October 4, 2016

Two Poems by Debasish Parashar: "Keep a Vigil With the Corpses," and "Of Promises, Markets and Memories"

Debasish Parashar is a poet and social journalist based in New Delhi, India. He is a postgraduate in English literature from University of Delhi. He has sung for 'In Search of God' and 'Raag'.His literary works have been featured in prestigious Indian and international journals, including Visual Verse (Germany/U.K), Tuck Magazine, and the Assam Tribune. He has a website at: https://debasishparashar.wordpress.com.


Indian Farm.jpg

Keep a Vigil With the Corpses

Keep a vigil over the corpses
Kisans of Malwa stripped of time
Mutilated by dogs
Swim along blue Satluj
Trapped and checked by sluice gates of progress
Bhakra of dams and dreams!
Keep a vigil over the corpses.

Bulla Shah weeps in silence
Writes a chronicle of horror or an epitaph?

Oh Punjab! How green you were!
Hopes for the hungry Bullets for others
Blossomed with a Green revolution
Food,fertility and foreign relations
Why the blue turns red with the Green?

On a windy Punjab night moonlit and blue
A corpse (or a Kisan?) from Malwa
Confessed volumes of your infidelity!

I have heard chronicles of many corpses
Some living,some dead
With meagre land or jobless vagabonds
Small and marginal or debt-ridden who jumped into blue Satluj
(To at least generate some hydropower!)
Stuck at the sluice gates
Not even suicides
Their transparent bodies undetected by underwater cameras
Spoke of rights and wrongs and...?

Technology is inadequate
Just for a change
Keep a vigil with the corpses
Keep a vigil for the corpses.

(Note: In recent times there has been a sudden spike in the number of dead bodies found in the Satluj River in Punjab,India.There has been a simultaneous rise in the number of farmer suicides in Punjab's Green revolution belt.The revolution relied heavily on imported,expensive modern seed-fertilizer technology which mainly benefited the rich farmers with big landholdings and marginalized the small  farmers. Dams provided much needed energy security but displaced many others.)

Of Promises,Markets and Memories

Better not try
To impress
With your sorrows
Life has few hollows
To be empty

Your promises are leaves
In a forest deciduous
Fertile in fall
Otherwise green

If memories were governed
By demand and supply
Market forces I mean
All geniuses could be ordinary
All histories linear
Since they are not
Meanings can be metaphors.

(Previously published in The Poet Community)

~Debasish Parashar

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