Evening Tide by Lal Dil

The evening wears its familiar colors
The footpaths are walking to the basti
The lake is returning from the office
after being shunted out of work
The lake is quenching its thirst for water
The city is walking towards the villages
Someone has lost all his wages
Another is wiping with his dhoti the
blood off the whip-marks
on weak animals
The evening wears its familiar colors…
They are walking away from land
That belongs to another
carrying their straw baskets
The long caravan is moving on
carrying the burden of rebukes
Along the long shadows
children are riding donkeys
Their fathers have dogs in their arms
Pans hang on the backs of their mothers
Babies are sleeping in these pans
The long caravan is moving on
On their shoulders are the bamboos of their shacks
Who are these Aryans, so starved?
Which India’s land are they
going to conquer?
The young men love the dogs
They know not how to love palaces
Long starved, they are leaving the
land that belongs to another
The long caravan is moving on
What do they know?
How many are tied to posts
How many burned alive at the stake
Those who cannot leave the basti
The shadows of the basti trees move on
Someone is holding the legs of tired animals
Of tired loves
The long caravan is moving on
The brave tillers of the land walk away
With the burden of shovels on their shoulders
On the wild paths
The love of the fields was murdered last night
Flames rose from the shacks last night
The caravan moves on.

About the Author

Lal Dil was the first member of his low-caste family to finish school. At university, he turned activist and joined the far left Naxalite movement. He now runs a highway tea-stall in Gurgaon, Haryana, and writes one-line poems to be painted on the back of long-haul trucks.

Facebook Comments Box

Sharing is caring!