It’s okay to maim my name for I am an inconsequential thing
You can place me on the shelves of Primark and Aldi
Mine is a ‘budget identity’, made on the cheap – no frills!

But a long time ago, in the era of benign Kings and Queens
My people’s fortunes and graces were celebrated afar
On distant plains, if you paid attention, you’d hear their words

But now they are no more, Buddhist remains of Gandhara’s good days
The old language has lost her script, its sounds fading into the winds
As we wake up every morning hoping to catch the gentle echoes

What of Gandhara and that ancestral place we’ve forgotten?
Of wealthy merchants and beautiful people, pure and virtuous 
Giving their dues, filial acts sketched on the minds of noble folk

Their statues are serenaded in British Museums and glossy books
A blessing of sorts I guess, plucked from their decaying promenades
Thousands of miles away from the land of the Crescent and ‘fat men’

I can walk into any British library and see their faces, as if they never left
I feel at peace, restored, Gandhara, is a name worth saying
And so I thank my forbears lingering fondness for Britain’s Merchant Ships

In the dingy engine rooms, they shovelled coal and made passage here
More than a century ago, they made the leap for Britain’s cold winters
I don’t know their names, the places they stayed, or their memories

But at least I have something of them in Britain’s stately buildings 
Standing proudly tall, sublime, forebears worth remembering 
Here in the land of the Cross, I can stare into the past and be redeemed 

It’s as if I never left the place we’ve been made to forget 
And I find in the peace of a cavernous space, the good folk of Gandhara 
Lovingly placed, honoured, speaking to me, telling me, “you’ve come home”

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Equality & Human Rights Campaigner, Researcher, Content Copywriter and Traveller. Blogger at Portmir Foundation. Liberal by values, a centrist of sorts, opposed to authoritarianism - States must exist for the welfare of people, all of them, whatever their beliefs or lifestyles. People are not "things" to be owned, exploited, manipulated and casually ignored. Political propaganda is not history, ethnicity, geography or religion. I love languages and cultures - want to study as many as I can; proficient in some. Opposed to social and political injustice anywhere in the world. I believe 'life' is a work in progress, nothing is fixed even our thoughts! Feel free to contact me - always prepared to widen my intellectual horizons and stand corrected - don't insult me though. Be grown up. Tell me why you think I'm wrong. If you make sense, I'll change my views. My opinions are not necessarily those of the Portmir Foundation; the Foundation does not do censorship; if you disagree with any of us, and you espouse liberal values, write your own opinion piece, and we'll publish it even if we disagree with it. It has to be factual and original. You can contact us at