Amphan Et Cetera
To write into the eye and make words spin out
Storm, cyclone, white lather mess destroyer
Overhead and between and into
Nail clucking warm eyed silence of the safe boxed.
But it spares few.
Fails by a scratch to encapsulate concrete, to see through fiery self,
I blue-bleed, monthly, on the bed
Nature child in essence, blood and water trickle, drip, drizzle, pour
Above the din.
It is also the year of the disease
Renders alone the already wretched
Us and them.
But to focus on her as she spins us into labyrinth eye,
Spits out, uproots and buries
I want to stand naked and let her stretch and tear through
Like she does with so many more.
Up here, I chisel word for word the storm
The storm hisses, whooshes, groans through rickety wood.
And ticks like old bones,
Or time, as you like.
I've never felt the gust in my head and seen more than felt,
At nineteen, it's the first that has shown itself, ever so slightly,
But for our tender skin,
It has wreaked havoc.
Singing solo soprano and spinning around debris,
The act has lasted three full hours, stopped
The closing scene is tougher.
I fail to make out the loudest bits on paper,
I fail to draw carcass, chunks of missing tree arm or thatch, bodies,
I fail with her wanton piece and mine, thought out, pained.
The storm knocks together tall tree heads and kills,
Like a silent murderer.
It's because you never know until the calm morning light.
III. Later at Night
Men come out on the streets
They whistle, they catcall her
She shrieks back
IV. Next Morning
You can tell the community the most on the morning after the storm,
Wide-eyed we come out and view the dead,
The pond has flooded.
A man runs around telling us that our mango tree is missing,
Torn apart, a few hundred feet away
His garage shed is gone.
Scrawny kids fill bags with mangoes,
The gifts she clawed out in her noose haired wake.
Astounding, brings back memories of two centuries or more
We have not witnessed her kind.
Aila was a child's play- watching pond crabs that scuttled onto the lawn- for us.
Miles outside the city, the trees have saved us almost
Giants lie uprooted, gaping hole where their stump begins.
We count water droplets, drag bucketful from "timetaps"
At the street corner or forgotten backyard,
Up twenty concrete steps.
Rustic darkness, power cuts, brings back candles after a decade.
To sit around candlelight and mourn tree death
Is a life miles apart, comfortably placed
Till a few days later, corpses and house ash show
Far down in the mangrove marshes and our ancestral nook.
What is left of it.
What is left of us?
She moved at a hundred and sixty kilometres per hour,
Leaving little to feel, at length.
By the time she was gone, she had not left a blood trail
But splinters and shards and carcass all over our water-plagued land
Leaving too much at hand to stare at.
Or build anew from ash and death
Death has flooded the plains.
The sky has cleared in the past few days,
As if it never crashed into millions that called it home.