The Call of Mother Earth

Suman Bhattarai

Restless and uncertain, I stand here today,
As news of a fever of 1.5 degrees reaches me,
The ice packs that used to bring coolness,
Are unable to soothe the burning of my body.

My limbs, now engulfed in flames
Shed tears that flood like a deluge,
Turning into floods and tides,
To wash away the remnants of civilization.

The remnants that survive, my garments white,
Seek shelter beneath the ice caps,
While the roaring river mocks and roars,
Its voice a reminder of nature’s course.
The entire civilization swept away with my tears
So, never make my body’s cry.

Those who survived, my white garments
Seek refuge under the shelter of Ice caps,
As the roaring river,
Mocks with its thunderous voice.

With its polluted smoke discharged
The atmosphere gasps for breath,
I seek solace in the trees that provide me air,
A mask of oxygen to preserve my life.

But the trees, my benevolent nurses,
Are slowly withering, unable to sustain me,
My roots, now blackened,
By the creation of my own mechanical invention.

How can we survive in this artificial breath?
Without the delicate veils that cover our heads
My victorious warriors stand with me,
Burnt by the scorching rays of the sun.
As black hole is squeezing me in its mouth every day
My ozone shield is rupturing my body every day
Hence burning my body with ultraviolet light

Every day, my body crumbles,
Like a jigsaw puzzle seeking to be whole,
I must give birth to daughters like Greta,
Giving longevity to my soul every day
Without letting life escape,
My sister, the moon, is watching my grief in despair
But I can’t depart to my sister’s home
Why do you consume the meat?
My lungs, filled with toxins,
Breathe in the smoky air,
The burning smoke is giving me an autoimmune disease
I plead, with every passing dawn,
For awareness to rise, pollution to be gone,
May my fever diminish, subside with grace,
Reduced to the lowest degree, a healing embrace.


[Bhattarai is a Nepali poet from Bartung, Palpa, currently in the UK.]