By Chandramohan S
The Killing of Shambukas
Jim Crow segregated hostel rooms.
Ceiling fans bear a strange fruit,
Blood on the books and blood on the papers,
Black body swinging in mute silence,
Strange fruit hanging from tridents.
[Note: This poem draws its inspiration from Abel Meeropol’s poem, “Strange Fruit” (1937) and is on the suicides of Dalit-bahujan students across institutions of higher education in India.]
(In the Neo-liberal times)
The era of open markets
added color to the stale world
of only white lingerie.
No place to dry pink panties.
[Note: The advent of right-wing government in India post the 2014 elections has rolled back many of the women’s rights earned through centuries of struggle.]
Namdeo Dhasal’s Letter to a Young Poet
In your poems
Do not set your rhyme and meter
With the drum beats of populism.
You may build mansions in their shade
Where synthetic grass is cut to level.
And flowers bloom in time for the next election season
With petals the teals of the incumbent flags.
Before your mansions crumble,
I want to send you
To the smithy of the blacksmith.
[Post Script: Do not charge fees to read poems on hunger.]
Chandramohan S (born 1986 in Palakkad, Kerala) is an Indian English Dalit poet based in Trivandrum, Kerala. His poems reflect the socio-political struggles of the marginalized, the working class and the nomadic outcasts of the world who are victimized and then forgotten as nations clash and wage relentless war. His work has been featured in New Asia Writing, Mascara Literary view, About place journal, Counter-Punch poetry, Thumb Print Magazine, The Sentinel, Chronogram (US), Green Left Weekly (Australia) etc. His first collection of poems, Warscape Verses (Authorspress) was published in May, 2014. Chandramohan works as an organizer at PK Rosi foundation based in Trivandrum.
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