Dappled shadows mated with light
in obtuse street corners, where
exposed bricks blushed pink in
the golden glow of sodium vapour
lamps, highlighting a stained
guilty knowledge of the dozen unfed
sleeping just round the corner;
here the fair people don't venture
even by day.
In the night it's a dead-end.
Drip by Drip the air conditioners leak
onto their sides, their faces, their aching feet.
Into the silence of hunger and the roar of
automobiles, a single tiny drop of
gratitude falls unknown, unheard,
merging in the dust of the wry pavement.
'I got to live another day', says the young mother to herself in wonder!
Her toddler is by her side, asleep.
She whispers 'I am breathing.'
A motorcade roars by, unseeing eyes crushing the
night, a very important person on his way to some
Drip by Drip the water seeps into the pavement,
It was a cold night in Nov '17.
Confession of a Silent Soldier
There's a war on -
'Survival of the Impoverished'.
We, the soldiers have looked away
from the battlegrounds, because our
minds have been washed, our hearts
disengaged, our brains numbed by this
societal system that feeds the moneyed
and hides away all traces or rights of the poor...
It is our war &
we have thrown down our arms
and looked away.
Oh, we have been trained to
Right from the beginning.
Rolled bundles on streets,
hungry outstretched hands,
tearful children, destitute women with infants clinging,
kids racing with magazines at traffic lights, upturned noses in classrooms
towards the underprivileged,
schools that wouldn't even dream of admitting less privileged ones, and summarily eject
them if a
good samaritan somehow got one in!
Yeah, like guests we arrive and depart,
from our own spaces that are falling apart,
awaiting the kiss of resurrection, that we are loathe to give. We are not a part.
Smeetha Bhoumik is a poet, artist and the founder of Women Empowered-India, a poetic forum for addressing gender equality. Her recent poetry features in literary journals like Life & Legends - from Cradle of Civilization : Contemporary Indian Poetry, Muse India (Muse India 2016 curated by Professor Gjv Prasad) Indian Review, Neesah, The Guardian, among others, and will form part of an international anthology titled Writing Language, Culture and Development, Africa Vs Asia Volume 1 Anthology. A poetry collection and a chapbook are forthcoming. Her art has shown in ten solo and forty five group shows in India and abroad, receiving two special recognition awards at international juried exhibitions.