Kids Corner


Gold Currency




Throughout human history, Gold has proved to be Man's choicest of possessions ... for two reasons: it's intrinsic beauty in the form of jewelery, and its ongoing value in terms of investment and liquidity. But, in times of turmoil, it takes on an added role and the air of currency - something to be plundered, or used to buy feedom and safe passage. As it did during the great human catclysm of the 20th century, the Partition of Punjab in 1947. 



Gold of the highest purity

Does not glitter, but warmly glows

Folded in ornamental brocades

Sealed in ivory chests

Dancing with silk salwar kameez

Powerful, even at rest

Willed from generations gone

Disguised as dowry or surety

Acknowledging status and resting upon

An heirloom for posterity?


No, the intrinsic value always bequeathed

Is the standard price of liberty.


Trinkets and gems embedded in gold dazzle and intrigue

Discreetly heighten discourse with the encroaching enemy

To purchase passage, when all else failed, gold could set you free.

The one true goal the oppressor seeks, the only leverage that liberty knows

The basest language the enemy speaks, is the always-desperate exchange of gold


October 6, 2010

Conversation about this article

1: Harnam Singh  (Jaipur, Rajasthan, India), October 06, 2010, 2:16 PM.

Dear Ms Gibson: You amaze me each time with the unique perspective you offer on Sikh historical events. This poem, as each of your previous ones, gives us a totally fresh and original vignette - something I don't think any Sikh or Punjabi has looked at, or can, without the insight of an "outsider". Thank you for this poignant piece.

2: Karan Kaur (New York, U.S.A.), October 06, 2010, 5:26 PM.

Indeed, gold becomes a player when things go wrong, sometimes resulting in its owners becoming victimized ... and sometimes helping them buy their way out. We seem to have forgotten how much of a role it played during the Partition. I have heard a number of stories about how it became the catalyst in being a magnet for both villains and 'friends'.

3: Malkit Singh (Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.), October 07, 2010, 5:12 PM.

It's amazing what nooks and corners one can find in digging through history. Good poem. Thanks.

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