The Fear Of The Unknown

The Fear Of The Unknown


Three strangers hung up on the wall,
side by side
Surrounded in gold gilded frames
Above the six-foot mahogany display cabinet
Looking down over everyone

The photos were taken in black and white,
from the neck up
Looking straight ahead
Not a smile on any face

Two men on either side of a woman
Their significance more important
than any god worshipped

The strong presence there,
three hundred and sixty-five days a year
Whereas any deity only made an appearance at Deepawali

They remained strangers,
until I finally asked who they were,
with fear and reluctance

The response came with a laugh
and a simple explanation.
Included with this came ridicule,
of which, you should already know

From left to right
The maternal grandfather,
great grandmother
and great grandfather

At that stage, only one was still alive
The remaining one in India,
so far away
This was the first moment I knew they existed
They were never spoken about before this

Not much more was said
and the conversation was over
Leaving so much to wonder
One thing was clear,
the fear to not speak respectfully was evident

© P Bathina 2019


Poetics describes a whole range of engagements with life that are storied, reflective and filled with imagination and inspiration, as opposed to analysis in the strict sense. When science rules, the magic fades. When thinking ascends the throne, the soul may atrophy. Yet poetics is not irrational – it is a take which reaches into a different aspect of our humanity – one where we can celebrate that which moves us, not dwell on what limits us. Expect surprises. One or many may lead. None or a few may follow and then decide to take the lead. This is a fluidity to break the mould of rigidity. Join us on this journey. Let us hold hands boldly and join voices transformatively. Prabha will be leading us. Feel free to join us.


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