Poem – Two Birds: A Dialogue – Mao Zedong 

The roc wings fanwise,

 Soaring ninety thousand li 

And rousing a raging cyclone. 

The blue sky on his back, he looks down 

To survey Man’s world with its towns and cities. 

Gunfire licks the heavens, 

Shells pit the earth. 

A sparrow in his bush is scared stiff.. 

‘This is one hell of a mess! 

O I want to flit and fly away.’ 

‘Where, may I ask?’ 

The sparrow replies, 

‘To a jewelled palace in elfland’s hills. 

Don’t you know a triple pact was signed 

Under the bright autumn moon two years ago? 

There’ll be plenty to eat, 

Potatoes piping hot, 

Beef-filled goulash.’ 

‘Stop your windy nonsense! 

Look, the world is being turned upside down.’

Poem – Winter Clouds – Mao Zedong

Winter clouds snow-laden, cotton fluff flying, 

None or few the unfallen flowers. 

Chill waves sweep through steep skies, 

Yet earth’s gentle breath grows warm. 

Only heroes can quell tigers and leopards 

And wild bears never daunt the brave. 

Plum blossoms welcome the whirling snow; 

Small wonder flies freeze and perish.

Poem – Yellow Crane Tower – Mao Zedong

Wide, wide flow the nine streams through the land, Dark, dark threads the line from south to north. 

Blurred in the thick haze of the misty rain 

Tortoise and Snake hold the great river locked. 
The yellow crane is gone, who knows whither? 

Only this tower remains a haunt for visitors. 

I pledge my wine to the surging torrent, 

The tide of my heart swells with the waves.

Poem – Bibhishan’s Departure – Valmiki

This to me Bibhishan answered, as with fiery comrades four, Rose in arms the wrathful Raksha and in fury rushed before. 
‘But I spare thee, roval Ravan, angry words thy lips have passed, 

False and lying and unfounded is the censure thou hast cast! 
True Bibhishan sought thy safety, strove to save his elder’s reign,- 

Speed thee now to thy destruction since all counsel is in vain, 
Many are thy smiling courtiers who with honeyed speech beguile,- 

Few are they with truth and candour speak their purpose void of guile! 
Blind to reason and to wisdow, Ravan seek thy destined fate, 

For thy impious lust of woman, for thy dark unrighteous hate, 
Blind to danger and destruction, deaf to word of counsel given, 

By the flaming shaft, of Rama thou shalt die by will of Heaven! 
Yet, O! yet, my king and elder, let me plead with latest breath, 

‘Gainst the death of race and kismen, ‘gainst my lord and brother’s death, 
Ponder yet, O Raksha monarch, save thy race and save thy own, 

Ravan, part we now ever,-guard thy ancient sea-girt throne!’

Poem – Bharat’s Entreaty And Rama’s Reply – Valmiki 

‘Speak, my true, my faithful Bharat,’ so the righteous Rama cried, 

‘Wherefore to this jungle dwelling hast thou from Ayodhya hied, 
Speak, my fond and loving brother, if our father bade thee come, 

Leaving throne and spacious empire in this wilderness to roam? 
Heir and Regent of Kosala! Dost thou tend our father well, 

And obey the lofty mandate from his royal lips that fell, 
And the ancient Dasa-ratha, glorious still in regal might, 

Doth he pass his bright life’s evening in each pure and holy rite? 
Doth my mother, Queen Kausalya, still for Rama wet her eye, 

And the gentle Queen Sumitra for her banished Lakshman sigh, 
Doth the peerless Queen Kaikeyi pass her days in duties fair, 

Guard her Bharat’s mighty empire, tend him with a mother’s care? 
Is each holy rite and homage to the Gods and Fathers done, 

Is the honour due to elders rendered by each duteous son, 
Do thy warriors guard thy kingdom as of yore with matchless skill, 

And with counsel deep and duteous do thy min’sters serve thy will? 
Rich thy fields in corn and produce fed by rivers broad and deep, 

Rich thy green unending pastures with the kine and fattened sheep, 
Tend the herdsman and his cattle, tend the tiller of the soil, 

Watch and help with all thy bounty workmen in their peaceful toil, 
For the monarch’s highest duty is to serve his people’s weal 

And the ruler’s richest glory is to labour and to heal! 
Guard thy forts with sleepless caution with the engines of the war, 

With the men who shoot the arrow and who drive the flying car, 
Guard Kosala’s royal treasure, make thy gifts of wealth and food, 

Not to lords and proud retainers, but to worthy and the good! 
Reader justice pure and spotless as befits thy royal line, 

And to save the good and guiltless, Bharat, be it ever thine, 
For the tears of suffering virtue wither like the thunder levin, 

And they slay our men and cattle like the wrath of righteous heaven, 
Fruitful be thy lore of Veda, fruitful be each pious rite, 

Be thy queen a fruitful mother, be thy empire full of might!’ 
Weeping, weeping, Bharat answered Dasa-ratha’s eldest son, 

‘Dasa-ratha walks the bright sky, for his earthly task is done! 
For impelled by Queen Kaikeyi to the woods he bade thee go, 

And his spotless fame was clouded and his bosom sank in woe, 
And my mother, late repenting, weeps her deed of deepest shame, 

Weeps her wedded lord departed, and a woman’s tarnished fame! 
Thou alone canst wipe this insult by a deed of kindness done, 

Rule o’er Dasa-ratha’s empire, Dasa-ratha’s eldest son, 
Weeping queens and loyal subjects supplicate thy noble grace, 

Rule o’er Raghu’s ancient empire, son of Raghu’s royal race! 
For our ancient Law ordaineth and thy Duty makes it plain, 

Eldest-born succeeds his father as the king of earth and main, 
By the fair Earth loved and welcomed, Rama, be her wedded lord, 

As by planet-jewelled Midnight is the radiant Moon adored! 
And thy father’s ancient min’sters and thy courtiers faithful still, 

Wait to do thy righteous mandate and to serve thy royal will, 
As a pupil, as a brother, as a slave, I seek thy grace, 

Come and rule thy father’s empire, king of Raghu’s royal race!’ 
Weeping, on the feet of Rama, Bharat placed his lowly head, 

Weeping for his sire departed, tears of sorrow Rama shed, 
Then he raised his loving brother with an elder’s deathless love, 

Sorrow wakes our deepest kindness and our holiest feelings prove! 
‘But I may not,’ answered Rama, ‘seek Ayodhya’s ancient throne, 

For a righteous father’s mandate duteous son may not disown, 
And I may not, gentle brother, break the word of promise given, 

To a king and to a father who is now a saint in heaven! 
Not on thee, nor on thy mother, rests the censure or the blame, 

Faithful to his father’s wishes Rama to the forest came, 
For the son and duteous consort serve the father and the lord, 

Higher than an empire’s glory is a father’s spoken word! 
All inviolate is his mandate,-on Ayodhya’s jewelled throne, 

Or in pathless woods and jungle Rama shall his duty own, 
All inviolate is the blessing by a loving mother given, 

For she blessed my life in exile like a pitying saint of heaven! 
Thou shalt rule the kingdom, Bharat, guard our loving people well, 

Clad in wild bark and in deer-skin I shall in the forests dwell, 
So spake saintly Dasa-ratha in Ayodhya’s palace hall, 

And a righteous father’s mandate duteous son may not recall!’

Poem – Ayodrya, The Righteous City – Valmiki 

Rich in royal worth and valour, rich in holy Vedic lore, 

Dasa-ratha ruled his empire in the happy days of yore, 
Loved of men in fair Ayodhya, sprung of ancient Solar Race, 

Royal rishi in his duty, saintly rishi in his grace, 
Great as INDRA in his prowess, bounteous as KUVERA kind, 

Dauntless deeds subdued his foemen, lofty faith subdued his mind! 
Like the ancient monarch Manu, father of the human race, 

Dasa-ratha ruled his people with a father’s loving grace, 
Truth and Justice swayed each action and each baser motive quelled 

People’s Love and Monarch’s Duty every thought and deed impelled, 
And his town like INDRA’S city,-tower and dome and turret brave- 

Rose in proud and peerless beauty on Sarayu’s limpid wave! 
Peaceful lived the righteous people, rich in wealth in merit high, 

Envy dwelt not in their bosoms and their accents shaped no lie, 
Fathers with their happy households owned their cattle, corn, and gold, 

Galling penury and famine in Ayodhya had no hold, 
Neighbours lived in mutual kindness helpful with their ample wealth, 

None who begged the wasted refuse, none who lived by fraud and stealth! 
And they wore the gem and earring, wreath and fragrant sandal paste, 

And their arms were decked with bracelets, and their necks with nishkas graced, 
Cheat and braggart and deceiver lived not in the ancient town, 

Proud despiser of the lowly wore not insults in their frown, 
Poorer fed not on the richer, hireling friend upon the great, 

None with low and lying accents did upon the proud man wait 
Men to plighted vows were faithful, faithful was each loving wife, 

Impure thought and wandering fancy stained not holy wedded life, 
Robed in gold and graceful garments, fair in form and fair in face, 

Winsome were Ayodhya’s daughters, rich in wit and woman’s grace 
Twice-born men were free from passion, lust of gold and impure greed, 

Faithful to their Rites and Scriptures, truthful in their word and deed, 
Altar blazed in every mansion, from each home was bounty given, 

‘Stooped no man to fulsome falsehood, questioned none the will of Heaven. 
Kshatras bowed to holy Brahmans, Vaisyas to the Kshatras bowed 

Toiling Sudras lived by labour, of their honest duty proud, 
To the Gods and to the Fathers, to each guest in virtue trained, 

Rites were done with true devotion as by holy writ ordained, 
Pure each caste in due observance, stainless was each ancient rite, 

And the nation thrived and prospered by its old and matchless might, 
And each man in truth abiding lived a long and peaceful life, 

With his sons and with his grandsons, with his loved and honoured wife. 
Thus was ruled the ancient city by her monarch true and bold, 

As the earth was ruled by Mann in the misty days of old, 
Troops who never turned in battle, fierce as fire and strong and brave, 

Guarded well her lofty ramparts as the lions guard the cave. 
Steeds like INDRA’S in their swiftness came from far Kamboja’s land, 

From Vanaya and Vahlika and from Sindhu’s rock-bound strand, 
Elephants of mighty stature from the Vindhya mountains came, 

Or from deep and darksome forests round Himalay’s peaks of fame, 
Matchless in their mighty prowess, peerless in their wondrous speed, 

Nobler than the noble tuskers sprung from high celestial breed. 
Thus Ayodhya, ‘virgin city,’-faithful to her haughty name,- 

Ruled by righteous Dasa-ratha won a world-embracing fame, 
Strong-barred gates and lofty arches, tower and dome and turret high 

Decked the vast and peopled city fair as mansions of the sky. 
Queens of proud and peerless beauty born of houses rich in fame, 

Loved of royal Dasa-ratha to his happy mansion came, 
Queen Kausalya blessed with virtue true and righteous Rama bore, 

Queen Kaikeyi young and beauteous bore him Bharat rich in lore, 
Queen Simitra bore the bright twins, Lakshman and Satruglina bold, 

Four brave princes served their father in the happy days of old!