Volume 4 Issue 2, June 2020
Special Issue for Indian Poetry

Pranab Ghosh

 

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?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

Dying Earth

i

All the King’s men conspired

And then the King joined the

CONSPIRACY.

And the earth got bereft of

The support of the most

POWERFUL kingdom.

Some of the King’s subjects

REVOLTED.

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

Of EARTH.

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

KINGDOM’S COFFERS.

So forget it.

 

 

 

 

ii

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

KING’S HELP.

BUT THE OTHER KINGS AND QUEENS OF THE

EARTH HAVE VOWED TO SAVE THE

EARTH, WITHOUT THE SUPPORT

OF THE MOST POWERFUL KING

ON EARTH.

 

iii

Dharitri’s sister was listening with rapt attention

 

iv

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

Their bedroom.

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

Country.

 

v

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

LUST!

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

Put

Up

A

United

Fight

To

Save

The

Earth.

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

RESPONSE.

Even a kid understands, but our King does not, thought

DHARITRI.

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.

 

vi

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!

 

vii

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!

 

viii

What King? Would you come on board?

 

 

 

 

Existential Ecology

 

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!

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

A Letter

 

To,

My Muse

 

From the depths of your naval

The words rise and engulf

Your body…

 

And then those enter your

Mind and peeps through

Its window…

 

                             Yours,

                             Poetry

 

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. 

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Published by The Alternative.