By Amrita Saikia
This poem is from the point of view of an old, sagacious valley dweller who witnessed the beauty of changing seasons (Spring to Summer to Autumn to Winter) over the years, but is now concerned about the plundering of nature that s/he sees around and the consequent devastation in the environment.
Tall mountains covered with trees,
Ran beside rain-washed lush green fields.
Tiny pebbles in the meandering stream,
Shone like stars when kissed by sunbeams.
The scent of wild flowers filled the air,
A swarm of variegated butterflies, a sight so rare.
A cuckoo crooned a soulful melody,
Perched on the branch of a deodar tree.
Earth was clad in a saffron hue,
As trees shed the old leaves, anticipating new.
A veil of mist gently landed,
Every evening, as night descended.
Snow-capped mountains looked resplendent,
The snow-covered ground appeared like white velvet.
No sign of chirping birds and bleating sheep,
As if the valley slipped into deep sleep.
Alas! those were the bygone days,
Gradually, everything around changed.
Buildings rose and mountains lay bare,
Even the pebbles in the stream were not spared.
The earth was chipped, inch by inch,
At the sight of destruction, Oh dear! I flinched.
The ground was jolted by numerous quakes,
Water gushed from crevices as the hills cracked.
The veil of beautiful mist disappeared,
The deodars chopped, the forest plundered.
The azure sky roared and thundered,
Perhaps, Mother Earth was deeply angered.
The wild flowers bloomed no more,
Once colourful surroundings turned eyesore.
Cheerful birds and beasts abandoned their abodes,
Or perhaps, could not stand the strong winds that blowed.
Alas! The plunderers paid no need,
They were blinded by an insatiable greed.
It is time that the destruction halts,
Or the selfish beings would soon regret their fault.
About the Author
Amrita Saikia is pursuing her PhD from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai. She is an active writer with Critical Edges and also contributes to editing.