Soil

by Basanta Kumar Kar


I was reshaping fitness swinging fruits ripen
exerting stink for breezes
gentle rays of the morning sun
drying and lilting:
this hilltop a new-way paradise
sermons of Buddha, lights of Pagoda,
enchanting echoes, a message of peace.
Everything is private, personal;
birds and butterflies carry the souvenir.
We unearth divine mysticism.

Wrinkled skin, unpolished visage, bruised wounds:
Farewell to youth, the colors of the past,
Monsoon changes, seasonality stresses
land static, population dynamic;
the yellow flower of Niger competes with mustard.

Neighbors encroach.
Stop here, your land is mine.
Stranger in my own home
a Laborer in my own fields,
fair skin, fleshy muscle,
damsels visible in dark tribe,
lust drains values and ethics,
a pawn in the market,
body bears the chain, eyes only speak.

We never exercise, fall short to voice,
for refugees a new-way puzzle,
the family home, the kith and kin,
my birth soil, Tibet attracts;
dream to breathe the last air
as a citizen to refugee.


[Author’s note] This is the story of Ms. Chano, 77 years old, who is in a Tibetan refugee camp in Mainpat Block, Surguja District, Chhattisgarh, India.


Copyright © 2008 by Basanta Kumar Kar

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