To Be Human Today

I am born with a big, fantastic brain,
and delivered to civilisation –
a melting pot of culture and terrain,
propped up by buildings and automation.
I press my hands against the soft belly
of the body graciously hosting me:
the awe-inspiring machinery
of my precise clockwork biology.
I marvel at the gift of my mortal form –
the blessing of human incarnation.

Here is a modern Homo sapiens –
equipped with our unique evolution,
but faced with the real possibility
of hopeless existential despairing.
The design of our physiology
never meant for us to travel by air,
never meant for us to live on concrete,
consumed by a banal every-day.
The shoes protecting the soles of our feet
silence what naked earth could have to say.

How would I even begin to listen?
I start right from the very beginning.
I reach back into the ancient vision
that led us to be this pioneering:
humanity is the only species
that understood how to cooperate,
to have alliances and peace treaties,
to organise a power-structure state –
and yet, in the dark corners of the world,
there exist those entities that threaten.

The sanctity of a flag being unfurled.
Like the plight of the loyal Tibetan,
an Afghan stares at a bleak horizon.
I count the bodies we have left behind.
We may have risen through innovation,
but have yet to solve the quest for happiness.
I observe the happenings in horror:
the quiet, seething demand for power,
the perception of land to be conquered,
of citizens made to bow and cower.

Are they not denizens of our Earth?
I wonder what the Gods would think of us,
and our pseudo-intellectual mirth –
The Generals that sit behind laurels,
the politicians that feign ignorance;
the callous, the blind, the frightfully numb,
the lessons we were unable to learn.
I open my eyes to what is to come:
the order of the world will shift again,
much like the aftermath of an earthquake;
a rearrangement of who holds the reigns,
a sudden shift of a tectonic plate.

Kim Kaul is a poet and multidisciplinary artist living in Mumbai, India.

Featured image: Johnny Cohen/Unsplash