The Terrible Goddess


The rain has come again

And Ganges rises to meet

Its long forgotten banks.

By the riverside people tremble,

This affair of land and water

Threatens to end their lives.


The muddy water creates ripples

Of its desire

And banks fall in answer.

Their mud dissolves, colours the water.


The river answers a few prayers,

It comes to meet people

In their houses.

They run away,

Afraid of their prayers.

The river follows them

Rippling, dancing, laughing.


Men in cabinet pass bills

And yawn and throw shoes.

‘People are dying’ they say

And some die to prove the point.


The river recedes after the union,

After it has consummated with the banks.

And her offspring cry and laugh;

Broken houses, floating bodies,

Lost livelihoods and found nothings.


New reports are filed,

New plans are made

And paper fulfills its destiny.


Next year she will come again,

The Terrible Goddess;

Worshipped and loved,

She will strike fear and then play.

She will run and sprint,

Laugh and roar, break and tilt.

But the people won’t care,

They’ll run away

Only to come back again.

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