cogs in a wheel;
it takes along
bits of you;
like the bit
to the trees
on its bank.
the pond dead,
and my tongue
only the stench
About the Context:
This poem was the result of a new construction coming up next door. It hurts to look out my window now. Back home in India, every time I bid goodbye to the purple hills (the tail end of the Western Ghats) that stand guard to my little hometown, I wonder how much of them I will get to see on my next trip home. Huge chunks go missing with each passing year. Chunks brutally gouged off by the granite mafia. It does not look like there is an end in sight… except for the end of the hills.
Cary offered some relief with its vast pockets of green cover. At any given point on your drive, despite the steel and glass interruptions, you could expect to be cocooned in a green canopy. It was cooling – at so many levels. Now all you can expect at any point on your drive is a huge swathe of naked land, ripped of its beautiful green cover, and a bunch of construction equipment looming menacingly. And it all happens overnight. Chances are, if you haven’t taken a familiar road in a couple of weeks, the next time you do, you will see a new community in the making there. Trees out, model home in.
I write this fully aware that I am not entirely blameless. I have contributed to the destruction. Trees were felled and ponds were dried to build my home too. I try to find consolation in the fact that we probably went for a pre-owned home instead of a new one in a sub consciously induced move to assuage this guilt.
We are all helpless cogs in the huge wheel of a juggernaut called development. I know I mixed up a bunch of things in that phrase there.
Meanwhile, next door, excavators, earth movers, forklifts and tree fellers have made the land which once was a farm, into their playground. All day they play, wreaking havoc like ill mannered children, and by nightfall, they lay spent, spread across the land – grotesque, haunting, frightening. The days are filled with their hums, groans and grunts. And at night I miss the symphony of the bullfrogs that had made the pond their home.