By Hiya Chatterjee
Us? Oh we always wanted more.
A child with a giant bulldozer
razing forests to drink expensive
wine writing melancholy lines
sitting by tall French windows of hypocrisy.
Inexorable, we. Time failed miserably,
panting far behind in the marathons for good causes,
as we mortgaged lives that caused discomfort. Every step
was meant to maim, to ravish, to kill, every pause
Winter came, and we wrapped ourselves in warm blankets
made of thick skins, fine quality fabric of flattened out flesh,
sipping cocoa as dark as those who picked them out for our greasy
fingers of everlasting greed. Whatever we touched, stuck to us like clay.
Summers had us rolling on beaches of our own shit, the seas
we transformed into a green plasticky excrement of the earth.
We hit the wall, we broke the wall.
We never heard when the end came.
Or perhaps, it made no sound.
Silently crept in through our breath.
Suddenly, we had to hide instead of the
birds or the deer or the tigers or the trees.
Did you hear the mountains laughing weakly?
Some rivers hobnobbing, the survivors few?
To think of it, we were never the inhabitants of the lonely planet.
We are the outsiders, the earth our colony.
Hiya Chatterjee is an Assistant professor and a Research scholar who has completed her Masters in English literature from Jawaharlal Nehru University and her M.Phil. from Jadavpur University. She is currently teaching in Swarnamoyee Jogendranath Mahavidyalaya under Vidyasagar University, West Bengal and is doing her Ph.D. at the University of Kalyani. Her research interests are South Asian Studies, Queer theory and Gender Studies.
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Read the latest issue of Cafe Dissensus Magazine, “Poetics and politics of the ‘everyday’: Engaging with India’s northeast”, edited by Bhumika R, IIT Jammu and Suranjana Choudhury, NEHU, India.
Ma’am, I commend you wholeheartedly for writing a poem tailor made for our current, contemporaneous era.
It also made me hark back to my own poem SALTED MUD CAKES published on Cafe Dissensus in 2018. Do read it if you can as it is written in the same vein, denouncing casual activism and hypocrisy.