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Hymn or Ode to Nothing

written by: Ampat Varghese Koshy


Long ago our ancestors
hymnals sang to fire
Sang they to the waters
and to the air

Poems wrote they to the sun
and the winds and heavens
To the oceans and forests
and the lands in four directions

Refrained they not from writing odes
to earth and rivers that gave drink
Offerings they offered
of grain and drink, of meat and wine

Ishwaran*, they called on
for blessings and for health
wealth and victory
for whate'er else they wanted

But it was the spirit of poesy
they used to supplicate to, and supplant
the higher powers around
in league yet, with Their pure demands

worshipping something
rather than nothing
while their paeans they sang.

After man unfolded
and woman blossomed
when every every became
abstract and refined

they reached their pinnacle
in the higher religions
and then began again to fold
back to the origin

and saw fit to praise nothing
They called it then a hymn
though elegy it is
for nothing comes from nothing

except when it's fit
in the cosmic something
from which it too was born
at the behest of the peerless One

The One without a second
who wanted it too its part to own
as space between the stars
as emptiness between the spokes

of the wheel of time
as gaps in the knowingness
of man to keep them humble
as the absence of a presence

that fulfills the tale
of the gods and goddesses
for harmony with them
before man did fail

to comprehend the light
That was a poem well written
a song to prevail sung.


 * Iswaran is best translated as God.

Ampat Varghese Koshy

Ampat Varghese Koshy

Dr Koshy AV is a poet and critic but also writes fiction and prose. He is an editor and anthologist. He has his name on the cover of sixteen books in one or other of these capacities. His last book was Scream and other Urbane Legends which is a collection of short stories.
Ampat Varghese Koshy

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