I can’t write poems for you.
Let me tell you stories:
stories of metamorphosis.
Our spring is gone
and in the lap of summer
the rivers have become an apparition of our greed.
The signboards are fresh and loud –
Where have the fish gone?
The plates in the Save Tree conclaves are full
with their flesh
Their white eyes have meticulously been
and a long memorandum is being read to them.
Do dead fishes have ears?
They have shaven trees
like they shave armpits.
The clean-shaven earth
has become an everyday volcano and
We are walking like zombies.
In the last thousand days,
the parliament has metamorphosed into
a group theatre with no actor in the group.
And we have been turned into a
warehouse prison with invisible shackles in our tongues.
My daughter asked me this May
Was Shahjahan a Sarkar?
I have asked everyone
Can the blue line metro
take me to Tihar?
How can I write you letters?
I, a prisoner and you a free man
Can I write a letter to you, Umar?
I can reach you yet can’t reach you ever.
My dreams have transmuted into a state’s bargain
And you, my comrade, must have kept the dreams alive.
Tonight I can’t write you the saddest lines
I am waiting for you to find my dreams back.
Since you have metamorphosed into
I have become a voice.
Don’t we know a bit of Sun
can even metamorphose water into torrential rain?
Moumita Alam is a poet from West Bengal. Her poetry collection, The Musings of the Dark was published in 2020. The book has about a hundred poems written in protest against the humanitarian crisis from the abrogation of article 370, the Delhi riots, and the Shaheen Bagh movement to the unbearable sufferings of the migrant labourers due to the unplanned COVID – induced lockdown.
Featured image illustration by Pariplab Chakraborty.