After the storm

cyclone_sunderbans
Sunderbans after the cyclone. Photo: AFP

He sits on his haunches

                        Palm over the head.

The storm last night

                        Blew away his hut.

It was made out of straw

                        And some thatch,

It was no match

                        For the might

Of the raging monster.

In Sundarbans,

                        People become meals

For crocodiles & tigers.

                        I remember the ordeal

Of that woman in Gosaba 

                     Whose teenaged son

Went fishing in the brackish water,

                       When a sly mugger

Dragged him to death.

Like the ebb and flow of the sea,

                        Life and death varies

On this tiny island.

                        But what do you do

When the storm pummels you

                        And leaves,

And you still have to be?

© Vidya Venkat (2020)
[Watch me read out this poem as part of Rattle Magazine’s ‘Poets Respond’ open mic here (towards the end of the show)]

Published by Vidya Venkat

Ph.D. candidate in Anthropology at SOAS, London. Formerly, journalist at The Hindu, Chennai.

5 thoughts on “After the storm

  1. Hi Vidya,

    Wish to congratulate you on your poem, very well written and I saw you reciting it too.

    Incidentally, I was also there on the same show and read, ‘The Boat of Delight’.

    Just this morning, thought of connecting with you.

    All the best
    Harpreet.

  2. Hi Vidya

    I don’t have an account of my own.
    Just in case you wish to contact, my email is available, here …

  3. Hi Vidya,

    Hope doing fine and writing oodles of poetry.

    Is there any anthology lined up somewhere, dedicated to pandemic poetry or short stories?
    Let me know pls if you come across any such thing.

    Well my email was typed in these columns, and you could delete the info, after having it. If it’s possible at your end.

    Thanks much.

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