I am a leaf in the autumn wind,
I swayed and rustled on the hands of my mother tree.
There were thousands of hands and millions of my kind,
We danced together in the autumn wind.
Where did I come from, I do not know,
I asked my brothers, I asked the mothers,
Neither the leaves nor the branches knew where we came and what our destiny is?
All they told was that you are the smile of nature,
For you are leaves in the autumn wind.
I bathed in the soothing sun,
I slept by the shade of moon,
Then came the grand old wind,
It was old as millennia and whispered the story of ages.
I danced, I swayed. I rustled
And I danced to the tunes of mighty winds,
It embraced the sands of time
As they whispered my secret origin
I now know I was a seed,
Was buried in the cradle of nature,
Nature’s womb held me there
Fed its breasts for this dance and sway,
Well she is the mother of all!!!
I asked the wind, I asked the sand, why nature put me here,
Where should I go from here?
“This is the place for you. And this is your destiny” they said
I looked up and down and around we,
With a heart that leapt with joy!!!
I saw the birds resting;
I saw them chirruping,
I saw the squirrels jumping a branch,
I saw the woodpecker drumming a beat,
I saw the seasons change on a chameleon skin Green, Brown and Gray.
I am here to love them; I am here to serve them,
And that is my destiny.
Sun scorched my little head,
It glistened my days and smothered my evenings,
The Moon kissed me like a fairy in a dream
Then she kissed my little swaying head.
I swelled in pride, I burst in joy
So were my brothers in far far trunks,
We were destined to dance in the autumn wind.
I grew a little, grew a little, grew a little more,
Each day made me broader still,
I could shake my hands with wind and embrace the sands of time,
For they were my friends and bought stories from far of lands,
They whispered a story of ages,
And mourned a tale of drought and loss.
The winds just cried and the sparrows wept,
I was stunned to see the tears they kept,
I don’t know why, I don’t know why,
The breeze was hurt and dust was sore,
Though the world around was a heaven in store.
The day came with some men in arms,
Not one or two but five with axe,
They tied my mother, they cut my brothers,
I knew by then how weak I was.
I saw my kith weep then shout and fall,
Ears exploded with their desperate wisps,
My world so serene flipped to deadly hell,
And my heart just missed a little beat.
I called the wind of ages;
I called the sands of time,
But they were gone and no one came.
What was left was the silence of the lame.
I remember them telling me,
You are everything what you see
You are the cloud, you are the air,
You are the rain, and the mighty sun that glare
But now I know; now I know
I am just a leaf in the autumn wind.
Desperation tore my heart in two,
And tears welled and in my eyes,
I asked the Nature “Mother, I gave them shade, and they cut with spade…
I gave them life, and they burn with fire
I played with them in joyous times,
I rustled and sang for their happy times
Why then this betrayal? Why then this betrayal?”
The shade was me, the wind was me,
And the grand monsoon rain was me,
The life and strength of Mother Nature was me,
I am betrayed and I am withered and weak,
My end has come and my time is up.
A sharp pain rose through my nerves,
Like a deadly cut it serves.
The last of cuts will bleed for sure.
I looked around with dying eyes,
And I was the lone leaf now in that tree.
And there I fell and wisped through the air,
I saw dust, I saw the Sun,
I saw and felt that searing pain,
And then the hollow face of a man with gain.
He lacked the sorrow and was far from sane,
Around me I watched Mother Nature slain.
My destiny served, my life severed,
Is there a meaning in cry for my revenge?
Even my death is a gift for some,
So be it, so be it, so be it
But what can I do, what can I do
Than cry like a song in sorrow
What more could I do, how less could I feel
I’m only a leaf in the autumn wind.
– A poem by Srinath Krishnamoorthy