Uma Pochampalli Goparaju
From A Distance - Poem by Uma Pochampalli Goparaju
I saw you, raising out of dust
Crops to feed the people, cattle,
Pets and birds and some fish
I saw you hurry before dawn,
Caring the hard working oxen,
Tilling the land to create the grooves,
For sowing seeds to raise golden crops,
Carrying fodder and fertilizers
Mostly engine oil, to help draw
Water through the engine pipes,
Reaching the barren lands,
Irrigating the soil giving birth
To lush green paddy, pregnant
With golden seed pods, and kernel,
While humbly drooping their backs...
Alas, the crops..did not raise
In one corner of the world,
When the morning rose..
The dusty winds, pouring rains,
Flooding the lands striking
Tornadoes, whither is the farmer?
Harvesting, not grain, but husk
Lost everything in a blue moon
On the lands, lying high,
The grasshoppers and beetles,
That cleared the endeared harvest
Leaving him with loads of loans
For buying fertilizer to burden...
Most venerable farmer, who has
Caused you this? Why have you
Turned yourself, you- who feeds
The many, and tills for many, into
A lifeless body, a statistic?
I hear about you and visualize
The pain, unable to reach you
Other than seeing you in heart,
From a distance...
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