Thursday, May 13, 2021

The Weight - Sanga Says

 

There are two presences
The tangible and the intangible
And the weight of either vary
Upon those caught in its gravity
Here in hospitals rooms and corridors
Spilling out to the wailing, breathless streets
To the crematoriums of fire and water
Ashes dissolve into holy rivers
My country, in crimson ember,
Flickers between two presences
And the weight
The weight...

Sanga Says or Lalnunsanga Ralte, has been regularly featured here being one of our most well-known Mizo poets in English. This is his take on the Covid situation in India, the disaster of apocalyptic proportions that has left us all reeling.



Wednesday, May 12, 2021

7 a.m. – Lalrinsangi Nghinglova

7 a.m. 
it has become
a habit of sorts
to wait
with bated breath
for 7 a.m.
The hour that tells you
the number.
Every day at 7 a.m,
DIPR gives out
the statistics
of new positive cases.
As the numbers increase,
I pray every morning,
at 7 a.m.
that very soon,
the hour will tell us
that we have defeated
the virus
with prayers and obedience
and that
7 a.m. will show us
the answer to our
prayers and obedience.



Lalrinsangi Nghinglova is an Assistant Professor in English at Govt. Zirtiri Residential Science College in Aizawl. Married with three children, she is also currently pursuing a Ph.D. at Mizoram University. While she says she's no poet, these lines are a brilliant snapshot of the apprehension and anxiety that accompany the dreaded hour of 7 in the morning when the latest updates on the Covid situation in Mizoram are announced on social media platforms by the Directorate of Information & Public Relations.


Wednesday, May 5, 2021

A Prayer for the Dying, April 2021 - Mimi Pachuau

 

My heart breaks into tiny sharp pieces

When I see the morgue vans queuing for hours

Outside crematoriums…imagine, just imagine

Being one of the drivers

He must wonder if, or when

He may be the cold passenger…

He may not even be lucky enough to make it there

Like so many, the pavement could be his ending.


My skin no longer feels like mine

For there is death in the air

The Indian summers of the past seem mellow

Compared to the heat today,

The very air we now breathe

Is mixed with the smoke from funeral pyres

It is ironic that we breathe the remains

Of those who have died because they couldn’t breathe.

My Delhi is gasping for oxygen but it’s in short supply.


I’ve never felt this small in my life

As I earth these big prayers for my India

For the lakhs of Covid cases found every day

For the thousands dying each day,

For the crumbling healthcare system,

For children going hungry at night,

For our burning forests in the hills,

For our leaders who are overwhelmed,

For some who just don’t seem to care,

For your children who are like a speck of dirt in this enormous country.

 

Kyrie Eleison - Lord, have mercy!

May the ashes from the funeral pyres turn to crown of beauty

May you release waves of healing across this land.

 

Mimi Pachuau wrote this on the 25th April 2021 when the entire world looked on in horror as the Covid situation in India spiralled out of control and we saw picture after picture and video after video of smoking funeral pyres and people dying while gasping for oxygen. For Mimi, Delhi is her second home as she spent several years there, first as an English Honours student at Lady Shri Ram College and later as an MA student at the Delhi School of Economics. She later received a Ph.D. from Mizoram University and had a stint working in the Sociology department at Mizoram University. She very rarely writes poetry. 


Monday, April 26, 2021

Lines on Covid-19 written in the Solitude of Covid-Imposed Lockdown - Ralteite Pa

 

I see God in His omniscience

smiling

to see His beloved wayward children

squabbling over existence and self defined boundaries.

For it was His decree that set in his Eternal immutable will

how far the sea should cover the land

and how far the puny pride of man

should dare to question His sovereignty.

Let man realise his impotence against the most insignificant member of His vast family that sits at His cosmic table daily,

and tremble at the noiseless thunder of applause

praising the just and immutable rule of Him that raises the miniscule head of the nano-cellular virus above the self-ordained authority of the youngest bipedal creature who in his beggarly effort shakes the very house built for him

to his, alas, irrevocable doom!

 

So let all homo sapiens respect this invisible co-denizen of this planet and stay a tolerable distance from his immobile clutches or become the unwilling vehicle of its conquering might!


Ralteite Pa has given me strict instructions on how he wishes his name to be published here. Incognito :) However, I believe I have the freedom to state that this is a departure from the Mizo Writers under 26 feature I've been following over the last few months.   Thank you, Pu Ralteite Pa, for your poetic effort of what you call "more prods to sensitize us: drought, fire, environment crisis, universal morbidity."

Sunday, March 7, 2021

Poems - rinsangi

 

i smile as i watch you run through sunlit fields of daffodils and daisies under the canary tinted sky. the warmth of the evening sun reflects your soft honey eyes. your scent is of fresh freesias, a sweet reminiscent of midsummer dreams and twilight wishes. the summer stars start to appear shyly as your soft coral lips form a seraphic smile and as the diamond-flamed crescent moon slowly dances into view, the sky kisses poetry and places the stars in your eyes.

  ~ ~ ~


watching sunsets has become a habit now, partly because i love that time of evening when everything seems to fall into place and the sun seems to tell me i’ve done well for the day, but also partly because you remind me of them.

breathtakingly beautiful and calm, golden and warm, but also something i can’t make stay, something i acknowledge every new day, but have to say goodbye to for more times than i want.

you remind me of the sunset in a bittersweet way, and although it aches my heart bidding goodbye every day, i still eagerly wait for each new evening, just to experience it time and time again.

 ~ ~ ~


you told me you liked the dawn because i reminded you of it, because i was the luster in your overcast sky.

you said that to me two weeks after we met, a little too soon for such words. i thought maybe we were just different, maybe you were the type to take things at a relatively faster pace than i did.

so I thought of what i’d say to you someday, that would have as deep an impact on you as your words had on me.

romance, love, the sugar-coated words were never my forte so i looked up quotes online, all of which were too cheesy and corny for my liking. i never found one i liked, mostly because it didn’t feel quite right to use other people’s words to express myself, and also because they never conveyed my feelings towards you.

but i couldn’t construct my own. my dictionary didn’t contain much words for these kinds of scenarios so i came to the conclusion that i’d wait, and just settle to listening to you talk and talk while i admire the amount of words you have in your dictionary. i was okay with that, since i liked watching you and hearing your voice.

but maybe i waited too long to find my own voice that you grew impatient. you left as quickly as it took for you to say that i was your dawn, and just as surprised as i was then, i felt the same when you went out the door.

now it’s been months, and i’ve finally found the words i wanted to say, although now they would be unheard.

you were my dawn too, as much as you are my dusk now. you were like the first ray of light that brought along hope and every lovely thing i can imagine, and i was in love with the warmth that you bore. now you are also the darkness in which all of that sunk into, completely dissolving the blaze you brought into my heart.

~ ~ ~ 

but how will i ever be good enough for myself?

my mother tells me i’m beautiful and my father says he’s proud of me. but how will i ever stop magnifying the flaws stitched onto my skin and the shortcomings rooted deep within me?

~ ~ ~


rinsangi 
is all of seventeen and still in school. Daughter of a father who also writes poetry, she says she was inspired to start writing at a very young age, and in December 2020, came out with a little collection of prose poetry titled crimson. Like rdp, she also prefers to write in the lowercase. Her writing is often lushly descriptive, perhaps because it is partly prose while still being clearly more poetic than prosy. She loves Jane Austen and Pride and Prejudice, and hopes to fulfill her grandfather's wish that she become a missionary some day.

We can definitely see a bright writing future ahead for this precocious young talent.