☛ Submission for October, 2024 issue (Vol. 5, No. 2) is going on. The last date for submission is 30 September, 2024.

Time of Reckoning


Time of Reckoning

Shanta Acharya (India)


Opening myself to life’s mystery,

the foundation of my prayers, a daily thanksgiving –


my grief embraces all who die without a farewell,

none to hold their hand, a funeral or vigil.


Fearing the random touch of fate I stay home,

hoping to save lives. Every day the death toll rises –


each life precious in the mosaic of the universe –

I am diminished as a human being.


Thinking of those who have no home, no income,

no food, no water, I am unable to sleep.


Knowing it doesn’t take much to make life bearable,

the hours weep counting the cost of survival.


Unless we make amends, change our reckless ways,

the damage to life on earth will be irreversible.


A deadly virus holds a mirror up to society,

revealing the extent of our inhumanity.


This is our time of reckoning –

time to walk in the shoes of the other.


Living in strange times, the gift of being

human is a measure of who we are, can be.