A cold hearth
The grey- white ashes contain
Clues and memories of meals cooked
many moons ago

Nobody died
Except the timid hopes
Of the simple people
Of a few dozen tribal hamlets

He was homesick
His day began with the chewing of the betel leaf
And a cup of hot tea
Though it was summer
And he was still in his greying white sleeveless hosiery vest
And a blue -grey wraparound waistcloth –
The dress that suited his leisure
And his sleep

He is gone
To wander the forests of locusts and honey
Up north by the taller mountains
To be with his loved ones

This place to him means little more
Than a cash collection centre
These people his milch cattle
He will be back
For his usual three days a month

The mahua trees bleed fresh red leaves
The spring is in mourning

A dust storm shrouds the brazen sky
And dissolves in tears of fiery rain
Slowly turning numb with despair
And icy cold

A red flag with a white emblem
Rises defiantly among the soaked mud huts
As the thatch drips only to drown
Long sorrows in recurring puddles
Potholes in the coppery murram lane
Like sockets of bleeding eyes
Cruelly gouged , acid burnt

The evening glows, then deadens
Like a crimson pennant with ashen edges
Sinking into the sudden blackness
Of a tropical night .

He will repent one day
In sackcloth and ashes
Sadly , too late !

A gunshot rings
A pool of blood
Keeps spreading
Colour drains out
of pallid faces

Greyness grows
The Path to Perdition
The Royal Road to Retribution
Cut to the Crematorium
Memento Mori
An Urn of Ashes

Souviens- toi
que t’es poussière

Dust thou art ….

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