Some Gods

Some gods are really weird
They need you to grow a beard

Some of them are damn hard to please
They want you down on your knees

How am I going to worship the guy
If he’s invisible, up in the sky ?

What do you reckon I’d say
When I don’t think about him all day ?

Some gods don’t like women in service
Others really make men nervous

I think we all need a time-out
From the hysteria and shouts

Give me a quiet, pensive deity
Not of the church but the laity

Give me a god of the stark winters
Give me a god of mud and splinters

Give me a god, cold like stone heaths
A god that reminds us of our soft feet,
Our soft skins, our soft tissues, our soft ideas

Wah Umkhrah | In Flood

Flow, river, flow
Your rage isn’t over yet
Flow because you’ve always flowed
Flow because it’s you
Flow by the bucketful, by the mug
By the drop
Come together and flow

Trample the bridges and levees
That stand in your way
Smash the tyrannical dams
That want to trap and use you
Swallow up the pride of men

Flow, river and carry the plastic bags,
Chemicals, faeces and dirt
Of this town
Spit out idols onto your banks
Let men know that you are forever
That Time and weather feed you

Show men the trickling erosion
Of your tongues that lap at cement foundations
Show us the might of that patience
Which carves out canyons from solid rock

Swiftly run, like your brothers and sisters
Like Godavari, Narmada, Tsangpo
Cut down temples, towns and high tensions
Deposit refuse and rot on backyards
Remind us you’re a God.

Dieu Francais

Shella, a new God has come to town
Sitting proud, on the other side of the bank;
A God which has lodged itself into the mountain side
Which has inserted its tentacles into the villagers’ hearts;
A God whose raiments are hard hats, heavy boots and uniforms:
A standard international God.
A new magic has enraptured the minds of the locals:
CSR development magic, which offers a place at the table
For the old elite custodians and tribal priests;
Unlike the old gods who mostly preferred being alone.
This new God’s temple is a conveyor belt that stretches into Bangladesh;
Like all gods it needs offerings before blessing us:
Its mouth is a furnace, its entrails digest Indian ore
Turn it into indulgences, for glocal acolytes.
Shella, can you imagine a future without this God?
Has it come to deliver you or disappear like the others?
Will its name last a thousand years?
Will you be saved, Shella?

If You’re Going To Kill, Strike!

Brave new world filled with Facebook bravado;
A time to rejoice in the self, commend the genius flow,
A time to run and hide behind bold words,
A time to skip along and be free to hurt;
But the brave stop and tremble before God
They dare not strike him with their sword;
The brave still fear and some walls still stand
Instead they attack politicians, editors, anyone at hand;
Then make their way to sacrament, to sacred bread
Still worship at the temple, still must bow their proud heads.

Wan Phai Ban Pynbha Biang


Sa shi sien, la kha biang ia me, la kynmaw ieid biang namar ba ki wah ki la rngat bad ki miet, kjam. Mynta ki sla ki la iap bad ki lum, syllen. La dei ka por wad jingkyrmen biang. Kumta hi ha ki sngi kha. Man u snem u wan noh ha PB, bad ki briew kim klet ban wan mane ia u. Ki wan dem ha me uba sympat ia ki nongkhayi; ha iew.

Ki thrang ban iohi ia ka jingwan arsien jong me. Kumno men wan? Kum ka eriong bad leilieh? Kum ka wait bad sum? Kum u jumai bad ding? Ne kum ka Pyrem bad ki sla jyrngam? Kum ka Erbatemon bad um pjah? Kum ka Jingkmen bad ki kot thymmai?

Wan, wan ban pynbha biang. Tangba lada me wan, kyrsiew shwa, kum ia u Lazarus, ia kito ki ba shah thang im ha ki por iakhih ki sengbhalang. Kyrsiew ia baroh kiba shah thombor tang namarba ki pher na ngi. Kyrsiew ia kito kiba pynrit mynsiem ha khmat kiba heh, kumjuh kiba shah bein tang namarba kim mane ia me. Kyrsiew khamtam ia ki dohnud maw jong ki nongbud jong me. Pynum ia u thah uba sop ia ki mynsiem jong ki.

Wan, wan ban pynbha biang. Ai biang ha ka Elaka Sutnga bad Elaka Narpuh ia ki tyllong um ba khuid, kibym ai jingpang ia kiba dih ne sum ha ki. Kumjuh ha Byrnihat bad Nongtalang.

Lada me wan ban pynbha shisha, pynbha ia kine ki khlur rit bad ophisar kiba shong ha khmat iingmane. Pyni ka dur shisha jong me ha ki. Ba me kham ia jan bad ki nongkhrong ban ia ki saipan, ba me shong bad ki nongdiekwai, ba mem pat ju poi sha Times Square, ba mem shym beh ia ka burom ne spah hapor ba me dang im ha pyrthei.

Lada me wan shisha, wan biang na trep na sem mrad; wan biang kum u nongpynim jong ka shnong ka thaw; u nongpyrsad mynsiem ia ka imlang sahlang; wan biang kum u nongpyllait im ia ki mraw.

Yo, God

Yo, God I’ve got a question for you.
Are you Jew, Muslim, Christian or Hindu?
Do you hear when they talk or are you blank as my wall?
Are you small and compact and sit inside a room,
Or is it a tomb that houses your presence?
Can your essence be spread by just one faith,
And can they teach hate for the ones who can’t understand?
God, are you man, transgender or animal?
Do you have mandibles, fur or down?
Are you a clown? A non serious god, an old uncle who lives down the street?
Do your feet rise above the ground, or are you like us:
Not far from the dust and dirt and piss and cigs ?
God, don’t stay with the Big; come out of those stuffy spots-
Those churches, ‘gogs, mosques and temples- run outside, quick!


May You Profit From Death

U Blei u la iap bad dei ma ngi ba pyniap ia u. Ngi pyniap ia u khyndiat, man ka sngi sha Lumchnong, sha Nongtalang, sha Byrnihat, sha Shallang. Kat shaba leit ka tuid ka snam jong u, bad ka ai skai kum ha Lukha, ha Umtru, ha Umtyngar.

To ngin ia dwai, khapbrip khmat beit, wat phai sha ka mon ne sha ka diang, pyndem khlieh bad shu dwai beit. Phah ki jingdwai, ki jingtieng, jingsyier jong phi sha U Blei u ba la iap, U Blei uba la dam. Dwai ba un pynriewspah ia phi na ka jingpra jong ka met jong u. To phin iai nang kiew nang roi na ka jingiap. Amen.