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Tag: #Constitution

Like That Cat, or Our Constitution,

-Republic Day, 2021

Sometimes precious things 
disappear in a moment,
like the flash and bang
of a wedding cracker
or that cat you used to feed,
caught under a swerving bus;
but sometimes they slip away slowly,
like an early morning dream
where you know you left something 
of great value in the train car 
you see sinking in the river—
a box of old family photos, 
perhaps, or the lipstick you took 
from your grandmother’s table 
on the day she died—
and you’re glad you’re safe on the shore, 
but by the time you come fully awake
you cannot remember 
where the train had been going,
what had broken the bridge, 
or how many fellow travellers
now lie beneath rushing waters.

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Man Sits Proudly on a Big Bike

for Prashant Bhushan

In the photo, a man in his early sixties 
sits astride a large, shiny motorcycle. 
He wears a short sleeved shirt
and casual pants, and though 
it appears it may have  been 
some time since he’s visited a barber,
from this distance, in this focus,
both his beard and long wavy hair 
are undeniably looking sharp;
you can see why he might not want
to ruin the moment by wearing 
a helmet or a mask—
why should the letter or spirit
of any law anywhere stop a hard 
working citizen from having 
a little harmless fun during 
these stressful times?

It’s hard to believe a man like this
would allow his feelings to be hurt
by a couple of critical tweets—
unless, of course, it’s true 
what they say about powerful, 
aging men who suddenly feel 
the need to be seen with flashy
sports cars or motorbikes.
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A Modest Manifesto

-for Devangana, Natasha and all political prisoners

Each of us needs 
a safe place to dwell,

love and care 
when we’re low or ill;

we all need enough 
to eat and drink—

stories and songs, 
paper and ink;

respect at home,
at work, fair wages,

not condescension, 
curfews or cages!

We should not have to fear
they will take us away

because they don’t like
how we think or pray—

these are basic,
modest demands;

we must give to ourselves
these rights, my friends.
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