Today's Beautiful Gem: `India, a Banyan Tree' by Umashankar Joshi

"India, a banyan tree foliaged
with matted hair; a battered body
standing erect against time.
Which is the trunk?
Which are branches turned to trunks?
Underneath, anthills heave with serpent hisses,
beasts mangle one another in pitched butchery,
beating hooves pound meek vermin into dust,
white ants gnaw at ancient roots.

"Yet, sap arises to touch the farthest twigs,
bidding them to smile as sprouts
to beckon sunlight,
inviting birds in the branches
to ousting time in truth's own tunes.
Patiently abiding, unscathed, India stands."

om s'aantih: Peace! - J. K. Mohana Rao