Literacy Time PLUS story inspires young poets
23 July 2009Add to My Folder
Three young writers share poems inspired by the story of Krishna and Kaliya, published in Literacy Time PLUS in May 2009.
The May issue of Literacy Time PLUS Ages 7 to 9 included an Indian traditional story for group reading. Retold by Shantha Rao, of the Annapurna Indian Dance Company, and accompanied by photographs of puppets and Indian dance moves, the tale of Krishna and Kaliya explains how Krishna saved a river from a polluting snake.
While being traditional in origin, the story has relevance to the modern world and its environmental future.
Since writing the story for Literacy Time PLUS, Shantha has been sharing it with children in schools she has been visiting.
Children in one schooI – Downs Junior School in Brighton – so enjoyed the story that they were inspired to try their own pieces of writing, including poetry.
We are delighted to be able to share some of their work here with you.
What is Kilaya doing now?
Kaliya is choking up the rivers with plastic bags, polystyrene and kitchen rubbish
This makes it impossible to enjoy rowing through clear waters
Who is brave enough to stand up to all governments to demand help to deal with household waste?
Kaliya is piping unwanted oil straight into crystal blue waters
This kills the fish that feeds the polar bears
Who is brave enough to campaign against powerful oil companies?
Kaliya is poisoning our waters with chemicals and rubbish
This kills more wildlife and makes humans who live on river banks sick.
Who is brave enough to stand up to powerful farmers and forest workers to stop this from happening.?
Kaliya is throwing unwanted rubbish over bridges
This destroys the beauty of busy places
Who is brave enough to stand up to the people who do it.?
Kaliya is pumping sewage into our rivers
This spoils them for people to swim in them
Who is brave enough to stop this from happening?
Kaliya is making our rivers dumping grounds for plastic bottles
This makes it impossible for plants to grow
Who is brave enough to stand up to people who throw things away carelessly?
Kaliya is causing oil slicks to blanket miles of the seas
This covers the feathers of seabirds and covers the sea shore
Who is brave enough to stand up to oil tank owners and demand they use better ships.
Kaliya has come to the river Yamuna
The water is slimy, the air is poisoned Kaliya has come to the River Yamuna
The fish are dead, the animals are suffocating Kaliya has come to the River Yamuna
The fruit is rotten, the trees are dying. Kaliya has come to the River Yamuna
The crops are none, the flowers vanished Kaliya has come to the River Yamuna
On the banks of the River Yamuna
On the banks of the river Yamuna I can hear a rainbow coloured parrot copying the sound of human voices.
On the banks of the river Yamana I can see beautiful green fishes flapping their fins in the crystal water..
On the banks of the river Yamana I can feel the dry crinkly elephants skin and the monkey’s soft hands.
On the banks of the river you can smell the mint leaf that tumbles over the bank
On the banks of the river you can see blue bright and clear rushing water
On the banks of the river you can taste juicy mangoes and papayas dropped from shady trees.
On the banks of the river Yamana you can hear the high whining of the humming bird looking for nectar and the thump of elephants feet
On the banks of the river Yamana you can taste delicious white coconut milk
On the banks of the river Yamana you can see a white spotted deer galloping towards you.
On the banks of the river Yamana you can feel the delicate brief breeze of the summer air
Where is Kaliya now?
One child compiled a presentation involving a poetry reading, a slide show and an information text. Here is the information text:
Kaliyah did not die. After his fight with Krishna, the serpent went back to the depths of the ocean. Every now and again he resurfaces to pollute other rivers in other places.
Just as Krishna fought against Kaliya thousands of years ago, there are modern day Krishnas fighting against twenty first century Kaliyas. The Krishnas of today are people who recycle and people who pick up the rubbish that they see. They are people who join Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth and people who take a real interest in taking care of the planet. Kaliyas are people who use rivers as bins.
Can you be an extra Krishna?
He fought for a long time without getting anywhere but in the end he won his battle. We hope the same battle will be won again.