FREE VERSE – ON POLLUTION

1. It is said that –
‘There is hope till there is breath’.
Today, our breath is stifled by pollution.
Therefore,
There is no hope of
the continuance of civilization.
*
2. One hunter
One arrow
One bird falls down dead.
Sage Valmiki became a poet,
And he composed Ramayana.

Today the fowler named Pollution
is taking millions of lives.
But –
Even before his pen touches paper,
Today’s Valimiki falls down dead.
*
3. Man is the highest rung
in Life’s ascent .
Pollution-rust is eating away the ladder.
Very soon, Homo Sapiens will become
Another ‘Neanderthal’,
Evolution’s extinct link .
*
4. Be careful while riding this vehicle
Heavy load, breakneck speed, no brakes.
The pollution- gradient is dangerous
There is bound to be a grave accident.
The civilization is bound to perish.
*
5. The human race is a fallen tree
flowing in the speedy river of Time.
Pollution is a mighty waterfall.
It will fling down this tree
And shatters it into pieces infinite.
*
6. Now Eid can not be celebrated
Nor the ‘Karwa Chauth’ festival
Now the moon is hidden
Due to pollution-fog.
*
7. O Chakor bird,
Why chant the moon’s name now ?
Why crave to see it ?
Chant the Earth’s name instead ;
Because –
Now the Earth too
is fast becoming just like the moon :
Beautiful from a distance
but uninhabitable and baron.
Oh yes,
That’s what pollution has done to the Earth !
*
8. The driver is the son of Adam.
He napped at the wheel,
And caused an accident
to the car named civilization,
at the bend called pollution.
*
9. Yes, you may call me ‘butshikan’,
the idol-destroyer.
In the temple of my heart
I had venerated the beautiful idol of Civilization.
Today I have shattered that idol myself,
After seeing the polluting acts of civilized humans.
*
10. Civilization is a chandelier
Supported by a cord named Nature
The lamp of civilization lights up the abode .
The pollution-rat is nibbling at the cord
The chandelier plummets
And the Human race is crushed underneath.
*
11. The hutments hang their head with humiliation
Skyscrapers have their nose in the air with pride.
But why , when both are alike ?
Both generate pollution uniformly
Both endanger environment equally.
*
12. Poor people try to save wealth.
Poor Nations try to save fuel
in the hope of wealth,
in the hope of Carbon-Credits.
*
13. I am relieved to see the Governmental Report,
Because it says that
‘The pollution is reducing’ ;
Even though
My stifled breath tells me otherwise.
*
14. The equations of environment
are beyond comprehension.
The level of ground-water is going down,
Even though
the speed of glacier-melting
is increasing.
*
15. Enjoy the beauty of the Spring
Enjoy the enchanting monsoon.
All these will soon disappear
More and more pollution will appear.
*
16. Do not look for an oasis in this arid desert
Give up the hope of quenching your thirst .
Now the whole world is a barren wasteland
Now there’s not a droplet of water in any oasis
Now pollution has tightened its noose.
Now –
Thirst , only thirst
Irrepressible thirst
Now, one has to live a parched life
And drink only bleeding tears.

(From my forthcoming Book ‘Wreath For The Earth’,
which contains poems that are a free-translation of my own Hindi Poems).

– Subhash S. Naik

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