Little icebergs from Antarctica
Had floated down into my native
Land, singing with the birds, odd
New songs of enchantment, that
Spoke of freedom.
Freedom that melted into dusk, lit
Up minds and waves of liberation
came surging in swathes of turquoise
blue, washed with sea green. Sitting
on a rock, we watched mesmerised,
soaking it all in.
Little icebergs that had broken through
All barriers to reach us, shone like lights
On deep dark patterns of ancient mores
Held captive for so long, held so close to
the core of an ancient land...
Examined. Illumined. Scrutinised,
The salt in its spray stung old wounds
That wanted to dig in deeper, fester, eat
Away inner sanctums. But not anymore,
Not now that the icebergs had arrived,
Crystal clear in their reflections of the way
We were, the way we must be, and the
We all needed to change!
Delicate eggshell China, Swarovski,
Tinkling high heels on the sidewalk,
An elegant entrance, cool confines
Fluttering momentarily in the heated
Gust that had swept in, unabashed
Brazen. Fingers sweeping across in
Disdain, a rapid exit, kerchief held
Close at hand to ward off the cruel
Heat wanting to devour, to disown
Those fleeing their own, their kin, in
Unashamed upward swings. But it
Only succeeded in killing those poor
Footsteps on the burning asphalt
Running naked, arms outstretched,
Will it halt her feigned progress? Or
Will the wheels roll on, clattering,
Clamouring, clawing out eyes, nails
Teeth, of those on the street, their
A singular plurality
Here, speaking to itself
In numbed monotones
No one else can hear,
Or ignore, if they do!
Song of the unheard
Millions plays on like
A background score
To which everyone is
Immune! Flashes of
Lightening streak the
Sky, shocked, horrified;
Thunder crashes rolling
It's eyes at the cruelty of
The well-heeled, no shared
Days, just nights without end.
The far-away land seemed to be losing anchor, drifting away
Into beautiful mists that entranced; that danced like fairy lights
In the darkness. Motion and stillness fused together, indrawn
Breaths held long under water, loathe to release, for fear of
Drowning. Churning swirling waters swelled and crept up to
Shoulders that had tried too long to bear the weights, to keep
Going. To keep going. To keep breathing. As the middle slept
Or refused to look, as the top left for foreign nooks, as the mid-
Day sun had them slowly cooked, they tried to hold on to a
Mass of earth that was their home, their hearth, their livelihood.
Now the slippery earth too wasn't theirs anymore, floating away
Out of reach, tightly clenched fists over things that had no meaning Anymore.
The middle still slept.
Hinterlands, India 2016 November.
Across a pile of hay and straw, near the cow-shed
A lone mango tree stood in the evening sun, its long
Shadow falling over the little heap at its feet. It had not
Been there too long, just this afternoon the listless heap
Was running pell-mell across the street, chasing a ball
And a game. That was before mid-day, before the
Unravelling of a meal-time unsound, that robbed his body,
Swallowed his round, over months and weeks of tortuous
Hold, until this afternoon, when in a final run it fell at
The feet of its favourite mate: the kind old giving tree friend.