We and They
They oppress. We protest. They police.
We create history. They write textbooks. We go to their schools.
They call us enemies. We fight with ourselves. They televise our fight.
We die. They write news. We buy their newspapers.
They tell us what to speak. We speak their language. They dictate our thoughts.
We make art. They market it. We see art becoming cash.
They invent psychiatry. We become depressed. They make drugs.
We labour. They profit. We get wages.
They pollute the earth. We catch diseases. They build hospitals.
We vote. They become ministers. We serve them.
They make laws. We get arrested. They chair courts.
We grow food. They belch with full stomachs. We starve.
They sell bombs. We die in wars. They celebrate patriotism.
We question. They give us God. We pray for answers.
“What is vertigo? Fear of falling? No, Vertigo is something other than fear of falling. It is the voice of the emptiness below us which tempts and lures us, it is the desire to fall, against which, terrified, we defend ourselves” – Milan Kundera
humans long to fall
is mother’s vagina a cliff
from which the infant tumbles
and falls throughout its life?
falling to ground,
falling to knees,
falling in a fight,
falling in life;
there are many types of falls;
life is a perpetual fall
from infinite heights.
is another excuse to fall.
what is the highest point?
what is on the ground?
a leaf falls onto earth
the earth falls into sun
the sun falls into the void
the void falls into the infinite
the infinite falls into the Singularity
and a new fall begins
Poems on a Wintry Night
The town drops its clothes
one after the other,
as we walk in the desolate street
gummed to a silent conversation.
We seldom talk.
before becoming winds
There is a silence
There is a syllable
The tragedy is,
both are misplaced
Sad birds perch
on leafless branches,
as we walk
like pale sky and calm ocean.
The unspoken words
become skeletons of butterflies
pinned to a display-board
in the museum of memory.
You speak abruptly –
‘It’s alright to be cruel,
after all, one of us has to be unjust
in the end’
dying a bit.
Humans resist in their final days.
They attack their caregivers,
They pounce upon doctors,
chase away nurses,
rip off the tubes inserted to them,
spit food, tear their own clothes,
growl at visitors, curse the relatives,
they drop their bearings in broad daylight
and run in the busy street
escaping from nonexistent ghosts.
They rage at sunlight, brawl with rain,
run with winds, sob in darkness,
they stay up all night swearing the moon.
They wage the last battle
with the whole world
and die off in the end
like a wall-clock with depleted battery.
This is how humans wither away
as they near their end –
with despair and desperation
making incomprehensible pantomimes
fumbling for meaning of life in a dark room.
Rohith is a medico from Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh. His poetry has been published in various magazines like The Sunflower Review, Kritya, The Brown Critique, etc.
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