Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Lockdown Poetry - Doris Zualteii


From the start,

The gamut of information

Bubbled and burst.

And simultaneously,

Fear and hope alternated.

(Acceptance sometimes

made an appearance)

But mostly, we are learning..

Then relearning

About this strange new virus

That refuses to stick to prototype,

To obey its classification, to be slotted and subdued to submission.

It evades and changes behaviour

Seemingly slowly, but continuously.

An article here, supports a theory

An article there, dismisses the theory.

An obvious contact tests negative,

A distant passerby gets positive.

A strange virus, that begot this strange rhyme.



'We were born to die'

What a crass definition

That deserves an angry denial,

At the least, a parting dirty look.

But being alive only ascertains

That yes, we are most surely

Likely to die. Someday, not soon

Maybe, but someday, definitely.

And the certainty of death

Is what makes life precious.

And it makes the living so alive

And the leaving, so difficult

And the left, forever bereft.



I'd like to travel, she said.

She had dreams of Paris and New York.

I promised her, someday.

He loved weekends,

How he could simply stay home

Or visit family or a favourite hangout.

Now she doesn't speak of travelling,

And he prays for school to start. Every night.

It breaks my heart.

I've travelled, though not far.

And the smallest, will she ever

Be confined to Home, no school,

Not... ever?

6 months, and it feels

Paralytic, a lifelong diagnosis,

With a terrible prognosis.



I have lost my vocabulary.

It was misplaced somewhere between my phone

And the television.

I struggle for words,

Synonyms that would deliver.

But i have to settle for words that convey

Half the meaning, with half the impact.

I have to read, again.


As distressful and trying these pandemic times have been, it has also created circumstances and opportunities for people to do things they don't normally have time for. Such as our featured writer here.

Doris Zualteii is a medical doctor, a pathologist to be precise, at the Mizoram State Cancer Institute. When she's not busy at work, her three young children and a medico husband keep her extremely busy at home.  The last couple of months, however, have helped her birth these very personal reflections in poetry - something she hasn't done for several years. We'd love to see more creative output from her so do keep writing, doc!

Monday, November 2, 2020

Winter's Prelude - Somte Ralte

                                                  Distant mountains wrapped in lavender clouds

Standing resilient against nature’s ravages;

Beneath the vastness of the bluest skies

Lulled by gurgling streamlets;

Your stories are the whispers of the wind

Fabled by monotonous whistles of the valleys.


Beyond your running chains, you are nought-

Succumbed by perilous lines of orderly governance,

Undone by new stories that validate

The fallacy of an apathetic century’s rule.

Amidst the struggle for rightful heirdom, you remain

An enigmatic mass of spiralling mounds


Gazing long at the unbreakable silence,

While your sides plummet and your cores tremble,

You convene with the maddening skies

To bring all things to their causal pass;

While we wary in our earthly commotion

Seeking for an assurance of normalcy,


Some wounds are yet to heal,

Some truths are yet to surface;

And I wonder, standing on this windy hillock

Bathed in your evening’s endearing hues:

Will your stories ever be the whispers of my mouth,

Or your fables, the monotonous lines of my verse?



Somte Ralte, a writer whose works have been featured on the blog a couple of times before, was awarded a Ph.D. in English literature last year, published a collection of poetry in October also last year, and has just started working at a college in Bangalore. This particular piece, she says, is her "response to the present ramri buai situation (the escalation of hostilities between Mizoram and Assam over the boundary dispute).  It's disheartening to see how things are unfolding till date towards the border-issue, and more so at our apparent disengagement from the issue."