Lit Up
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Lit Up

Sow Sorrow Reap Remorse

Free Verse

Hampi, Karnataka 2019

Who sows the seeds? Nation’s dependable yield!
Who milks the grounds? Sweating into the soil, ploughing and plodding? Hopeful eyes that await the turning of the seasons,
Rabi and Kharif — the sun and moon of their earth’s existence.
Hands and feet that mould the mother; a harsh teacher, a gentle pleaser.
Nurturer, sometimes she burns; at times, she soothes. Her skies — they bleed heavily or none at all.
While we stretch these arms outside our windowpane,
engulfing and possessing the droplets dripping on our fingertips.
A year’s harvest gets muddled in the rain, households cry and live in pain.
A man ties a noose around his neck; his widow spends her life paying back his debts.

Reports become raptures; people their melancholic drapes.
Dhan Jan or Jan Dhan? Who is waiting for the ripened time?
In work and worship, a crawling climb. It’s never enough.
Farmers, all of them — need a second income to sustain,
Pull a rickshaw, place a brick, but ambitions must they abstain.
In case ambitions run high, to a city they must migrate.
Many attempt but few survive, the burdens of urban land.
Children, after mothers, often pay the price, along with cattle and birds,
they miss their makers — labour, marriage, turmoil and sacrifice.
Forest fires, famines, cyclones and lockdown.
Create equal havocs on the walking kind.

Mothers, they are hard to please.
And her neediest children? They whither before they peak.
Paddy fields and abundant lands don’t fill our stomachs. Farmers can.
Walking miles away from home, leaving behind toddlers to fill shoes,
big enough to serve as blankets at the hour of need.
Migrate to cruel cities, get locked down and looked upon.
Suck salt, access before excess, are you poor enough to get a grant?
They are! They are grateful, forever. For mercies and mitigations,
for empathy and documentation., for packages and policy specifications.
When doors are shut everywhere, and locusts fly through the farms.
When hunger strikes the stomachs that labour in the soil of our being,
And mindless consumption becomes a false reality.
Sometimes we let them sow rewards, sometimes the sown is already dead,
Theirs and ours — life goes on; sometimes they sow sorrow and reap remorse.

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Welcome to Lit Up -The Land of Little Tales. Here you can read and submit short stories, flash fiction, poetry - in brief, your own legend. We're starting little. But that's how all big stories begin.

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