-absence is beyond sight. Ever-seeking our weary soul, … Continue reading Hymn to Kali

The Poet of the Râmâyana

There was a young man that could not in any way support his family. He was strong and vigorous and, finally, became a highway robber; he attacked persons in the street and robbed them, and with that money he supported his father, mother, wife, and children. This went on continually, until one day a great saint called Nârada was passing by, and the robber attacked him. The sage asked the robber, “Why are you going to rob me? It is a great sin to rob human beings and kill them. What do you incur all this sin for?” The robber … Continue reading The Poet of the Râmâyana

Nirvanashatakam or Song of Self-Realization

If night and day are but the wink of God’s eye, A million calyxes have opened and closed in a single wink. Desire blinds and bewilders memory of love, like the slow torpor of heat escaping a tormented earth the wrath that follows is a midnight howl, a bloodless gash in the soul of man, wrought in the anvils of lust, ever gluttonous bitterness, ever paralyzing, now violent now lecherous, a pestilential torrent beating against the castle of the soul, sullen like a devil who cannot wet it. Sorrows only end when we become perfect witnesses and he who no … Continue reading Nirvanashatakam or Song of Self-Realization

The Gift of India and the Violence of the West: Some Reflections

Can ye measure the grief of the tears I weep Or compass the woe of the watch I keep? Or the pride that thrills thro’ my heart’s despair And the hope that comforts the anguish of prayer? And the far sad glorious vision I see Of the torn red banners of victory? when the terror and the tumult of hate shall cease And life be refashioned on anvils of peace, And your love shall offer memorial thanks To the comrades who fought on the dauntless ranks, And you honour the deeds of the dauntless ones, Remember the blood of my … Continue reading The Gift of India and the Violence of the West: Some Reflections

Martin Luther King Jr., Letter to Darrell Randall Re: the Importance of Visiting the Soviet Union and India

Dr. King explains to Randall, of the National Council of Churches, the motivations underlying his plan (subsequently abandoned) to visit the Soviet Union. Dr. Darrell Randall National Council of Churches 297 Fourth Avenue New York, New York Dear Dr. Randall: Thanks for your very kind letter of recent date concerning my interest in going to Russia incident to my visit to India. First, I must apologize for being somewhat tardy in my reply. Unfortunately, your letter was misplaced during my secretary’s daily trips between the office and my residence where I am convalescing. Althought we have not been able to … Continue reading Martin Luther King Jr., Letter to Darrell Randall Re: the Importance of Visiting the Soviet Union and India

The Heroism of Satyagraha

Our heroes must be spiritual. –Swami Vivekananda What does the method and philosophy of Satyagraha reveal? It exposes the heart of human nature, in all of its contradictions. The law of satyagraha compels us to act with soul force, which necessitates activation of our soul memory, our spirit consciousness. If it follows that we were still born though we do not remember our babyhood, then it is also true that our soul-force stores memories from many lifetimes through which we have traveled. Just because we do not remember our babyhood, for example, does not mean we did not exist. This … Continue reading The Heroism of Satyagraha

Love Songs for the Prince Of Peace

I. Prelude: the Search Your smile is warming and knowing; It traps me like magnolias writhing against a garden gate. You lure me, in your promise of love lingering, the greatness of love. For you, the marshland sings with frogs, Turning a sharp green at the last wane of dusk, all quietly beckoning the truth of the lucid night; when death’s boatmen roam and deal in their deathly trades, remember, beauty is a dark woman’s eyes glowing against the moon of the waning night. II. Encomium: May I never stray far from your lotus feet, my Lord! Dare I share … Continue reading Love Songs for the Prince Of Peace

Mahatma Gandhi on Satanic Civilization

IT IS my firm belief that Europe today represents not the spirit of God or Christianity but the spirit of Satan. And Satan’s successes are the greatest when he appears with the name of God on his lips. Europe is today only nominally Christian. In reality, it is worshipping Mammon. Young India, 8-9-1920 Neither railways nor hospitals are a test of a high and pure civilization. At best they are a necessary evil. Neither adds one inch to the moral stature of a nation. Young India, 26-1-1921 I wholeheartedly detest this mad desire to destroy distance and time, to increase … Continue reading Mahatma Gandhi on Satanic Civilization