Poetry 2018 Longlist, Chintha Mary Anil

It was the gods who killed me

It was the gods who killed me

Were they mine or yours?

Did they infiltrate from across the border

or did they just step down

from the altar encased in gold?

 

Not that it matters

under six feet of gravel sore

that they shoveled in haste

over my bruises galore.

 

Crush him –they raged-

who dares to question blind faith.

i did… and so am no more.

 

My crime –they say-

was not one of deed,

but queries cynical

directed at their sanctums

– Good God!

 

Alongside me,

others lay dying

in casteist clutches of yore.

Pure conjecture, they pooh-poohed

while yet another Dalit got mauled…

‘dandiya’ sticks left untouched;

an admiring gaze,

his only fault.

 

Don’t go only by the media

that delights in the macabre;

We too excel in doing so,

they exclaim with proud bows.

 

 

Acts of pure evil

condoned as exceptions,

as people are mowed down

in the name of differing skin-tones.

 

Venom spewed on each difference,

Minorities wiped out,

With pleasure the majority crows.

 

Where also-rans get trampled

both onscreen and off,

Abuse always seems distant,

not something that happens at home.

 

Why, O gods, did you kill me?

Whose curse do i need to bear?

Did not the same God make us

or was it a mutant mould of clay?

 

That’s when a god sauntered in

flashing an eon attire,

Someone asked

Who made him one?

He pointed right back at us.

 

Another descended

couched in learned overtones,

None dared question her

‘cause she was paraded

by dynasty zealots.

 

Oh, they keep popping up

like figurines in a puppet show;

None notice the puppeteer

who fingers the strings

with a leer.

 

As i lay dying,

the gods turned in glee

and mocked.

What a fool –they clucked-

to not know

when to join the crowd.

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