Volume 4 Issue 2, June 2020
Special Issue for Indian Poetry
Capital City under Terror Attack
Sitting in the café, among book lovers,
Some measuring each other over a cuppa
Others chit chatting, and some others
Sipping the elixir in compatible silence
Some browsing through books, internet
As they ponder on their next move.
Suddenly the easy-going peace is shattered.
The litterbin opposite the bookstore-cum-cafeteria
Is shredded into pieces, the glass window pane
Of the cafeteria shakes in vibration and hearts tremble.
A terror attack in the after-office hours.
Patrons inside embrace each other
To soothe frayed nerves.
Half-an-hour pass by; police cordon off the area.
The patrons slowly walk out, heart in hand,
as the establishment will have to down shutters,
a precautionary measure. Traffic movement
down the road has been stopped.
I walk past the blast site hearing news of more
Blasts and lives lost in other parts of the city.
BANG! BANG! BANG!
Finally I reach home wadding through
DEATH and DECAY!
Circle of Life
Struggle of life…
Mirth & merriment
Struggle of life…
Desire & dream
Struggle of life…
Aspiration & achievement
Struggle of life…
Awards & accolades
Struggle of life…
Apprehension & despair
Struggle of life…
Decay & death.
Has life come a full circle?
All the King’s men conspired
And then the King joined the
And the earth got bereft of
The support of the most
Some of the King’s subjects
They said they in their personal
Capacity will fight for the earth.
They will work to make
The earth Greener.
Cut of GREENHOUSE Gases
To halt the growing temperature
THEY WILL SPEND MONEY FROM THEIR
POCKET, WHAT IF THE KINGDOM
REFUSED TO DO IT’S LEGTIMATE DUE.
Nothing doing said the King. Go your way
If you choose. Not a cent from the Kingdom’s
Coffer will be spent for a vain cause.
Rising temperature of earth all
BULLSHIT. Winters are as cold
As they used to be and summers
Are as hot. All these greenhouse
Gas theories, all rubbish, attempt of the
World to eke money out of the
So forget it.
World got stunned.
All the kings and queens of the King’s
Friendly nations tried first to reason
With the King, but to no avail.
The King was hell bent. Then they
Showed their anger. But that too
Did not work.
All the King’s men advised
And the King listened.
He pulled out of the earth’s fight
To save it’s air and water and forests
And greenery. Out of earth’s fight
To keep it’s carbon footprint under
Control. What control said the King?
We need no control. It’s a ploy made
By the poor nations to take money
Out of US and we will not TOLERATE.
THE KING HAD HIS WAY.
And the EARTH GOT POORER
WITHOUT THE FORMIDABLE
BUT THE OTHER KINGS AND QUEENS OF THE
EARTH HAVE VOWED TO SAVE THE
EARTH, WITHOUT THE SUPPORT
OF THE MOST POWERFUL KING
Dharitri’s sister was listening with rapt attention
There was a small girl Dharitri,
Whose country witnessed the
Most devastating floods in decades
When she was 10-years-old.
She was confined indoors for days.
Could not go to school, to play.
She lived in a city and all the
Streets in her locality had waist deep
Water. In some parts of the city
Boats were used to ferry people.
However, water did not enter
But when she was 23 his country
Was flooded again and the
Tornados had started to batter the
Earth. Now the tornados are hitting the
Earth at greater frequency.
Earth is at the mercy of all these
Giant killers, which uproot lampposts,
Roofs of houses, destroy billboards
Toss cars and light vehicles plying
On the streets like toys. In a word,
Bring human life to a standstill and
Man down to his knees.
Now Dharitri’s home get waterlogged
Along with the streets of her city,
As more and more Aila’s hit her
Why are all these things happening
Dharitri’s young sister once asked.
Is it because we are committing
More sins? Is it because the God
Is angry with us? If so, how can
We atone for our sin?
YES THESE ARE HAPPENING BECAUSE
OF OUR SINS, replied Dharitri.
The temperature of earth is increasing
Because of human follies, MAN’s unbridled
Percentage of carbon dioxide is increasing
In the air; the suspended particulate matters
Are increasing. The air we breathe is getting
Filthy, as filthy as our surroundings when
The sanitary workers go on strike and refuse
To clean the city’s garbage.
The polluted air is giving birth to diseases
Of the lungs, allergies and other
Respiratory maladies, said Dharitri to
Her young sister. But all these have failed to
Sway the King, who thinks everything
Related to the Earth’s environment
Is honky dory and there is no need
To worry. No need to
How wrong is the King! Thought Dharitri’s sister.
And what about our home getting
Waterlogged more frequently?
That’s part to do with the environment, part to
Do with the aging drainage system that
Is failing to carry the increasing weight from the
Population that is butchering the nature.
All these skyscrapers, the multistoried …
These are putting immense pressure on
The earth’s resources, especially its water
And many of the countries in the world
Will go without water, come 2050, said Dharitri.
Her sister was shaken.
WE ALL SHOULD DO SOMETHING WAS HER IMMEDIATE
Even a kid understands, but our King does not, thought
As the temperature of the earth is gradually increasing,
The snow in the arctic is slowly melting
And if the situation is not brought
Under control many of the landmass
Of the earth will disappear under the sea,
Daritri told her little sister.
As it is one third of this earth is made of water?
She asked Dharitri and now what you are saying…
Water will engulf earth. Isn’t it? She asked.
What will happen to us then? Where will we live?
What will we eat? What will happen to our farmlands?
Where will all the patients be treated if our hospital goes
Under water? What will happen to our school?
Dharitri was flabbergasted. But she kept her cool,
As she too was now, perhaps for the first time,
Realizing the real implication of the rising sea level,
All because of greenhouse gas effect.
The King is a selfish giant, she thought, devoid
Of emotions, devoid of all human and humane
Consideration, SHE WAS INWARDLY FUMING.
Was she becoming really rude as she was cursing the King?
Certainly not, someone said from her within.
But there are others, she tried to comfort her.
What if the King did not take up the cudgels
To SAVE THE EARTH!
Dharitri, we must not lose one moment,
We must buy wood logs now.
Wood logs! Dharitri was really amazed.
What have wood logs to do with all these?
Daritri did you not read in scripture class
Of the rain that devastated the earth for
Forty days and forty nights and there
Was no piece of land that could be seen after the
Rain. The earth became the seas. And did not
Noah make his boat to save the earthlings?
We will have to prepare a big boat to save
Us and our neighbors, isn’t it?
We will have to start buying wood logs
Dharitri! The sooner the better!
What King? Would you come on board?
Mind created the magic,
An illusory machine that
Carried him down the
Winding paths of life as
He met spirits and other
Minds, out to outmaneuver
Each other in their bid
To embrace glory, without
Rhyme or reason.
As reason took a backseat
And ecology of existence
Faced a question mark, mind
Meandered into the labyrinth
Of reason and failing to find
A suitable answer created
A magic that could pass as
Real to unconcerned people,
Out of sync with
The tales of time.
Tale it began as and
Fable it turned into,
Where love sold like
Hotcakes among deluded
Lovers, and time hung
Her head in shame!
Exhorting the Spirit!
I saw her standing at
Her kitchen window the
Other day, eager to talk
About the distressing times
That had eaten into her vitality.
A 2 am every night she scrubs
The bathroom floor, as she
Sings heartrending love
Songs that the night sky
Listens to and sheds a tear
Or two. The stars too go
Into hiding as she tries
To scrub off imaginary
Bloodstains of the floor.
Years ago her mother fell
There and died of hemorrhage.
She tried to find a lover but
Got bruised in the process.
Now when night reaches the
Moment of deathly silence
She implores her mother to return
And take her away from the
Memories of her betrayed love!
From the depths of your naval
The words rise and engulf
And then those enter your
Mind and peeps through
Postscript: Is it that today you went out
To impress the world and then in turn
Got immersed yourself?
About the poet
Pranab Ghosh is a journalist, writer and poet. His poems and prose piece have been published and accepted by Tuck Magazine, Dissident Voice, Transendent Zero Press, Scarlet Leaf Review, Literature Studio Review, Leaves of Ink, Hans India, Spillwords, The Piker Press, Visual Verse, Setu, Memoryhouse etc. He has coauthored a book of poems, titled Air & Age. He has to his credit a translation of a book of Bengali short stories. The title of the translated book is Bougainvillea and Other Stories. His second book of poems and first solo book Soul Searching and Other Poems (2017) has been published by Scarlet Leaf Publishing, Toronto.