Tuesday, March 1, 2022


Muddy village roads between green fields,

Measured and quartered between families;

Pledged and seized, 

For dowry,

For a son-in-law who ran away six months later

With a neighbour's daughter,

On the last bus to the big town.

Here's where the fire last ate,

The once green grass and wild bush,

Dried by a relentless summer sun,

Every last drop licked clean;

Till a nonchalant tourist lit a cigarette

And awoke a deep-held desire

To scourge the land barren,

A glorious flame that ran past boundaries

And left the tiger nothing but farm chicken to eat.

Manicured paths amongst green bamboo trees,

Calls of songbirds, and one, beautiful and desperate

For a mate, for a flock, a murder, a raison d'etre.

The last of the species, he cries and sings,

All in vain, 

But for the award-winning photograph, 

Hung in a gallery, 

Neat and chic on a sour cream wall, 

Mostly lifeless, 

Almost withering, hopeless.

Green number plates with tax breaks

Silent scooties that honk mercilessly, 

Up and down bumpy roads, stirring dust, setting off allergies.

A planet in crisis-- the storms no more blow 

as per ancient winds, 

But are carried by young fury, 

Hot-blooded without empathy,

From afar and near, as if gathered by a religion,

An incandescent sky who may have been a God,

But now a fallen deva, bemoaning a pralaya

A fallen angel, hell too is a duty.

In the beginning, there was a green leaf,

And on it a baby with a toe in mouth,

Tongue-in-cheek at a species which 

will forget itself in avarice and glory.

In the beginning were two, 

maybe green, maybe blue, 

we don't know, for we can't see, 

our sight too narrow and firmly tied 

by eons of the hunt and scurry. 

In the end, there will be,

Something endlessly green, pink, white, black,

Or maybe nothing. 

When no human sees, 

does it even matter for our memory?

துள்ளும் இளம் காண்

கற்றவன் கோவிலில் தஞ்சம் கேட்டானாம்

பச்சை இளம் துளிர் நுநியில் முடிவிலி

நான் அறிந்ததோ முற்றிலும் துளி.

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