Gopal Lahiri (Climate Change, Eco-activism, Whisperings of Social Justice)

Gopal Lahiri

Gopal Lahiri is a Kolkata based bilingual poet, editor, critic and translator. He has authored 29 books to his credit His translation work (From English to Bengali) of short stories of Israel was published by National Book Trust. His poetry is also published across various anthologies and in eminent journals of India and abroad. His poems are translated in 16 languages. He has been nominated for Pushcart Prize for poetry in 2021. He is the recipient of the Poet of the Year Award in Destiny Poets, UK, 2016, Setu Excellence Award, 2020, Pittsburgh, US. His latest collection of poems ‘Alleys are Filled with Future Alphabets.’ has received Pan Asian Ukiyoto awards.

 

Our Breath

 

It’s up there now.

 

October moon, two days from full,

hanging like Archaean wallpaper.

 

With two sharp cries

the night bird reaches the top of the tree.

breathing in the toxic air.

 

Up above the clouds are like Frost’s

hairy and low one in the skies.

 

The grey smoke rubs its skin on the

leafless branches.

 

At a distance

the dark soot falls from the old factory wall

hiding the boxes of our breath.

 


 

 

First Page

 

See the big fish on the screen,

no rippling of water

so big yet mute.

frayed by currents and rocks.

 

Some says: Death from the toxic plastic,

Why some only can hear it? Why?

 

Now we try to understand the impact,

The human impact.

 

What will happen is already happening.

 

Will this be evidence in future study?

Of human extinction?

 

Or such thing on the first page?


 

 

Acceptance

 

I am sitting on the sea beach,

cigarette butt, torn plastic, package and wrapping,

 

We throw it all into the sea-

paper cup and glass, tin, leather shoes, puddles of oil,

 

A dark globe, we will be rotting,

because that what we want;

 

There will be disaster! Will it be?

It’s not my business, not my track,

 

Some things, say the wise ones, who know everything,

Accept the holy power, accept it.

 

Eat, drink, be happy.

Now, who cares.

 

We know, we can still save us.

 

And I say again,

For emphasis.

 


 

 

End Game

 

Pale blue, pale yellow, pale green.

flowers die,

plants, birds, animals,

why do you need a name?

 

There will be dirt, storm, cyclone, tsunami,

In there, what will you wish for?

 

This trail, this narrow path, this green belt,

but something erodes them,

we can’t trace them back.

 

Now a metal road, wide, it’s heartless.

we are travelling fast, faster than light,

Are we? Will we ever be?

 

 Will you be the next? They ask.

 

Either way, it’s an end. A sad end.

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