The King and His Kingdom

The king is in prostration.

Before whom?

Is it even a question?

A kingdom with a broken spine always crawls

on the ground and falls on the face.


Outside the palace

Some poor girls are crying for justice!

The King never hears them

His battalions run over their voices.

The King meditates before his gods.

Which gods are averse to justice?


The people are asking for food

And the King is not the Queen

He is kind enough not to ask them 

to eat cake instead of bread!

Rather he keeps his silence.

Silence is the food he has been feeding since 2002.

He knows the power of silence.

It kills more than the bullets.


The King is in prostration.

The hunger index can’t make him stand up.

The cheerleader ministers are the chorus.

A woman standing away keeping a distance:

The distance the First woman of the Raisina Hills

Couldn’t cross.

In a male band, the women are left with no choice but

either being a cheerleader or an uninvited head of the state.


Look, the King is crawling…

Don’t call him a joker.

Doesn’t the Joker make us laugh?

The Constitution is bleeding.

Are you laughing at Democracy’s death?


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.