Sunday 15 August 2021

Srijani Roy, Poetry 2021 Shortlist


The holy river in it’s rise and fall, treads through a small village unknown to all.

Amidst the fertile plains It humbly stands , beyond all hustle and time constraints.

An Old post office forgotten, unkempt; is the only relic the world has left.

At the heart of this forsaken place, stands a Banyan tree since ancient days.

Tales and legends often said, there lived a Holy man under its shade.

The stories of his Healing Hands, forayed to the farthest of lands.

His fame traversed to every vent , as the curer of all ailment.

Under this very tree he breathed his last, amidst the fading light and shadows cast.

Since then, the embodiment of his soul divine

Is the Banyan tree; The holy shrine.

Good days passed in full accord, as the villagers worshiped their TREE GOD.

One day , in their peaceful lives, Peril came like monsoon tides.

In an auction somewhere held

A company bought the land where the poor tree dwelt.

On a fine day, these men arrived, amidst the astonishment of bewildered eyes.

These dubious men set their eyes forth, on the gifted land they had wisely bought.

The best of lands in fairest of price, only a worthless tree to set aside.

A factory instead will be laid, of whatever it was the company made.

Their Men came with axe in hand, to cut the tree and spare the land.

Women cried and men swore, as the sentence passed from door to door.

Hundreds of them thronged that night, around the fated tree in faint moonlight.

With open eyes they refused to see

What was in front, was no God, just a tree.

The company men, now in a fix, resorted to their maverick tricks.

A factory they said would bring them work; end to poverty, their days of dark.

The village men, unbent, unbowed;

all night they stood on toes, aloof to reason and repose.

As the scene further tensed, the news spread of this resistance.

News men gathered under its shade; quoting the greatness of this holy crusade.

Now the company, at their wit’s end; coveted to means with ghastly intent.

But nothing could undo that was done, neither hefty goons nor police baton.

Unable to bend these resilient men in spite of all means they could comprehend.

At last the company lost all reasons, to indulge in strife with “barbaric” peasants.

Somewhere with a smaller sum, they bought another field, more welcome.

Finally the brilliant sun was shone, a marvelous battle had been won.

That night the dubious men had to flee to where ever that might be.

The farmers gave out a joyous yell but how much was won, Only time will TELL.

In one of the following nights, a violent storm did the last strike.

Next day, as the villagers thronged around

They saw the fated tree fallen to ground.

Uprooted beyond reform; hit by the thunderstorm.

The village men, in loss of word, for the sudden demise of their TREE GOD.

For once at last, did they see

What was in front was no God, just a Fallen Tree.

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