Poems

Earthquake

And the earth shakes 
Waves take wing
People are reaped
And like Doomsday mother and son are blind to one another
What catastrophe has struck God’s earth
So that people shield their noses from the stench of flesh
Nature is playing a game 
People were fishing unaware
That in Nature’s game 
The fish will get their fill of them 
When the earth was swept from under the feet of the servants of God
The adults cried
O Lord 
O Bagwan
O Jesus… Buddha… Moses… Help
But the children and the mad didn’t know 
Whom in the heavens to ask for help
First they laughed at the tremors then died
They were blessed not to know
The sky was still blue
No one said a word
Their laughter lost in the noise of the waves 
But in the dark night
Women are still looking to the waves
For the lamp of any fisherman’s boat
There is no adhan in the mosques 
No bells are ringing in the mandirs
The church crosses are broken
People strangle one another for the charity bread of the rich
While babies
Suck blood from their dead mother’s breast
 
***
 
The earth is full of people 
Some burn in fire some in war
Some are swallowed by the earthquake under soil and water
And again humanity understands 
That death is the agony of widows and orphans 
Not those who perished 
The tragedy of death lives on 
Playing with the tears of the Indian and Bengali women
But the dead know none of this
 
***
 
A madman was sitting on a branch of the tree
The tree standing in the mud
Like a bird the madman survived 
He wept and laughed 
And said
War will still rage somewhere in this world
And some people will crave the blood of others
Here Nature helped them 
Nature wept
So that the warriors 
Might have their fill
And bring an end to war
The madman wept and laughed
The tree still stood
And like a bird he survived

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