Each flame licks a life
Each ember leads to strife
How will man survive?
From the meat roasted by the flames
That rise as if from Earth’s insides?
The birds that no longer fly
Lie roasted, toasted, drained of colour.
The brilliant macaw with its plumes of blue and yellow,
The golden monkey that leaps from tree to tree,
The green frog that hops,
The slithering snake that crawls
Now all lie in a heap
Under the dead burnt leaf.
70, 000 fires that cindered
The green to a dun, dull grey...
Devoid of life
Like Mordor, the ground cries.
Will only the Orcs abide
The dead — can they rise?
During the last reckoning what will they say?
Childhood has ended and we hold the Earth in our sway?
The last child crumbles away...
Mitali Chakravarty’s poetry has appeared online and as part of two anthologies, In Reverie (2016) and An Anthology of Indian Poetry in English (1984). This particular piece was published in Countercurrents.org in August, 2019.