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Paddy Field

Paddy Field

Words that hold the world together
Touches that erupt in vibration
Breaths that rip apart air textures

Tears that moist the sandy soil
Heartbeats that overtake passing vehicles
Filled with people, cattle and chattels

Passing by our smashed bodies
Laying bare on a paddy field
In a land filled with fear

Our blood soaking our clothes
Covering our ripped entrails
Recolouring plants and nature

From green to red
From brown to black
From life to death

Masses move forward
Towns and villages pass us
Lives beyond us

Run away from us
Leaving behind
What is left of us

Pieces of emotions
Pieces of memories
Pieces of bodies

Mingled together
In a soup we called

Life

My hands in hers
Her limbs in mine
Her tears are mine

Ignoring our suffering
Ignoring our ugliness
Ignoring our beauty

In Death

They move forward
Beyond us
Away from us

Away from fear
Away from pain
Away from life

Into the death
That awaits them
Across the lagoon

And has caught
The two of us
On this paddy field

When I told her
That I’ll protect her
From pain and sorrow
Death and terror

Where life sprouts
Through seeds
That feed the living

Not the dying

Our screams have silenced
We breathe silently
In constant rhythm

Our fear has evaporated
With the fire unleashed
On our hearts and bodies

Our shapeless bodies
Mingling with nature

Like burnt plants
Cleared trees
And slaughtered animals

Watching the
Birdless
Cloudless
Godless
Sky

I realize

I need to hold her
To help her die
In the peace
We never had

And dreamed to live in
But only found in death

With her fingers in mine.

 

A poem by Sinthujan Varatharajah (see his Twitter account here), recited at 'Raise Your Voice' held at the London School of Economics earlier this month.

Illustration by Ramiya Lakshman. See more of her work on her website and Facebook page BigMe Designs.