A storm gathers fast on the

distant horizon, dim but visible. Murky skies and bloated

gray clouds mesh into terrific beauty—and rumble of thunder that

cleaves the day-gloom with a dazzling

light and deafens. The earth

shudders uneasily. Trees sway

violently, birds are in flight, circling.

The powerful wind flattens the solid

things on its way, in fury. The burning

fires leap up hungrily for more in the plains ahead; the ground cannot

hold the dead anymore. The cold whispers of the

spectral armies merge seamlessly with the cries of

the living—condemned by the indifferent system, thus producing a collective dirge of epic proportion.

The storm gathers speed, become

fiercer… but the Council blind. The castle-keepers cannot

hear or see the approaching tempest, busy counting cynically, amid the gaping ruins that were once

happy cities!

Sunil Sharma is a Mumbai-based senior academic, critic, literary editor and author with 22 published books: Seven collections of poetry; three of short fiction; one novel; a critical study of the novel, and, nine joint anthologies on prose, poetry and criticism, and, one joint poetry collection. He is a recipient of the UK-based Destiny Poets’ inaugural Poet of the Year award—2012. His poems were published in the prestigious UN project: Happiness: The Delight-Tree: An Anthology of Contemporary International Poetry, in the year 2015.