The Wild Places of the Earth

Rama, Vishnu's avatar, was born with a nation to save

Not for power but for love of his father did he his coronation crave,

But the hunchbacked hag then had her say

With words of venom most vile on her lips like poison dew they did lay

Rama was not to be the yuvaraja after all,

But his brother, by his father and another

Of the harem, was to take the place of Rama,

Who would be exiled for this purpose,

Living humbly in the woods the wherewithal.

This favorite wife of Dasaratha had all his marital devotion at her disposal

And had once saved his life, for which he vowed two boons of her proposal.

The old king's wife Kaikeiyi was a snake sprung from the grass,

Ruled by power, desiring greatly for her son Rama's throne to surpass.

As Dasaratha wept, his sorrow in torrents did pour

For the loss of the destiny he thought was for his favorite son in store.

Rama did not suffer from his newly assigned role;

He would leave the kingdom of Ayodhya before morning's bell did toll.

The almost-king would accept his destiny

Of fulfilling his father's dharma and living clandestinely.

He knew he had a journey of hardship ahead,

But this sentence did more to inspire him, rather than fill his heart with dread,

Because in the wilderness untrammelled would he earn his diadem,

And fill the people's souls with graces, by his suffering he would save them.

Though he'd soon learn otherwise, there was hardly a trace of fear.

No longer were there cheers of joy for the kingship that had been near.

"The path I tread leads straight to heaven," it is the only way,

So he left his dearest dejected mother and Dasaratha that same day

With his closest brother at his side along with Sita his wife,

His dearest and most beloved counterpart whom he loved more than life.

The trials in the forest aroused no fear in him,

But was indeed a blessing, he said, "for one as fond of the wild places of the earth as I am."

Author's Notes/Comments: 

Inspired by the beginning of Rama's adventures in The Ramayana.

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