By Howard Richard Debs
“We are entering upon a life and death struggle” —Mahatma Gandhi
The oldest, Gandhi himself, then 61
the youngest among those at
the start, 18. There were but 80 in all
to begin. It took 24 days, 240 miles
on foot to reach the coast.
2500 would next march on the Dharasana saltworks,
60,000 were in jail by year’s end.
Salt is basic to life they implored, do not keep us
from our needs. The salt laws are not just.
the salt of the sea on
the shore of Dandi. He said “With this
I am shaking the foundations …”
Author’s note: When I saw video and photos of protesters in wheel chairs being dragged from the halls of the U.S. Congress I was at first enraged. Then I read Alan Catlin’s poem, “Mixed Message: A History Lesson 2017.” I felt the need to provide a complementing piece, “The Salt March” is my contribution to the colloquy. You can read Catlin’s poem here.
Howard Richard Debs is a recipient of a finalist award in the 28th Annual 2015 Anna Davidson Rosenberg Poetry Awards. His work appears internationally in numerous publications such as Yellow Chair Review, Silver Birch Press, The Galway Review, New Verse News, Cleaver Magazine, and his essay, “The Poetry of Bearing Witness,” is published by On Being. His photography can be found in select publications, including in Rattle online as “Ekphrastic Challenge” artist and guest editor. His full length work, Gallery: A Collection of Pictures and Words (Scarlet Leaf Publishing), is forthcoming in latter-2017. Read more about him in the Directory of American Poets & Writers.
Photo credit: Will Power via a Creative Commons license.