An Old Fashioned Lament

My people, ancient people, who remember nothing –
Who do you sing to now when the creeks are yellow;
Is it worth praying after the black stones are gone;
Are trucks from Assam the new heralds?
Your sacred mountain is in a Bangla depot;
The site of your lovemaking is under construction;
The orchards, which drew Syrian traders, rot away;
The known tack you had die with your shell;
Now amnesia only, only wood fire;
Fruit supplanted by famine, brook by mire.

Playing in the Garden

As children, we had insects for toys. To the cicada, we tied string and it became our hovering and droning ‘dog’ on a leash. We taunted the hairy caterpillar with “kut kut” believing it was attracted to the sound. We squeezed out web, and life, from the garden spider’s abdomen. We especially loved the click bettles who would shoot up into the air if we placed them on their backs. Fireflies and bees we attempted to catch and imprison in bottles, though the latter anthropod never went down without a fight. Our swollen fingers bore testament. The scores of brightly coloured beetles that hid in the squash flowers were our jewels.