Empire of the Overlord

Chile protests 1

Children in unison rise
Crying for the ultimate reprise.

Bus fares hike
Water jets strike
Murderers walk free
The land is no longer safe

Asperger bound
The world round
Children protest
In anger and unrest

Where do they stand?

Why have they become the voice of
The angry clans?

Why is it they scream
In angst against the regime?

Why is it they burn?
Why is it they turn?
Why is it they beat
A policeman on the street?

Where are the days
When children played with sunshine and laughter?
Butterflies flutter near the green riverside.
Hopscotch. Hop, hop and stop!
Where is the song on the young man’s lip?
Where is the hope in their heart of eternal youth?

Why is it they step on their graves
Like old men with hopeless glass torn eyes?
Torn — broken by vassals of angry putrid protest
Stale with anger, bloody with hate —

Will the Overlords
Lead them to Childhood’s End?

Free of
Love
Free of
Happiness
Free of
Innocence

Future? Will there be a future?

Freed of all material existence
Part of the Overmind that hovers in the darkness of space.
All laughter ends.

Again, I ask you — Arthur C Clarke — will there be a future?

Mitali Chakravarty’s poetry has been published online and as part of two anthologies, In Reverie (2016) and An Anthology of Indian Poetry in English (1984). She has published a humorous book of essays on living in China where she spent eight years, In the Land of Dragons (2014); translated a short story, ‘Full Circle’, by the erstwhile Nabendu Ghosh, a Bengali writer and Bollywood scriptwriter, which was published in a collection called That Bird Called Happiness (2018). She had numerous bylines in The Times of India, The Hindustan Times and The Statesman in the 1980s up to 1992 and more recently online on Kitaab.org, Countercurrent, Modern Literature and The Daily Star (Bangladesh). This April, she joined kitaab.org as the editor. She blogs at 432m.wordpress.com.


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