by Prabhas Vedagiri
The following are a series of poems submitted to the GSD Competition this year. Prabhas takes the reader on a journey that explores nature in its various dimensions and man’s role in this experience. As we perilously move towards a point of no return, the consquences of our actions more visible everyday. Nature is lashing out, making it of dire importance that we act now before the stains we create become impossible to wash away.
Under the canopy of wildly overgrown trees
Shielded from the intense beatings
Of both the sun and the rain,
An imperfect symphony of songbirds and crickets
resounds in every forest.
There’s beauty in chaos.
Its kingdom extends from the driest desert
to the lushest woodland to the deepest sea.
There, entire schools of fish
swim in ordered disarray.
No leader. No pattern.
Pure luck and instinct
to evade the ever-present threat
of sharks, birds and nets.
Above, towering waves crash on rocks,
Slowly drumming away,
While the sea mist dances inland –
Gliding back and forth –
At the mercy of the ululating wind.
Howling winds whistle in the deserts
Spewing fine grains of dust
To form a rolling sea of sand.
In the distance, a lone tumbleweed
Bouncing, and out of control,
Tumbles into the night.
On the horizon,
Tiny dots scatter randomly
a frantic frenzy of light.
Even the stars bow down to chaos.
Glowing one moment – gone the next.
Lost in a crowded ocean of constellations,
Ephemeral sparks of light from a bygone era
Move constantly through the night.
In every sunrise,
The sky is lit up by an eerie hue
Of red, orange, purple and blue.
And in every thunderstorm
Blinding lightning spreads
and branches as it scrambles
to the ground.
Just as every autumn
a flurry of frosted golden leaves
dying, decaying, fall to the floor,
every spring marks
the regeneration of life
in a chaotic, endless cycle.
Life – an artist–creates by chance,
There’s beauty in chaos.
Ordered chaos is replaced by a chaotic
world order, where success is defined
by fame, and money is treasure. Everything
to ever matter is shredded apart
by ego, power and blinding desire.
Where ancient trees once stood – robust, and tall –
an ushering silence creeps in to take
its place. Remnants of hope, of light, of life –
they fleet away. A match, a spark, and oil –
enough to turn a forest into flame.
A chaotic order hides the lies in
a politician’s smile. Though contradictions rule
this planet, we are none the wiser to
our so-called leaders turning a blind eye
on nature; on the world; on us.
Corruption of the highest order plagues
this planet with a bureaucratic process
of unfair justice. Yet, it somehow slips our
minds as a push of propaganda lights
a patriotic fire – and we turn
on each other. Manipulated into hatred,
fear and division, we can never stand
together. The politicians and corporations,
entangled in a web of power,
collude to make their blood-stained pockets that
little bit deeper.
But we’ve got blood on our hands too. Reluctant to
admit our fallacies, afraid of our
own foresight. Even though small changes go
a long way, we refuse to sacrifice
destructive lifestyles. Eat. Sleep. Rave. Repeat.
A perfect formula to bring us to our knees.
All talk. No action. Blood runs our economy.
Unwilling to let go of selfish thoughts
of blood money, we live in the past
we dwell on fantasies, and lose the future.
What we do not pay for in money now,
we will pay for in lives. But this blood debt
escapes our minds. We’ll be reminded of it
It was once a wonder you know. Home. Mind.
It was long before you were even born.
In a palace of a thousand trees, it was a drop of gold in a sea of smaragdine.
And we were lost, enchanted, in this kind
Utopian paradise, where enshrined
lies God’s lush, tranquil garden, where adorned
by the Amazon’s gift – the troubadour
of life, the sounds of rain on trees and hoots of birds are froz’n in time.
My heart’s still there – though we left long ago.
Amid the crowded city’s din, we can
still feel the withering wind as it blows
And bellows smoke, and chars and sears our skin.
We stare, eyes stinging, skin singeing, and qualm
Remembering nature: our fire-flooded home.
Heat. Burn. Fire.
Effects are dire.
A melancholy choir sings
In melancholy attire.
They pray – for what it’s worth –
Throats parched; voices hoarse.
Burn. Fire. Death.
They gasp for breath.
The air – humid – hot –
Is filled with dread.
A world made of water –
Yet no water to spare.
The squire and the squatter
Sit with their stomachs bare.
Reams upon reams of evidence
Spurned. Shunned. Scorned –
Nature –out of balance.
Droughts, storms, fires
Rage like the rising oceans,
Sting like the searing heat strokes,
Spread like the ancient viruses
Scattered across the seven continents.
Little insects on the earth –
They are born, and they’ll die.
They step onto the hot, hostile dirt,
And wonder – What a time to be alive?